Garlic mustard.

I have mentioned before that I think the previous owners’ notion of gardening was to plant a batch of invasive or aggressive spreaders and let them battle it out. I’ve got the bellflower mostly licked, though eternal vigilance is the price of freedom and I have spotted a few patches where I need to dig or apply super-nasty weedkiller. The bishop’s weed, similarly, is beaten back, although, again, I have to be vigilant about keeping it contained. Last fall I ripped out as much as I could of the oregano that was taking over the front yard. Of course some of it is now coming back . . . and what are all these little heart-shaped leaves? OMG. Another invasive species! FML.

Sir John said, “You don’t seem to find gardening very satisfying.”

See, I have visions of just, you know, planting stuff, pruning bushes, doing some weeding, attracting pollinators and butterflies, and enjoying being outside admiring all the pretty things. Instead I have this non-native toxic dump of a garden in which I have to keep digging out stuff that doesn’t belong here, some of which will actively poison the native pollinators etc that I would like to attract. I really want to have a tantrum and wail that it’s not fair. The garden is another reason I wish we’d never seen this house.

(Do I? If I leave it better than I found it? If I hadn’t spent years digging out all this crap, it would be able to spread all over the neighborhood—even more than it does now, that is—so I suppose I’m doing all my neighbors a favor by busting my butt on this stuff. Attacking invasive species may be my version of someone is wrong on the internet.)

It feels a lot like the Harry Dresden books: take out one predator and you just get something else nasty moving into that spot. I also have ivy, lemon balm, Rose of Sharon, and creeping Charlie. I’m keeping an eye on the ivy, which is doing much better than when it was choked by the bishop’s weed and bellflower; the shoots of lemon balm are so far quite small (I know, I know) and at least it smells nice; and if creeping Charlie, with its pretty purple flowers, were my only problem I’d be thrilled to bits.

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more, and fill up the garbage with our invasive dead.

3 thoughts on “The new front

  1. Ivy is the nastiest of the invasive weeds in my garden (unless the blackberries are, but at least I can eat the fruit of the blackberries, and the scratches from the thorns don’t raise welts on my arms the way the ivy sap does).

    I did not plant the ivy nor the blackberries. The ivy was invasion from a neighbor’s yard.

  2. Garlic mustard–gah! We’ve spent many hours over many years pulling it from the margins of our property, but it’s rampant on public property nearby so it always comes back. Skip a year and it’ll be everywhere. But the good news is that you can actually make pesto with it if you pull it early in the spring.

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