I have found in the past that no sooner have I planted a new plant , than there it is , all over the garden, sometimes this is an asset, especially when doing a new border, all the empty spaces fill in no time. Also the books and magazines tell us that it is good to have a linking theme round the whole of the garden.There are times however, when a firm hand is needed to sort things out. A plant that is welcome anywhere it chooses is Verbena bonariensis, this seeds about on my heavy clay, but it is never a problem. Only one plant was bought, but now it has spread through a couple of borders. Each year I wonder if I have lost it over the winter, but by summer time, there it is once more, keeping the bees and butterflies happy.
The purple leafed form of Anthricus (Angelica) looked wonderful the first year, after that we had seedlings everywhere in the border smothering smaller plants. I now dead head it before it can go to seed, hoping to prevent a population explosion.
Many years ago, as I have already mentioned in previous posts, I grew some Verbascum from seed, yellow and white, for at least 10 yrs there has been nothing, but this year they have both grown again. Has the seed been lying dormant in the soil, I can’t think of any other explanation of why they should suddenly appear in almost the same spot again. They are both very welcome and this year I am saving the seed.
A friend gave me a plant of Feverfew when I was making the garden, it has now spread everywhere and is sacrificed whenever I need to find a space for a new more interesting plant. There will always be plenty left in the garden as it does form a linking theme between the borders.
Being on heavy clay soil that has had loads of extras added to it to help with the drainage, I still wasn’t sure that Erigeron karvinskianus would be happy, I was right , it died. But not before it set seed and decided that life between the paving slabs by the house wall was just where it wanted to be.More seedlings have popped up between the paving and they have been moved to other places, some survive, some don’t, I’m just grateful that a few do.
Digitalis comes in all shapes and sizes, and are so easy to grow from seed if you want to grow some of the more unusual ones. Only one plant of each is bought and soon you can have hundreds if that is your desire.
Can someone tell me the name of this rush like plant?I was given one when starting the garden and always seem to have a few, here and there. It is lovely for flower arranging.
Another one that was given to me that would be useful for flower arranging, Malva moschata alba. It is a lovely plant and there are a few plants of it in most of the sunny borders. It is never a nuisance and I think the seeds survive going through our compost so it appears wherever that is spread.
The same must have happened to this Sedum. Everything tells me that it likes to be in the sun in well drained soil, these appeared in the shade in permanently damp soil over the underground stream!
What can I say about Alchemilla mollis, it is everywhere!! Each year I dig out at least half of my plants, each year I deadhead before the seed is dropped, and each year it has spread more than ever. No more will ever go near my compost ever again, it’s off to the Council composting from now on, their compost is heated to a much higher temperature than mine so the seeds should be killed off!!
A bulb that spreads nicely is the Colchicum, I started with 5 bulbs and now have well over 50 which I now move to different parts of the garden just when the leaves are dying down in early summer.
Ants are responsible for moving the seed of Cyclamen round the shady parts of the garden. My original few corms are now huge but there are lots of smaller ones growing from where the seed has been dropped.
The birds are spreading the seed of Arum italicum marmoratum round the garden, not too much, I’m so pleased when I find more of it.
Evening Primrose is another plant that has its feet well and truly under the table, I think it is trying for a take over bid. Serious editing takes place each spring of all the seedlings that I think are surplus to requirements. Bees and moths love it and goldfinches come for the seed in the winter, I do have a soft spot for it but sometimes have to be firm.
Sometimes of course plants arrive all by themselves and make themselves at home. I wouldn’t be without the plain ordinary Linaria, it looks so lovely throughout various borders, but where did it come from?
I did buy the pink version, Lunaria Canon Went, on a couple of occasions, but both times it died. Many years later it started appearing in a couple of places all by itself, great!
Poppies have appeared in various forms over the years, I have sprinkled seed of the double pink but only get a few each year.
This small white one appeared in the vegetable garden one year, I now have it down near the house where I can see it all the time.
Another that suddenly appeared was this fringed red one, I have saved seed and hope to spread it a bit in another border.
Most of them are this lilac colour, very pretty,but now we are getting too many, don’t think I need to save any seed of this one, they spread themselves without any help from me.
Michlemas daisies are now making themselves too much at home, they arrived from nowhere and seem very happy. Every time I go to cut them down to stop them seeding, they are covered with bees, hoverflies, butterflies etc and the secateurs get put away once more.
A white one has arrived to join its blue friend, the wildlife loves it just as much.
Maybe I’m too soft hearted, maybe lazy, but whatever it is, I feel the garden benefits from all these plants that obviously feel happy here. Looking down the list of plants that have made themselves at home here, it dawned on me that most of them are ones that bring the bees, butterflies and other beneficial insects into the garden, and for that reason alone they are welcome to stay – would you weed them all out?