Friday, June 08, 2012

What Plant Do You Regret?

Tansy by Georg Slickers
For our May 2012 Washington Gardener Magazine Reader Contest, we asked our entrants to tell us “what plant you regret adding to your garden and why.” Here are a few of the answers:

“Plumbago: I love the look of this plant but it has taken over the bed that it is in and it gets tangled in the bushes it is next to and is too tall to go well with the plant it was paired with. It is a very persistent plant and keeps coming back even though we have dug it out over and over again.”

“What I regret adding to my garden and why: variegated vinca, obedient plant, and river oats: they are aggressive, out grow other valued plants and all over the place. River oats in the worst as it has to be dug out. All were ‘pass-along plants’ given to me by well-meaning friends.”

“There aren't any plants that I regret planting. Most of the plants in my garden are edible so I get to enjoy and eat what I grow.”

“Kniphofia uvaria - because:
• bloom time is very short
• for 11 months of the year, the plant is only an ugly tangles mass of leaves
• takes up too much space for such a little blooming, messy plant”

“I regret planting catmint and yellow yarrow. Both look weedy and smell bad to me. The catmint is aggressive and I fight to keep it under control. I should just pull it all out and put something I like in its place, but there it is again, year after year. The yellow yarrow is out of place in my garden. It's the only yellow in a garden of blue and purple and pink. I like the foliage better than the flower. I'm also not fond of the orange lilies... again, weedy and aggressive and the deer often eat the buds before they flower.”

“Worst plant choice EVER: TANSY!!! Back when I was enamored of having an herb garden with all the Shakespearean herbs, I planted Tansy. What a huge mistake! While a pretty plant with nice foliage, INVASIVE doesn’t begin to describe it! Worse than mint, as bad as Kudzu. it took me 4 YEARS to get rid of all of it. That includes starting with pulling up the parent plants, putting a tarp covered with bags of mulch (e.g., MORE plastic) over the entire bed for the next year (then remove mulch and tarp and spread mulch THICKLY—6-12” deep—over bed), and diligently rooting out every volunteer that popped up after that. Heaven help you if you miss one or let it bloom. What a nightmare!”

“I regret planting corn, which attracted deer and even more stink bugs.”

“Hmmm, I don't know that I've ever regretted any plants I've added to my garden, but if I had to choose, I'd say it would have to be radicchio -- mainly because I don't like it. It grew beautifully, but I was put off by the bitterness of it, and since I didn't use it, it was just taking up valuable space in my garden. The moral of this story: Plant what you like!”

So what plants do YOU regret adding to your garden?

The winners of the Reader Contest, chosen at random from among all the submitted entries, are:
~ Antoine Quichocho
~ Katie Rapp
~ Robin Yaure
~ Kitten Reames
~ Ray Novitske

Congratulations to all! They each receive a set of two passes to the Brookside Gardens Wings of Fancy live butterfly exhibit in Wheaton, MD. Running daily through mid-September, from 10:00am to 4:00pm, Brookside Gardens South Conservatory features live butterflies. Come witness the butterfly life cycle as tiny eggs hatch into crawling, chewing caterpillars, which then encase themselves in jewel-like chrysalides and emerge as sipping, flying adult butterflies. Learn about the best annual and tropical plants, and hardy shrubs that are used as nectar sources to attract butterflies to your own garden.

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