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Friday, February 11, 2022


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Gooseneck Loosestrife. Love the look, but it took over. I did finally get rid of all of it, because I just had it in a narrow bed along the garage. I somehow got some variegated liriope with some other plant from a friend, and it spreads like crazy for me, though apparently not for a friend half a mile away (?). I am still digging that out every year. I have a love/hate relationship with spiderwort. It spreads horribly in my garden, but I still have it, because it blooms when I need some color, and I really do love things about it. And I get very excited every year when my Sweet Kate Spiderwort shows up. There was vinca in a bed when we moved in, and it tries to spread. Whenever I see patches of it taking over our local woods, I want to come home and blowtorch our patch, but we haven't yet found any other ground cover that will grow well on the hot and dry west side of the house. And some bird planted a gooseberry in our yard, and we have a nice bush now for the birds. I would love to dig that nasty thing out, but Jim thinks it should stay. I did prune it heavily last year, and am not allowing new ones to stick around. There may well be more, but that's what's coming to mind right now.

Linda Brazill

KRISTIN — We had Gooseneck Loosestrife in our first garden and I loved it. But it was contained by concrete on three sides and so controlled. Have thought about Lirope but have not tried it. I get a similar look with Carexes and they are generally better behaved for me. Thanks for all the advice.

Barbara H.

Yes, stay away from liriope. Some is well behaved but then there is the rest. Pink muhly grass, though lovely when it blooms, grows into very large clumps and those lovely pink waving wands are full of seeds that create tiny clumps that you don't see until it is too late and the bed has expanded beyond all expectation. Somebody suggested it for a Habitat For Humanity house that we were landscaping and I shuddered at what the non-gardening homeowner would go through after a couple of years. Absolutely not, I said.

Linda Brazill

BARBARA — OK, Liriope is definitely on the NO NO list. I just ordered one pink Muhly for Zone 5. I will be careful where I put it and watch it as well. Frankly I am doubtful it will really be hardy in Zone 5 despite what they say.

Kris P

Both your post and Tamara's offer great warnings for other gardeners, although what will take off in one garden and not others is often defined by climate. I can't even imagine a daisy invasion! However, I do now look askance at any plant that spreads via rhizomes. That's NEVER a good thing in my estimation. I was sold on native Symphyotrichum chilense (blue flowers!) based on the assurance that it was "manageable" in low-water gardens. It was - until the odd year we got 160% of our usual annual rainfall. Even though I dug up a large area last year to remove it, I suspect I'll being pulling out renegade shoots forever. I made a similar mistake with Liriope spicata, which spreads the same way.

Linda Brazill

KRIS — You are the third Lirope warning!


Oh no. I have to look and see if what I have growing is 'Blue Bunny'... and if it's spreading (so far I don't think), and 'Ice Dance' came with a warning so my eye is on that one as well. Silly me for trying to copy someone who loves carex!
I think I have a high tolerance for spreaders and rarely regret planting things. Maybe I resent all the work spent digging it back out but only a few things were regretted. Gooseneck loosestrife, vinca and campanula glomerata are in that category. Liatris spicata (not the clumping liriope) and ranunculus ficaria are also plants that give me mild panic attacks lol
Oh. I love my weedy daisies ;)

danger garden

Hmmm, I added a bit of Asarum canadense in the spring of 2020, so far it's been well behaved but now I know to keep an eye on it.


Alstroemerias. They will be in my garden long after I am gone!

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