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Gardener's Grapevine 2013.01.02

on . Posted in Gardener's Grapevine

Happy New Year! A new year means so many things to everyone. To a gardener it means a blank slate, a new start. Everything is asleep and below the ground so when you look out over your gardens you can start a new plan for the New Year.

Art and I have changed up our gardens more times than I can think of. We have one out back that is slowly getting an overhaul as one plant decided to become the dominant plant. No thank you, you’re out of here.

It’s called feverfew and is used in medicine. It’s beautiful in arrangements when it blooms—small compact white flowers like tiny mums on long stems that grow bush-like. The problem arrived in the fact that it spreads on the wind. That would be OK if a few new plants popped up, but that doesn’t happen every year. The first year it looked a little sparse—two or three plants among my roses, pretty. Second year, lots of plants scattered in my roses, beautiful! Third to fifth year….holy farm crop, where’s the pharmaceutical company? Now after five years out of control and being pulled back in to shape.

There are many invasive plants out there that on a small scale are gorgeous, but can become very overly aggressive quickly. If you don’t know your plants you can be in a nightmare mess within a few years. Art has suffered through a lot of my bad plant choices and since his hip is bad the rest of the family now gets pulled in to help mom with the “mistakes.”

Some invasive plants include feverfew, mint, coneflower, many herbs and anything that develops a multi-seeded head like my ultimate enemy—dandelions! 

There are many ways to spend a cold winter day of free time. I enjoy curling up with a stack of seed/plant catalogs or my computer, cup of tea, warm blanket and gardening notebook. Remember the notebook? I keep one all year long and it is not a nice tidy thing. It has dirt fingerprints, scribbles and sloppily jotted notes. Who wants to stop and write when they are playing in dirt? This habit has paid off in the past. My current problem is time. In the past two years I have been working at an extremely demanding job and my time to spend working in my gardens is limited. If I could win the lottery I would have the most outstanding gardens ever. Since I rarely buy tickets I will keep plucking at the regular Joe’s gardens (no pun intended).

So here we go with the planning, in the spring I like to give my extra plants to other people and it is pretty much a first-come, first-served basis. If you are around beware, I share!  Actually if you see me in the garden stop in and I’ll set you up with whatever I am thinning out.

What are your new year’s ideas in the garden? Whatever it is, don’t forget to share…now who wants some feverfew?

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