the iron fist in the gardening glove

I do admire the tenacity and ingenuity of weeds. It’s a struggle for control between them and me.

I don’t exercise rigid control in my informal woodland garden. I aim for a bit of give and take. I adore surprises - love it when plants pop up in unexpected places. This style of garden is meant to look natural, which means control must be exercised subtly. Only other woodland – style gardeners know the truth. It takes a lot of effort, mental and physical, to keep the garden looking ‘natural’.

In one bed a few salvia gregii are growing, surrounded by catmint, parsley, penstemons, lavender and verbena rigida. In this bed an innocent-looking plant has been growing for some time, about the same size and shape as the ‘other’ salvias. Then it flowered. For a while I didn’t notice anything suspicious. Then I noticed! What a devious plant! The flowers are much smaller and different to the salvias. Sprung! Dastardly plot foiled!

By a clever camouflagey ruse this weed had managed to grow quite large and produce many flowers. And inside each tiny white flower were the seeds it was going to use to make babies, lots of babies.

Not this time, Weedy One – out you go with the rubbish, although I know you’d much rather be put in the compost heap.