Monday, May 19, 2014

Just say no!

A couple of years ago when I still had quite a few bare spots in my back yard I accepted a couple of passalong plants from a neighbour.  I had seen them in his yard, and they were magnificent.  The leaves were lovely and silver-backed and HUGE, and made a lovely sound brushing against each other in the wind.   I was quite taken with them, and planted two out in the corner of my garden next to the heleconias.  That side and corner really started to fill in.


Did I mention they were HUGE?  What was I thinking?   I have been slowly cutting some of them back and noticed that they were spreading rather rapidly.  Suddenly I wasn't so in love anymore.....
I started working on one clump about a month ago, and it ended badly.... with me sitting in tears sobbing about how I was just not a gardener, nothing grew right in my garden, how stupid could I have been to plant these....everything was just a mess.....
I had cut the 12ft leaves down, and dragged them out to the kerb.  Then I began to try to dig out the root system, it was muddy, which I thought would make it easier to dig, but my gosh I think those roots must have gone down 12ft to compensate for the height!   I realized after breaking a garden fork that my tools and I were not strong enough to remove those stupid plants.  Consequently they were sprayed with weed killer.  I will keep an eye on them and any little green shoots will get zapped.
This weekend I tackled the remaining clump, and this time broke the handle of a garden spade!  Those free plants have turned out to be quite costly.  I need to be realistic about the size of my garden and next time I am offered free plants I will think very hard, and I might say thank you, but no!
I like the look of the pathway now - less like a jungle and more like walking through a small tropical garden.
 I leave most of the vegetation I chop down - chop and drop method I call it.  It looks messy for a while, but mixed in with the fallen leaves it eventually creates lovely soil, just like it does in the forest.  On the front blue trellis is a justica - my other one in more light has been flowering for a while now, so I am sure the one on the pathway will also enjoy more light.

The light is getting all the way down to the Eucharist Lily just opening up.   It looks almost as if the light was shining out from within it.
I moved the bridal veil bush there too - it was so hidden away nobody could see the gorgeous sprays of white flowers.  I hope it likes its new home.


 Along with the cordelines there is now lots of colour  and light in the garden path once again.

Friends popped in for tea and scones and we all enjoyed sitting out in the garden,  my LITTLE garden, I must keep reminding myself every time someone wants to pass along a too big plant.   

12 comments:

  1. Do you know what the rogue plant was called? I've done similar things and lived to regret planting things a few times (I'm a slow learner). Your garden is looking beautiful by the way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Roz,
      I have not been able to identify it, but still have a few clumps around the pool- where they have more room to grow. I will take a photo and send it to you. You wil also have to think about the size of plants in your new garden. Large plants look so tropical though - sigh.

      Delete
  2. Your garden looks wonderful. I once planted a climber that just grew and grew and took over everything clutching at all the other plants on the way. Just last month I cut it back and pulled out roots, but I still see it appearing here and there along the fence, so I have to keep on pulling the little plants out. What a pest!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sami,
      I know gardeners who would not have a climber in their garden for that reason....I think with most climbers you just have to let them know who the boss is.

      Delete
  3. Yep....I understand the feeling from my own sad experiences. Plus as you get older, hard trimming is not want you want to be doing.

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    Replies
    1. Stellamarina,
      So true, I am realizing how important it is to keep things trimmed regularly.

      Delete
  4. I have done exactly the same thing with a neighbour. Canna lillies and taro. To be avoided .. those rhizomes just keep on moving! Tears and regrets for me too. Love your flower pics :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Frog,
      A couple of years ago I had a couple of Canna and was so sad when they didnt make it, I guess I should be celebrating?

      Delete
  5. Your terror plant sounds like it could be family to the ficus plant which is very hard to get rid of....they do take over!
    I made the mistake of planting pittosporum plants out front, and when I tried to dig them out the monstrosities broke the handle of my fork and bent my loppers....talk about a fight.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Virginia,
      That sounds similar to my story. I am really loving the more open feeling in the garden, and hoping some of the plants make the move ok. The bridal veil is looking very sad.

      Delete
  6. Eeek. My garden it too wild all on its own to add a nasty like that. I love the shot of the white lily.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Joan,
      they tend to creep up on you.... Thanks, yes it turned out quite well.

      Delete

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