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Gardening Grandma

The worst thing I ever bought was a packet of seeds of mixed cottage garden perennials. At the time, I did not realise that cottage garden plants are usually rampant spreaders, since this is why they could be shared freely with all the other cottagers. My garden is now infested with dead nettle, which spreads by underground runners and is almost as bad as bindweed to get rid of.


Blueboots, do you know if your soil is alkali or acid? Summer flowering heather likes one and winter flowering heather likes the other, and I can never remember which is which but others on this forum know.

Highland Jeannie
Busy-Lizzie wrote (see)

I've just been pulling out masses of variegated ground elder, Aegopodium podagraria, it's gone into my 3 fuschia ricartonii. Glyphosate in the spring, again, for next year. Done it before, before the fuschia starts growing - but it always comes back.

Oh dear, I dabbed my variegated ground elder with glyphosate a few days ago - looks like the first of many applications. It's in a raised bed, maybe I can put in a physical barrier "thinkingcaponsmiley"


Artjak, I don't know what ph the soil is, I'd better get a kit and find out.I hadn't realised that different heathers have decidedly diffrent preferences. I know it's shallow and stoney but very fertile (as evidenced by chest high nettles before I declared war on them).

We have some heathers in a raised bed that are doing exceedingly badly - however it's probably too dry there, and I've no idea where that soil came from - probably not the garden.


Gardening Granda - thanks for that advice. I've just killed everything in a raised herb bed to get rid of couch grass. I was going to chuck in a heap of flower seeds to have something nice to look at while I make sure all the couch grass is gone. Later I'll replant it with herbs.

I'll be careful not to get cottage perennials - or anything else that might go bezerk.


Gardening Grandma

BB, glad to be of help!

BTW, summer flowering heathers have to have acid soil, winter flowering heathers do not mind more neutral or alkaline soil. I can only grow the latter.


anything that is rampant goes in a pot or get planted in the border with the plant still in the pot. if it spread by seeds, then the seedheads get chopped as soon as the flowers go over.


If only we all had that wisdom franco. 


I'm lucky enough to garden a patch with high stone walls, so I'm over-run by ....wall-flowers! They're everywhere but fortunately easy to pull up or transplant and give to friends.

This year I'm gardening to raise the wildlife benefit of my plot, however, so I've been more relaxed about self-seeded things providing they produce nectar and providing they can be kept under control (Lemon Balm - aaargh! Who let it in?) I've also been experimenting with native "weeds", e.g Herb Robert flowering through rosemary looks fantastic. It is supposed to be cottage garden-ish!

Ground elder... it is edible. I dealt with it in a previous garden by eating it all until it gave up.


Cetti, I agree about lemon balm


Personal bug bears would include in no particular order, crocosmia, lucifer is right as I used to scream to hell most times weeding in my old place. I DO like it, but it'll be in a trough if I have it here, under lock and key! Sweet william, forgetmenots and violas. My mum helps out in my garden, and she just can't compost anything!!! I'm trying to grow something on in pots and there's 3 inch deep of this gubbins smothering it!! All of it self seeded and unwanted, but try telling her that! I'm quite fortunate that I usually read up on something before planting if I've been on a mad impulse buy. Table top sales and boot sales are the usual culprits for things that take over.

I know what people mean about aquilegia too, another that self seeds ten a penny in the wrong place, yet in a heated propagator take an age to come up, and then are tiny seedlings! I too have sycamore every year thousands of the sods! I also have a next door neighbour who has a hazel that overhangs, fortunately I've neglected to tell them it makes the nuts on this years growth so as it isn't pruned significantly less hassle last year! Mind, I still have seedlings trying to survive in my lawn, and that's being cut every week and feed and weed and lawn weeder spray !! Goose grass? (sticky bobs) it grows everywhere on my neighbours gravel, the local wildlife and cats ensure I enjoy it too!

Oh and clematis tangutica, lovely climber, I gave a seedling I grew to my parents who planted it at their static caravan against an arch. The site was next to a river that flooded regularly. The outdoor garden bit was gravel, when I went there the next year, to my amazement you couldn't see the gravel for tangutica seedlings, all about a foot high, literally 100 a square foot!

It's funny though that what I struggle to grow is a menace elsewhere, I'll try to keep it in mind. Afterall, if everything grew easy, now where would the fun be in that?

Quakeing Grass (not sure of the spelling) - I thought it would be nice to have this pretty grass with its large shaking seedheads in my garden... worse thing ever. It spreads all over the place and when you think you have got rid of it all then again next year it shows up. It even grows through concrete. Horrible.

I agree about aquilegia - you have to whip it out whilst small as it sends down long roots. However, I have successfully transplanted it about to bulk up my shady border.

I also have two single-flowered dog-roses grown as standards which self-seed everywhere. (I assume they allude to the time of the Wars of the Roses which is when the house was built) They're incredibly prickly and get everywhere; in the borders, in the lawn, between the setts in the courtyard, in pots...... they catch me out when weeding with bare hands - aaargh!


Cetti, ouch!


We are currently fighting with Bindweed  


Ivy, creeps everywhere and is impossible to get rid. Brambles, worse than Ivy if that's possible.

Yeah we have a huge ground ivy problem  


Ivy is a problem, but so satisfying to pull up. You get more plant per pull than most other things Brambles are much worse - they fight back. I have some old thick ski gloves which are better for attacking brambles than any garden gloves I've ever had.

I think I'd be happy if Dianthus grew like weeds.


This is a wonderful cautionary tale by Genesis - the song of the Giant Hogweed:

Turn and run!
Nothing can stop them,
Around every river and canal their power is growing.
Stamp them out!
We must destroy them,
They infiltrate each city with their thick dark warning odour.

They are invincible,
They seem immune to all our herbicidal battering.

Long ago in the russian hills,
A victorian explorer found the regal hogweed by a marsh,
He captured it and brought it home.
Botanical creature stirs, seeking revenge.
Royal beast did not forget.
He came home to london,
And made a present of the hogweed to the royal gardens at kew.

Waste no time!
They are approaching.
Hurry now, we must protect ourselves and find some shelter
Strike by night!
They are defenceless.
They all need the sun to photosensitize their venom.

Still they're invincible,
Still they're immune to all our herbicidal battering.

Fashionable country gentlemen had some cultivated wild gardens,
In which they innocently planted the giant hogweed throughout the land.
Botanical creature stirs, seeking revenge.
Royal beast did not forget.
Soon they escaped, spreading their seed,
Preparing for an onslaught, threatening the human race.

The dance of the giant hogweed

Mighty hogweed is avenged.
Human bodies soon will know our anger.
Kill them with your hogweed hairs
Heracleum mantegazziani

Giant hogweed lives

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