WEEDS, BRAMBLES AND A FEW SURVIVORS

It was beautiful. Magnificent, for a while. My son hauled boulders from walls long-lost in the woods to build the retaining wall.

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This was the garden last year. It was almost as neglected last year as this, but we hadn’t had the awful winter that has caused so much damage.

It took two years to construct the garden and fill it with topsoil and plant it. We had roses, climbers and “fairy roses,” miniature hedge roses. Day lilies and hybrid Chinese lilies. Daffodils and narcissus. Daisies and Astilbe. Columbine, tulips and crocuses.

The climbing roses are gone, as are the hybrid lilies. Only three tulips made it through the winter and four daffodils.

Dead fairy roses - the worst damage of the winter. They will never bloom again.
Dead fairy roses – the worst damage of the winter. They will never bloom again.

I haven’t been able to do anything with it. Garry’s never been a gardener and my son is working so many hours, his remaining time is too fractured to give the garden what it needs — serious attention. And hours of hard work.

So the garden has been on its own. Check out Bette Stevens and her ongoing battle with the weeds and choking veins. Not to mention the thorny things that bite. We decided we should extol the virtues of weed gardens because there’s nothing in this world hardier, more dependable than weeds. Beauty is, after all, in the eye of the beholder.

I’m lucky some of my weeds also flower. They are in the a “bridge” group called “wildflowers.” Into this category fall this year’s two bumper crops: Solomon’s seal and day lilies. The day lilies won’t bloom for another month, but we have so many of them coming up, when they are ready to bloom it’s going to be impressive. Usually we also have spiderwort, but I don’t see any … or maybe they just aren’t up yet. Time will tell.

This is my independent garden, a garden surviving on its own. Amazingly, the columbine has done pretty well and we have two (count’em) narcissus. And, of course, the eternally hardy hosta. I think nothing can kill hosta.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Opinionated writer with hopes for a better future for all of us!

13 thoughts on “WEEDS, BRAMBLES AND A FEW SURVIVORS”

    1. GOT TO love’em because that IS my garden this year — maybe for the future. I don’t see myself getting back in there on hands and knees. I could get IN, but I’d need a winch and pulley to lift me back out!

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  1. Two things that can’t be killed, no matter how much neglect or dog-trampling — ivy and hostas. Now that Rascal is gone, both are coming up again in full force!

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  2. those little blue flowers are ground ivy, commonly known as that DAMNED ground ivy. Ive spent 40 years fighting it, and I expect to spend the rest of my garden days at it too. It has tendrils that climb and a root system that goes on forever. With a digging tool like a miniature garden rake you can often hook onto the roots and pull up a huge mass of it. If thats any consolation.

    you can kill hosta, I did. i just kept mowing it until it succumbed. Im thinking the permanent mulch i keep on year round may have protected the plants from that dreadful perma frost– and even that didnt help the false indigo. It will survive, but humbled.

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    1. I don’t mind the ground ivy. It’s prettier than the crab grass. I don’t mind the violets either, though many people consider them weeds. I figure if it blooms, that beats out the dead earth look. The Hosta covers a part of the garden where nothing else would ever grow, so I’m fine with it. Every once in a while I thin it out and plant the extra in the woods — where nothing except goat’s beard would grow.

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      1. ground ivy tends to creep and choke almost everything, its like a small version of trumpet vine without the nice big flowers.

        I love violets, they planted themselves in one of my gardens years ago and have since foamed over onto the lawn. while they bloom I mow around them. And when in need of filler, a chunk of daisies goes with anything

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        1. Maybe ours isn’t ground ivy because it doesn’t seem to choke anything. It creeps out over the crab grass, but it is welcome to choke the crab grass all it wants. The violets get mowed around until they finish blooming. We have them everywhere in the spring.

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