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Monday, June 27, 2011

Friends and Foes in the Garden

Friends and Foes in the Garden

There is a swath of flowers edging our steeply curved driveway.  Most of the perennials and shrubs were there when we moved in.  We're grateful for that beginning.

Unfortunately, when we inherited an older garden, we also inherited the goutweed, creeping jenny, daisies and myriad weeds which co-habited with the flowers we wanted.  It is always that way with an older garden; it comes with the friends and the foes.

I am learning to live with the foes.  I can now welcome the sight of creeping jenny, a low growing bright yellow, ruffled mat of blossoms.  The white and yellow daisies burst upwards like happy-faced messengers shouting, "Here I am.  Isn't summer wonderful?"

I have not been able to make friends with goutweed, because it chokes out everything around it.  I have set up limits to its territory but have been forced to give up my wish to eradicate it altogether. 

Goutweed should never be planted near anything else, though it is perfect for a slope with poor soil and doesn't care if it has sun or shade.  Properly planted goutweed spreads rapidly into a carpet of pretty ivy shaped leaves, bright green with edges of yellow, white and cream.

"Having a garden is about learning compromise and patience", a good friend once told me.  After years of arguing with my garden, I have agreed to a number of truces and am able to trade a dream of complete control, for the reality of partial control and a wild-looking garden.

It works.

Photos are mine.

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