Life will intrude (and other excuses)

Drat this vacation. The maniacal rush to get things done before taking a break is screwing up my garden.

Next spring, I’ll probably regret not having deadheaded those tarda tulips. Hopefully, all their energies didn’t go into making seed. Just popped out now and sprinkled the seeds over some new ground. Don’t know if this was a fruitless task or not, having never had seeds to sprinkle before. Oh well, nothing ventured…

Am already regretting not deadheading the columbines (Aquilegia), which are now a couple of blooms amongst about a billion seed pods. Perhaps that will be good in the long run. More seeds means more columbines. Eventually.

Most of all, I’ve been storing up things to blog about, with no time for blogging.

One of my clever headlines was going to be: Bad sports, and other casualties. The post was going to be about what happens when special plants – such as my corkscrew hazel (Corylus avellana) – sport or revert back to the original form. Instead of curly twigs, it sometimes sends out straight ones.

You have to watch out for these, as they’re more vigorous than the curlicues, and soon your corkscrew hazel is a no-screw hazel, with apologies to the filthy minded.

This happens with variegated plants, too. I’ve passed a number of ‘Harlequin’ maples around the city – the Norway maple (Acer platanoides) with leaves edged in white – that are being overwhelmed by green branches. Ideally, you should cut out the sport as soon as you see it. Removing a sported branch that’s become really big will leave a huge, unattractive gap in the tree, from which it might never recover.

A sport you really have to watch out for is when goutweed (Aegopodium podagraria) goes bad. The variegated goutweed (A. ‘Variegatum’) is invasive enough – though useful as a groundcover for a tough spot and pretty if kept to a restricted space. However, I’ve seen variegated goutweed turn green, often when the site is shaded, then ramp through a woodland, elbowing out everything in its path. Especially the more polite native plants. Once there, it’s almost impossible to eradicate. Don’t let this happen to a ravine near you!

Anyway, that’s what I was going to write about, if I’d had time.

1 comment

  1. I’ve got a massive swath of goutweed – yes, in the shade, under a huge Manitoba maple – which after being variegated for 18 years decided to go green…with envy? of its sunnier located cousins?? But I thought they liked the shade!!!!

    Now my swath has almost completely lost its original white markings.
    However, every cloud has a silver lining, and in this case, once the leaves turn green, the flowers, which resemble queen anne’s lace, stand out quite beautifully against the dark green of the leaves, illuminating the shade under the tree quite nicely. In its normal variegated state, the flowers aren’t really visible. So…mustn’t grumble.

    The corkscrew hazel on the other hand, is a different story.

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