Tuesday, July 5, 2011

War Zone

This little flower bed is off on its own for a reason.  The large plant in the background is lysimachia clethroides, aka gooseneck loosestrife.  The flowers look like this:

Pretty, right?  We bought it two years ago.  I looked it up AFTER I planted it in one of my flower beds.  This is the plant that taught me to never do that again.  Check out some of the reviews it got on davesgarden:


"This plant is Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction."

"This plant is OF THE DEVIL!! Seriously, I planted it 9 years ago and am still pulling it. It's really about impossible to irradicate - we've pulled it - round-uped - done everything but set it on fire. Terribly invasive, it will simply take over your entire yard."

"Every bit of root left in the soil will re-sprout."

I read all that and promptly moved it to a place where we can mow around it to keep it in check.  Now see the little yellow flowers on the right?  That's lysimachia punctata.  Another invasive.  (They even have the same first name in Latin!)  It was taking over a friend's otherwise orderly flowerbed.  I figured I'd put it with the gooseneck and let them duke it out.

Then we were gifted that little greyish plant that you see in front, artemesia absinthium, aka wormwood.  I did my research before I chose its spot.  Check it out:  "Its roots secrete substances that inhibit the growth of surrounding plants."  Verrrrrrrry inneresting!  Now we'll just have to wait and see if it can hold its own against the lysimachias.  

One last thing:  After I pulled the gooseneck out of its original spot in my flower bed, I planted nothing else in its place and kept my eyes peeled for any I'd missed.  Sure enough, there were LOTS of new plants this spring.  Dug them all up again and disposed of them, then doused the spot with vinegar.  About two weeks after that, new ones were already growing.  This could take a while.


Anonymous said...

ok go grab a roll of ground cloth .cover the area with cloth then cover cloth with mulch for one growing season will cure your problem.

Broken Barn Industries said...

It's not actually a problem (yet). I like all three plants, I just don't want them bulldozing their way over more delicate stuff. That's why they're in an isolated bed.