Monday, May 11, 2009

Garden update 2

What a lovely day it turned out to be today, and I spent it all in the garden! Getting containers ready for planting, planting a tree, tidying up, and weeding were the main occupations. This last is ongoing of course. It is often said that, "Weeds are simply plants which are growing in the wrong place."

Don't believe it for a minute. As a science fiction fan, I have often pondered the possibilities of sentient plant life. No, really! There can be no better illustration of this than weeds. On the one hand, they can disguise themselves as the best perennials, and hide at the edge of the clump. On the other, like Creeping Buttercup (Ranunculus repens), they can anchor themselves in the ground with the tenacity of superglue. Did you know that this weed is also called 'Devil’s Guts', 'Granny Threads', 'Ram’s Claws', and 'Sitfast'. This last is certainly appropriate. Seven years ago, Skip garden had been overtaken with this one, and the battle continues.

You can clear a piece of ground completely of Ground-elder (Aegopodium podagraria, 'Bishop's weed', 'Goutweed') but one small piece of root can make a complete fool of your efforts after a few months. Definitely full marks for invasiveness! Apparently this plant was introduced to Britain by the Romans as a treatment for rheumatism and gout, and the leaves are still eaten in Sweden. If I pluck up the courage, I'll let you know what it tastes like!

It's the poetry season, so here's a piece about weeding by Rudyard Kipling, from Glory of the Garden:

"Our England is a garden, and such gardens are not made
By singing 'Oh how wonderful' and sitting in the shade,
While better men than we go out, and start their working lives
By grubbing weeds from garden paths with broken dinner knives."

I intend to show the various parts of the garden another time. For now here's my favourite plant this month (May).

It seems happy in this corner near the pond.

And I need a macro lens. It is Brunnera macrophylla 'Jack Frost'.

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