Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Gardening: Random Thoughts (About Uninvited Plants)

Photo of roses.

Thought One: In addition to The Garden, we have The Plot, a community garden plot. We've had The Plot for longer than The Garden, and got it before we knew the first thing about gardening, so it's a little quirky.

For one thing, we didn't know that we're far, far too lazy to grow hybrid tea roses. (Help from Gardener Artist/Miss Mosaic, who has never been lazy and probably knows how to care for hybrid teas properly, is not an option for the Plot.) We bought three - Mr. Lincoln, Honor, and I Forget. I Forget promptly died, Honor put out one or two blooms, and Mr Lincoln sulked, bloomless. Until Dr Huey arrived.

Now, I don't know if there are climates and gardens where the rootstock suckers of Dr. Huey really do drain the life out of the grafted hybrid tea tops, but in our climate and garden, it's the opposite. My theory is that all that thriving Dr. Huey foliage collects food that the hybrid tea can share.

When Dr. Huey emerges from a hybrid tea in my garden, the hybrid tea starts to produce lots of real blooms. It looks the way that I imagine it would look if I actually took care of it. Except, of course, for the fact that it's blooming in two different colors, with two wildly different branching structures. Neither of those things worry me much.

(See those roses up there? They're not Dr. Huey, they're a hybrid tea that barely bloomed before Dr. Huey emerged. Pretty, huh? Now, if anyone knows of a rootstock that has this magical effect and doesn't beg for blackspot like Dr. Huey, please let me know?)

Photo of perennial sweet pea blossom, in pink.
Thought Two: I love sweet peas. I love the scent the most, but I'm also very fond of the flower shape. But annual sweet peas are a lot of work. So when perennial sweet peas started popping up in the garden, I was tempted to keep them. They had no scent to speak of, but they're pretty - see?

However, they're aggressive. Incredibly aggressive. Gardener Artist finally managed to talk some sense into me. Now I just admire them before she rips them out. I'm trying to make myself slaughter them, too, but they're so pretty.

Photo of a purple violet blossom.
Thought Three: Violets, on the other hand, are always welcome in the garden. I'm not overfond of pansies or violas, but little wild-like violets can spread wherever they like.

But the scented kinds never invite themselves. They grew wild in Missouri and Tennessee, when I lived and visited there, but I've never encountered a scented violet on the west coast. Is it climate? Variety? Would it be illegal to fly west with a Ziploc of violets gouged out of someone's Missouri yard?

Sadly, I'm guessing that it probably would, so I'll just keep trying new suppliers. Any suggestions?

Photos: Mine

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