Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Natives Gone Rouge

A few years ago when the Coreopsis integrifolia was happy.

Day 235
The Daily DuBrule

I just spent an hour liberating my Coreopsis integrifolia from my Eupatorium coelestinum. The perennial ageratum had won the battle and had engulfed this very unusual, late blooming Coreopsis that I count on for cut flowers at this time of year. I started by digging out a tarp load of plants, essentially the entire front of the border. Then I got down and dirty and started sorting out the mess. The perennial ageratum has an amazing root system. White roots run along the surface of the ground and thread their way into everything. I LOVE this plant. It blooms for 5-6 weeks in my garden, fills vase after vase with cut flowers, and attracts butterflies galore. But it truly is a thug in perennial border. The Coreopsis has long, wiry roots. I teased them all out of the Eupatorium and put them in a bucket. I found that a large grouping of old fashioned coral bells had also been swallowed up. I dug it out of the mess. I then dove into the clumps of Astilbe and hardy mums and daylilies and Echinaceas and cleaned them out as well. Crazy me, I left some of the Eupatorium in the back part of the border where it does the job it is supposed to do which is fill up the empty space when the bleeding heart that ate Middletown goes dormant. I will watch it like a hawk from now on. 
No sight of the Coreopsis this year, but I found it!
While I was at it, I also dug out countless Rudbeckia 'Goldsturm' plants that had seeded around. This is not the first time in eight years I have done this. Rudbeckias LOVE my yard, as they do most yards. I have removed them before and banished them to the back border where they can spread to their heart's content amongst the 'Midwinter Fire' dogwood. Yet they return.

Last week I dug up huge clumps of Joe Pye weed that had seeded into the middle of my blueberry patch. Another landed in the Siberian iris border next to my raised beds. They both were moved to the wild border between the pussywillows. I have planted many New England asters of colors I specifically wanted- hot pink 'Alma Potchke' and low growing 'Purple Dome'. They too have self sown, resulting in pale pink and magenta tall asters that, albeit beautiful, are out of proportion or the wrong color for the spot they landed in. Never mind that a gigantic New England aster growing in the heart of a 'Coral Fay' peony can't be good for the peony. 

I adore native plants and totally want them in my yard. They are easy to care for, a magnet for pollinators, and fascinating to observe. I just have to use a heavier hand on the ones that area trying to wipe out the well laid plans of this garden designer to have the borders of her dreams.

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