Such a pretty little flower, looking so innocent and for all the world like a deep blue forget-me-not. However, the Alkanet, has been the bane of our garden. It smothers many of our other pretty flowers. It's tap root goes down forever into the ground like thin parsnips, which snap when removing. Thus another Alkanet grows up from the breakage.
This year in an attempt to rid ourselves of this pretty flower, H has valiantly dug down with difficulty to remove the long roots. Unfortunately the leaves of the Alkanet are very similar to our beautiful Foxgloves, and I fear that he has eliminated some of those as well. I did tell him to check whether the leaves were sharp and prickly - Alkanet or soft and velvety - Foxglove, which he found difficult to do with his hands covered in soil.
What a joy it was to see that we still have some Foxgloves left in various shades of pink and cream.
The Dracunulus Vulgaris has flower buds 40cms long
with big robust stems
three flowers are on their way.
There is a story connected to this ornamental rhubarb. H was in the garden last year picking rhubarb to poach. I made a crumble with it but it tasted decidedly different. When I questioned him, I suddenly realised that he had cooked the wrong rhubarb!!!
I share a liking, along with my blogging friend Loi for putting geraniums with variegated leaves together.
Yes, as you say, the Anchusa can appear a demure little miss, with its beguilingly blue flowers,but in reality can be a thug of a brute if it establishes itself. Three cheers to your husband for attacking it....we always found with such tenacious weeds that if one only keeps on and on, eventually they do give up!!!
But, what a deliciously covetable selection of other, most unusual plants you have in your garden. The ones with interesting foliage are certainly well worth having as they offer so much more to the garden through the seasons than those with pretty flowers but little else.
H will be so encouraged by your comment that eventually our Anchusa will give up living with us.Delete
Interesting foliage and green shapes i.e Boxus balls etc I do like, but Jane and Lance much of this I learnt from you.
wow! i wish i had a garden even for the weeds! these are lovely! I always enjoy the photos from your garden!ReplyDelete
That is very kind of your Roanna.Delete
I am sure a garden will come later for you. At the moment I think that you probably have enough to cope with.
Rosemary, your post is an excellent illustration of the saying that a weed is just a flower in the wrong place! We don't have the Alkanet, but get lots of periwinkle and Herb Robert which both spread like wildfire when left unchecked. Hope the ornamental rhubarb didn't taste too bad and survived the harvesting.ReplyDelete
It certainly tasted different Perpetua, and that is why I quizzed H about it. Anyway we lived to tell the tale so I do not think it could have contained too many toxins.Delete
Dear Rosemary, I love your garden, weeds and all. Do you plant your Digitalis every year (as I have to) or do they self sow in your garden? I prefer your Alkanet over my weeds, especially our ever present morning glory. Happy gardening. ox, GinaReplyDelete
Dear Gina - isn't this just crazy, here I am nurturing along three morning glories with love, lots of care and attention, and for you they are a nuisance. The trouble with the Alkanet is that they smother my other beautiful plants such as the Arum Lilies and my little Erythroniums which I showed earlier in the spring, and they have such difficult roots to remove. Yes, the Digitalis arrived uninvited, but are welcome, and they just scatter themselves around.Delete
Hope your garden is now more under control, it was lovely to hear from you.♥
This weed does not have it here. But is so beautiful with blue flowers.Is so harmful that suffocates other flowers ?
Dear Olympia - it is a pretty little flower, and a lovely shade of blue, but very very vigorous making it a difficult to control. As I mentioned it does completely smother the other plants, and as you so rightly say, it suffocates them.Delete
Your foxgloves have the markings of some lovely orchids. I once looked up the definition of "weed" and discovered that it is any plant that grows where it's not wanted. So theoretically, a rose could be a weed!
That is what I have been discovering from this post Mark. Friends from the States keep mentioning the problem of Morning Glory, and I am nurturing three little Morning Glories here with great care. One man's weed is another man's pride and joy.Delete
We also 'grow' Green Alkanet ( I did not know it's name until you mentioned it) but only because it is so similar to the juvenile growth of Foxgloves. Your foxgloves look very beautiful speckled with raindrops. I also rather like your collages with invisible borders.
Your dragon arum looks magnificent, what a triumph. Ours has not shown itself for a second year so we can safely say it has kicked the bucket, which is a trend that many of our plants have sadly followed of late but thats another story. I'll look forward to the grand opening of your Dragon Arum buds with nose pegs at the ready!
Dear Paul - that is the problem with the Green Alkanet, but you know now that if you feel the leaf you will recognise them from each other. Alkanet - nasty - prickly leaves, Foxgloves - lovely - velvet leaves.Delete
I am pleased that you like the collages without borders, that suggestion was to given to me by my blogging friend Mark.
Don't give up on your Dragon Arum they do sometimes have 1 or 2 years rest. Just hope you are not disappointed by mine. If the weather would warm up I think the grand opening could be about a week away.
Hi, Rosemary -ReplyDelete
Thanks so much for the mention :-) Yay!!
I love your geraniums---wonderful grouping. I am not familiar with Green Alkanet, and thank goodness for that! I have enough weeds already. One that is particularly difficult for me: morning glories. They are SOOOO problematic....everywhere I look. It's a shame because the flowers are beautiful.
Loi - this is what I keep hearing from the States, that morning glories are problematic, and as I mentioned to a previous comment, I have 3 morning glories that I am taking such a lot of care over. Here they are a prized possession, especially in all of their different colours. You will have to ignore my post when I feature them.Delete
Beautiful vieuws out of your garden. Great Rosemary.ReplyDelete
Have a nice evening.
Thanks Marijke and the same to you with some sunshine thrown in.Delete
Dearest Rosemary, please do not hesitate to send the Alkenet over to me, its beautiful. I have so much space and great places it can grow as wild as it likes.. i love the little plant. Although you say its a weed-ReplyDelete
Well, I am sure that the rhubarb pie was equally delicious. I wouldnt know ornimental rhubarb.
I love rhubarb however.
your garden foxgloves are the most beautiful of colours, glad that you still have some.
Happy gardening days Rosemary.
Dear Val - the ornamental rhubarb is much larger and has deeper green leaves with a razor cut edge. It is as it says purely ornamental and not for eating. It wasn't delicious and I could not understand why until I discovered the truth. Luckily we both lived to tell the take, it could have been extremely poisonous.Delete
Sending a large bunch of Alkanet over to you with love.
Weeds are my biggest problem and unfortunatelly mine don't look that good as your Alkanet!ReplyDelete
I never seem to manage to get rid of them...
I do make a delicious rhubarb cake ; )
Every story has a silver lining, and what could be nicer than a delicious rhubarb cake Demie♥Delete
I have Blue Alkanet too - among quite a few other persistent "weeds" - some, acquired as true garden flowers,become weeds when they run like wildfire through my sandy soil.ReplyDelete
Unfortunately we only have a few inches of soil, and then we hit oolite, this makes it extremely difficult to get the roots out, but we are ever hopeful that we may have got to the bottom of the Alkanet.Delete
Rosemary, I am covered up with weeds where we had some trees removed and the heavy equipment broke the ground. The weeds are all over my monkey grass. We have wee little mimosa weeds that are hard to pull up. I do look at weed pulling as exercise however. Your foxglove is gorgeous. I do not have any and will enjoy yours. OliveReplyDelete
Dear Olive - I am not sure what the mimosa weed is. I wonder if it is the plant that you touch and its leaves fold up? The only mimosa that we have are the trees with lovely yellow flowers. It is funny how some weeds are acceptable and others are not. The foxgloves are wild, but I like them, and if you want to remove them they are easy to pull♥Delete
Beautiful photos from your garden.
The weeds here don't look as beautiful as your Alkaner.
We had rhubarb in our old garden, we used it to make wine.
Wish you a wonderful day, hope the sun is shining again.
Dear Mette - I agree that the Alkanet does have a pretty flower and is attractive, I think that is why we let it live with us first of all. However, it spreads like wild fire and is so difficult to remove.Delete
Fortunately we have a proper rhubarb as well as an ornamental one.
We are hoping for a good day today without rain, and wish the same for you.
Hello Rosemary, I envy you for your beautiful garden and your working and funny H! The story about the rhubarb crumble made me laugh! A friend of mine has eliminated a kind of morning glory in white which I think is very precious but she just said "it is a weed..." I would love to have these on my balconies if only they grew just like that... Thanks for this lovely post! ChristaReplyDelete
I think that we were quite fortunate Christa that the ornamental rhubarb is not poisonous.Delete
Two people from the States have said they have a problems with Morning Glory. If it is the white one, I know that as a Bind Weed or Convolvulus. The Morning Glory that I grow is either very bright pink, sky blue, purple or very dark blue. I am learning that plants and weeds around the world mean different things to different people.
Gorgeous photos! Your foxglove is particularly lovely.ReplyDelete
Yep, some weeds can be particularly stubborn. Somehow we got some Chinese lantern in our garden. We dug out some of it already, but I'm sure we'll find more soon.
My husband has been getting rid of our ornamental rhubarb without my knowledge. The problem is that it's in various places throughtout our 3 acre lot. He was considering it a weed and has been pulling it out and/or spraying it with insecticide. Grrr....
I rather like the ornamental rhubarb in the border as it makes a nice foil against the plants. I also like it architectural qualities - oh dear husbands, yours pulls the ornamental out and mine cooks it.Delete
Such a beautiful flower. It makes me sad that it causes such a problem for you. Weeding is hard enough without roots like that! Your pictures are beautiful!ReplyDelete
Dear Lisa - I agree it does have a beautiful flower and that is why we have let it fourish for so long, but it has repaid us by multiplying too rapidly, and smothering so many other plants.Delete