Sunday, April 03, 2005

Benign Neglect

I'm not a great gardener. I wouldn't even call myself a competent gardener. Unfortunately, the woman I bought this house from WAS a gardener. Or at least fancied herself one. As a result, there are planting beds a-plenty and I have No. Idea. what is in most of them. Except the roses, that is. I can figure out what a rose is pretty easily.

This makes weeding rather difficult. Not knowing what are weeds and what are legitimate someone-paid-for-this plants, I've come up with a system to decide what to pull out of the ground and what to desultorily fertilize and water. My rule of thumb is that if it's growing well and prolifically, it must be a weed. Anything that looks sickly, only occasionally blooms, and never spreads is a real plant (the exception being irises, which spread like scabies at a Phish concert).

There are still some mysteries, though. I have a feeling this is a type of tulip, but I’m not sure:

It lives between the butterfly bush and some irises I relocated, blooms once a year, then summarily goes away. It’s pretty and temperamental, so I figure it must be a real flower. That, or a contestant on “America’s Next Top Model”.

The other mystery looks like something vaguely alien. It blooms very briefly, but I have a weird love affair with it, getting all jumpy and hand-clappy when it blooms every year, then pouting when it dies back:

It’s close to the I-think-it’s-a-tulip. See? It does look like a toilet brush from outer space, doesn’t it:

Finally, we have the I’m-pretty-sure-it’s-a-weed category. It has pretty flowers, but they come up really fast (sure sign of weed-dom) and They Are Legion:

Comes in purple and white, although the white ones only show up on the North side of the house:

I pulled out a metric buttload of them yesterday, but I have a feeling many more will take their place. And so, the struggle continues… although it’s really less of a struggle, and more something vaguely productive that I do on the weekends to have an excuse not to exercise.

1 comment:

lexuh said...

Turns out I was right about the first one, it is a tulip according to the smart folks on the gardening thread. The alien toilet brush is a crown imperial (Fritillaria imperialis). The purple and white flowered weeds are probably dame's rocket (Hesperis matronalis). All hail the interweb!