Not a battle really, more a minor skirmish. I have just finished getting the rockery sorted and then went on to weed the back border between the garden and the woodland. I then thought that the next area to flower en masse for the next few months will be the bog garden at the right side of the circular lawn, no time like the present, so I got on with it and made a start. I’ve done the easy bit, pulling out lots of big weeds and how satisfying it is to slide out huge plants of dock from the permantly wet soil!
This is the drier end of the bog where there is very much a contrast with the foliage of hostas, astilbes, and ferns.
The fern is Matteuccia struthiopteris and foxgloves seem to have decided that they like the extra moisture, so they are welcome to stay. Hostas are coming on nicely, hopefully the blackbirds and hedgehog are keeping the slugs away!
Further back the soil isn’t so wet and bluebells seem very happy. I’ve lots of astilbes by the bluebells, they should be in flower in a few weeks time.
This photo is starting to show the middle section. Lots of primulas are really happy here with their feet in water all winter when this section floods without fail! The primulas at the front are candelabra primulas, but further back where it isn’t so wet, Primula sieboldii, a woodland species, whose flowers look like snowflakes, seem to have settled in quite happily. There are more hostas in this section and Iris ensata are at the back.
This is where the big battle will be! I’ve been told that this is Acorus gramineus Variegatus, it has revelled in being flooded for months all through the winter. It has spread at an allarming rate so has to go as it is overpowering my astilbes, primulas and my very precious Rogersia! I am in the process of preserving my swirling woodcarving which is usually on the plinth, hopefully it will soon be finished. The plant at the back is Euphorbia palustris which is a Euphorbia for marshland.
The view from the other side. The Euphorbia has very kindly split itself into 2 sections, one can be brought down to the other area that floods each winter, right over on the other side of the garden by the field.
We are now looking at the left hand end of the bog garden, the wettest part, where there are lots of ferns, iris, astilbes, primroses, zantedeschia and hostas. There was another big clump of the Acorus at the bottom of the photo, you can still see a few bits sticking out. It was a real tug of war between the plant and me, I think I have almost won but there are some very tough roots to dig out, more a mat of rhizomes!
The iris are a combination of the wild Iris pseudacorus and its cousin Iris p. variegata. I have to keep the fern under control in this area as it tends to wander rather a lot into other precious plants.
I have to admit though, that at the moment my eye is always drawn to the combination of the rhododendron with bluebells, I think they look so lovely together and keep my interest going until all the candelabra primulas start flowering. Some are not far from it now, it won’t be long before there is lots of colour in this border that will keep going for a good few months.
I will try and get out with my big fork tomorrow, weather permitting, and make a start on the mat of very thick roots that must come out. Hopefully they won’t be as difficult as I anticipate otherwise I will have to hand over to the gardener who comes in the afternoon, I can see that good muscle power might be needed!
PS I have had a good go at trying to get rid of the Acorus, it is stronger than I am! My gardener says”no problem” he’ll have it out in no time!
PPS And he did too!