Monday, September 29, 2008

Diary - My 10 LEAST Favourite Perennials

My 10 ………………….LEAST FAVOURITE………. Perennials

Mostly I have had these fast, vigorous plants spread - (and spread and spread!) throughout my beautiful flower beds and take over. Gardener – Beware!

Ajuga reptans – Bugleweed, Carpet Bugle – Zone 3 - 6-8” tall
I really like this plant in spring – deep burgundy, ground-hugging leaves and lovely blue spiky flowers. But after that, the faded flowers need to be dead-headed or they look brown and ugly. But the worst is how this plant takes over – it even pops up the lawn next to the flower bed!

Aegopodium podagraria – Zone 1, Ht: 12”
The common names for this plant are Bishop’s weed, Goutweed and Snow on the Mountain. It has pretty green and white variegated leaves and tall lacy flowers BUT put in one small plant and trust me, you’ll never get rid of it.

Achillea Millefolium – Yarrow – Zone , Ht: 12-18”
I’m sure some yarrow have redeeming qualities but I put in a pinky-red type and have proceeded to yank out huge sections of it ever since as it spreads through the bed.

Stachys byzantina – Lamb’s Ears – Zone , Ht: 10”
a. The common Lamb’s Ears provides a lovely, low-growing, soft silvery edge for a bed but look out – the flower is tall, rangy and then floppy and the stuff spreads like mad. Some newer varieties are more controllable.

Cerastium tomentosum – Snow in Summer – Zone 2 – Ht: 8”
Again, lovely in springtime with its lacy, silver foliage topped by dainty, star-shaped white flowers but it spreads quickly.

Convallaria majalis – Lily of the Valley – Zone 1 – Ht: 6”
Everybody’s grandmother will bring you a small pot of this for your new garden, so plant it around a tree so you can smell the gorgeous white bell flowers in spring but won’t have to watch as it quickly takes up half your garden!

Mentha – Mint
The only safe place for this is a pot!

Nepeta – Catmint – Zone 2, Ht: 12”
A relative of mint, it spreads quite a bit, despite being pretty in June with its low-growing purple/blue flowers.

Oenothera fruticosa – Evening Primrose – Zone 3, Ht: 8”
Flowers emerge as red buds then change to sunny yellow drops, but they spread and spread and spread…..

Malva moschata – Mallow – Zone 3
Quite pretty, tall spikes of pink flowers on top of bushy foliage. But they self-seed prolifically. I’m always yanking out the new babies!



Christopher M said...

Funny about the Ajuga - must be your soil. Mine is compact and clayish and I have tried and tried to grow Ajuga to no avail (zone 5B Wisconsin).

Finally, one lowly plant took in a contained area of 8" between my house and my driveway, and now it's finally growing (albeit slowly). Cute plant for a groundcover, but I gave up on this one. My mother in law grows these successfully in zone 4b, but she has sandy / loamy soil, so perhaps it just doesn't do well in my soil type.

Christopher M said...

I agree about Bishops weed! Don't ever plant this - you will never get rid of it unless you partake in years of labor (dig, dig, dig)! Lol. Pretty plant though if you have a contained area away from full sun where it tends to scorch.

Snow in Summer and Catmint (Nepeta) have never been a problem for me.