Sunday, May 6, 2012

Keeping Up

In the winter, we gardeners long for spring. Spring renewal, getting our hands in the dirt once again, rediscovering perennials popping up again, going to our local nursery to buy new "friends." But we forget that spring rains and warmer weather bring weeds back with a vengeance. Using bark mulch and planting densely helps but there's no getting away from weedy grasses. It's another reminder that nature is pretty sneaky -- and persistent.
Then again, as the old saying goes, a weed is only a plant you don't want in your garden. I have nigella (Love-in-a-Mist) reseeding in my front yard and the charming bulb anomatheca popping up all over a shady raised bed. Alstromerias are up even though I was sure that I'd dug out every last tuber in my newly converted Australian shrubs bed. The pesky but charming Impatiens balfourii is up in the back yard, even self-seeding in various larger pots.I didn't have a lot of breadseed poppy seedlings this year but they are infamous for popping up from last year's crop. In a way, self seeding plants provide a window onto a major aspect of gardening: which plants do you want to keep in your garden and which ones will you pull out? It's all part of managing your garden, including re-imagining certain beds as the inspiration or need strikes.

1 comment:

  1. Actually, a weed can be something that is a listed invasive species by the California Invasive Plant council or other agencies. Just wrote a letter to the Mercury News editor about your column "Glorious Grasses" - several of the plants you recommend there are listed weeds. With so many lovely native options, there's no call to tell folks to plan wildland invaders!


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