|Before: June 2004||After: July 2004|
This is the bed I was talking about earlier. The two photos weren’t taken at the same angle, but you can use the white-variegated grass (bulbous oat grass, Arrhenatherum elatius subsp. bulbosum ‘Variegatum’) and the hosta ‘Francee’ to help orient you. The weeds in the first picture are primarily jewelweed, Impatiens capensis. The bed in the “Before” photo is actually partly weeded. When I started, the jewelweed overtopped everything, including the sizable hosta. It reminded me of a tropical rainforest in miniature. Fortunately, jewelweed is one of the easiest plants to pull out. In moist, cultivated soil you don’t even have to reach down to the roots. You can just grab the top of the plant and pull and it will come out, roots and all.
Jewelweed is a local native and in the less tamed areas of our land I am glad to have it around, because it relieves the sting of nettles and the itch of poison ivy. And frankly, I like the way it looks, though none of the plants in this overcrowded bed show it off to best advantage.
Visible in the “after” bed, in front of the hosta, is some kind of white-flowering violet. The foliage of double bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis ‘Multiplex’) and mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum) is visible to the right of this violet. Diagonally behind the mayapple foliage, even further to the right, is a big clump of inherited tawny daylily, good ol’ Hemerocallis fulva. As a matter of fact, this whole side of the house used to be nothing but orange daylilies and ferns, and I am gradually trying to dig out the former while preserving the latter. (I read once that the British use the terms “former” and “latter” the opposite of the way we in the U.S. do. Just in case this is so, I intend former=daylilies and latter=ferns.)
I haven’t done any work in the garden since, as it’s been raining every day in an intermittent fashion. As a matter of fact, I snapped the “after” photo in between cloudbursts. Sounds like the weather will be dry, if cloudy, tomorrow, and I hope to get the next little project done then.