Saturday, April 28, 2007

Yellow devil

Actually it's Yellow Archangel, but it's given me a hell of a time. I innocently planted this years ago wanting a groundcover that spread quickly. Well it spread all right. This is Lamium galeobdolum, and apparently there are some well-behaved varieties but this isn't one of them. It's listed as a noxious weed in the Northwest where it's overtaken large wooded areas. I can see why. All it has to do is spread a runner and there's another plant rooted.

It's supposed to do best in shade, but it hasn't found a spot it doesn't like in my garden. It overruns anything planted near it till its hapless neighbors are crowded out, deprived of sun and a space to grow in. If only my favorite plants were so tenacious.

Almost every bare spot in this bed held Yellow Archangel before I attacked it today. This isn't the last I've seen of it since it will re-grow from the smallest stem or root left behind. However, my weeding efforts are as tenacious as this plant and having gotten rid of an entire bed of spearmint invasion over the last couple of years, I think I'm up to the challenge.

These brackets are what's left of two large wooden window boxes that were on my front porch. I made them over 15 years ago and time and weather have taken their toll. I was pushing it by planting in the rotting wood last year and today I decided they had to go. When I got down to the brackets, it occurred to me that I could put a board across them and have a shelf for my birdhouses. But that's for another day. I'm tired and sore from spending 9 glorious hours in the garden today. 82 degrees! I can't ask for much more except maybe an aspirin. Come to think of it, Yellow Archangel was used as herbal medication in the old days, maybe I should go rescue a piece or two from the dumpster.


Pam/Digging said...

Good luck with the extermination. I have a plant like that in my garden: blue mistflower. Lovely, except it's trying to take over. I keep trying half-measures to keep it under control, but I may have to declare war, as you have.

ina peppels said...

its lovely the things you have fore dcoration in your garden, i have got the same taste ,my english is not so good, i am so sory ,but i like your garden ,i am gome frome holland and i ve got a blog as well ,but not in englisch ,but may be you like my foto s of my garden ,bye bye greetings from a sunny holland ina

Carol said...

Truth be told, we've all unleashed one or two plants in our gardens that we wished we hadn't. Those "pestilence plants", as I call them, are quite the seducers when we see them in their little 3 inch pots in the garden center. We convince ourselves we'll control and contain them. But then...

I like that flower bed, by the way. Can't wait to see more pictures of it flowering.

Annie in Austin said...

Twenty years ago a garden friend warned me about using that Yellow Archangel - she called it Lamiastrum - otherwise I might have tried it. She gave me a pink flowering lamium, and I bought White Nancy and eventually shared that one with her. They spread gently, but wow, that yellow sounds awful, Lost Roses!

I have unleashed the same Blue Mistflower that Pam is growing, so may be in trouble myself.

I'm glad you got to enjoy some 80's!


Mary said...

Wow. I can see you had a lot of work to do. I've had some "tenacious" ground cover that choked out everything on its path and no matter how much you dig, it's relentless. I had a problem with Black Eyed Susan's overtaking an entire bank garden. They don't quit, year after year.

Keep at it, Lost Roses! The 80 degrees is delightful. And, stay away from that dumpster! LOL!

Your garden is lovely in the front. Let's see more! I'm learning a lot, here.

LostRoses said...

I had to look up blue mistflower, Pam, I hadn't heard of it. But it looks sort of like ageratum, which I've planted in the past. That one is an annual here. Yes, eventually we have to declare war!

Ina, thanks for your nice compliments! I'd love to visit your blog but I couldn't click on it. Can you give me your website? And you're right, we don't have to understand the language to enjoy the pictures!

Carol, little did we know. I've planted things I saw at our Botanic Gardens only to return in a couple of years and hear the bed has been removed because "the plant was invasive". Now they tell us.

Annie, good thing you were forewarned. And yes, I think it is actually called Lamiastrum. Its relatives sound much more friendly! Now that I've gotten some real gardening in, I'm loathe to go back to work, especially since the good temps are going to hold all week (so they say)!

Mary, never fear, I didn't approach the dumpster! Black-eyed susans, who would've thought? I bought them one year in a hanging basket and thought they were so pretty but I've never planted them in the ground. Guess I won't!

That front bed is totally different this year now that the huge juniper no longer casts its shadow over it. I'm pretty excited about putting some sunlovers in there. Yes, I'm sure there will be more pictures of it!

Lynne said...

My devil plant is a yucca. We've been in this house 13 years and until last year (I hope) I 've not been abl to get rid of it. It sends a tap root down to China and if you leave 1 or 2 CELLS it grows back in a circle of plants around the original! Last summer I dug as deep as I could, sliced crosshatches in what I could see of the tap roots and brushed the ends with stump remover. Then I wrapped the ends with black plastic and tied the plastic on with ties. Then I covered the whole area with another sheet of black plastic and spread mulch over the top. I'm almost afraid to look now that spring has arrived!

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Hi Lostroses,

I have that Yellow Archangel too, but mine is behaving in rather an angelic fashion. It does spread, but only a little. Yours must like your garden a lot. :-)

You've worked hard I see, well done you!

Putting up a shelf would be a good idea, a nice way to display those pretty birdhouses of yours. A garden is never finished, is it?

LostRoses said...

My God, Lynne, it sounds positively alien! Makes my archangel sound tame in comparison. I don't blame you for being afraid to look. I really love gardening but certain aspects of it are rather daunting, aren't they?

Yolanda Elizabet, of course your archangel is behaving angelically. It wouldn't dare not to in your heavenly garden!

As for the garden never being finished, I totally agree. Not to mention it seems to get re-invented every year!

MariaJ said...

Oh I have the pink lamium too (like Annie) and I love it so much. It isnt like a weed at all and the flowers are very cute. You should try it instead. Your birdhouses are NICE!

Anita said...

Oh, I know how it feels when your body hurts after a long day in the garden. But isn't is such a great feeling to be outside and put the fingers in the dirt? I LOVE it!

Like Maria just said, your birdhouses are very NICE! What a wonderful collection you have!

Warmest wishes from Germany!

Zoey said...

9 hours? You need a good massage!

It sounds like we are all fighting one garden thug or another. I just posted about my thug--wild violets and then I come to visit you and find you are having the same type of problem. I guess it's just the nature of gardening.

I hope you are not too sore from all that work.

LostRoses said...

Maria, I guess I'm going to have to try the pink lamium, sounds like a winner!

Anita, I'd sure rather be tired from gardening, than say, housecleaning! I'm nuts about birdhouses as you can tell.

Zoey, I'm going to go read about your wild violets. It's so funny to hear what other people are fighting, especially when they sound quite nice! No, I'm not sore from the gardening, but darn it, I did catch a cold which has really knocked me out this week.

Carol said...

Great idea the shelf for your gorgeous birdhouses LR! I'm sure it will look fantastic!

Anonymous said...

I have a very good place for my yellow archangels? It is in a small patch of dirt encircled by the wall of the garage, a sidewalk and a concrete slab for our trash dumpster. It sends out its runners but we simply snipe them off with scissors. This blog had me laughing. You all have a great sense of humor. My archangles are pretty nonetheless. I am glad I have them. I wish the nursery would put warnings on the little tags of these invading plants though, to warn us before we buy. I guess the saying "Buyer Beware" goes without saying in some places.