Knotweed: The naughty and the not

To be honest, most knotweeds are at least a little naughty. They can spreaaaaaaad. That might be a good trait in a ground cover. But some, notably the invasive and hard to eradicate Japanese knotweed (Reynoutria japonica, syn. Fallopia japonica, syn. Polygonum cuspidatum), are very, very naughty indeed. This PDF from the Ontario Invasive Plant Council explains. Others, like our covergirl, Persicaria amplexicaulis […]

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Invaders I wish I’d never planted

This is not a picture of a spring garden. No, it’s a stand-off between the Hatfields and McCoys, with Prokofiev’s ominous Dance of the Knights as the sound-track. To the left, the Hatfields, wearing purple. To the right, green-clad McCoys. Each creeps towards a battle in the middle – and takeover of my garden. What is an invasive plant? […]

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Clematis tangutica: Careful what you wish for

I have lusted after Clematis tangutica, the late-flowering beauty with the common name golden clematis or sometimes orange-peel clematis due to its thick petals (really: sepals). And I have planted Clematis tangutica. And, like many of the clematis I’ve grown, I have killed Clematis tangutica. You can imagine my surprise, then, when researching this post today I […]

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Love/Hate: Lily of the Valley

Oh, sure. They look cute, their nodding white flowers, crimped and curled at the edges, like fairies’ cloche hats. In May, they shake those little bells, and perfume fills the air. Plus, they’ll grow anywhere, in sun, shade, wet or dry, with minimal attention. What’s not to like? Grrrrr. Lily of the valley. Convallaria. Muguet […]

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Good defenses make good neighbours

If you plant lily of the valley, you had better love lily of the valley. And your neighbour had better love it, too. If not, your neighbour had darned well better love you. Lily of the valley (Convallaria) is a plant that doesn’t do things by halves, and it’s no respecter of fences. Given the […]

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