Sunday, April 5, 2009

Check the plant's background

I’ve wanted a gardening knife. I’m told they make weeding and dividing a breeze. After today, I’m convinced I need one. I need a knife for a desperate fight. I am embroiled in a war and I’m concerned it may go on all summer.

I took home a strange plant I met at a farmers market a few years ago. I thought it was good looking, so I planted it. A dear friend had warned me about that sort of thing. She always goes online and does a background check before planting anything.

She’s right. I’ve learned the hard way. Invasives invade. Like the marauders on those credit card commercials, they can be brutal.

I should have educated myself by searching on line or looking in a book before I added the innocent looking delicate flowering Pink Evening Primrose, Oenothera sp., in one of my more meticulous ornamental beds. It is actually a native of the southwest and a good choice for a large dry area where it could romp. It is prolific flowering and growing.

This is how bad it is. The plant is terribly impolite. It’s gotten right in the face of my favorite plants and even entangled its root system with theirs. Can you imagine? I'm having trouble digging it up without uprooting my other plants. I'm concerned for that garden. I may have lost it to the primrose.

I have seen this plant out and about as well. It isn’t only to be found in back alleys. I purchased more of it last year at a high-end garden center. Invasives are out there, looking good and looking classy, and just waiting for a naïve gardener to take them home and put them in a garden bed.

Better get that knife if you don’t want to do background checks first.

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