I was humbled on reading a new blog I follow this morning by ‘Frogend dweller’ entitled ‘Weeding- The Job of Heroes’. Mainly because, the blog is so right, it’s lovely to focus on what’s working, what’s new and bask a bit in the lovely bits of gardening. But that does ignore the drudgery of some things….like weeding. I am not the world’s most energetic weeder, things have to have got to get to a pretty pass before I muscle in.
And yesterday was not the right day for it. Blazing sun, earth dry as a bone, but like a dog with a bone, I was determined to deal with….a perennial sweet pea, Lathyus latifolius, which, despite my valiant attempts to hoik it out 2 years ago, is still returning with a vengeance. I planted it where it was destined to go for world domination. In doing so, it does produce masses of mauve-pink unscented flowers, but it will quickly escape any restraints and sit firmly on, or smash, depending on how kind I am feeling, anything in its path.
It had to be stopped. I was purple in the face, sweating cobs, and swearing loudly when Andy came out and clapped a hat on my head. Not a pretty sight. I had already used my water-weeding technique where I spray water from the ruisseau intensively, and then get in there with a fork and trowel by hand. Normally this works quite well even with our dry, stony soil, and it is the only way to do it once it starts getting hotter. But it was having none of it.
So I retired from the scene, defeated. And yes, dear reader, on this occasion, I am giving in and going chemical. I will buy some spot weedkiller and dob it on the leaves which will not affect anything else. Don’t be too shocked, I wouldn’t do it if it wasn’t really neccessary. The link above to gives a truthful picture of this pea, which I had not read or digested when I grew it from seed. Trust me, it is a thug.
So, in an attempt to cheer you all up, I am showing you a photograph of a plant that has succeeded all on its own. Carpenteria californica should have been well up to the job of making it in my hottest spot, but it has really toiled. Now, to be honest, there is a reason for this. I adore the massive clump of japanese Anemone, Anemone x hybrida ‘Honorine Jobert’ which it sits next to, and haven’t the heart to take out, I love the flowers and I really admire it for dealing with a spot it shouldn’t really be able to deal with. But the Anemone has not been kind to the Carpenteria and hugs it way too vigorously. However, the Carpenteria has hung in there, and I think it is going to make it. Hooray. Could have made life easier for it, but I didn’t.
And lastly, another plant that also does it’s own thing, and makes a real contribution. Oenethora ‘Lemon Sunset’ is a great plant, Clear, pale lemon big flowers that only last a day, but who cares? Comes back each year, though I will need to grow some more for next year as they don’t come back in such numbers. Loves rubbish soil and dryness.
I first saw it years ago in Nigel Dunnett’s 2011 Chelsea garden, though, sadly, I didn’t take a photo of it there.
Chelsea next Wednesday, here I come.