Tag Archive: creeping charlie


Spring 2011 has finally arrived!

Yesterday, March 16th, was a truly gorgeous day.

Finally, the temperature during the day made it impossible to wear a coat of any sort. A jacket could and did suffice. When I went for my morning walk I had a wind-breaker on over the zippered sweatshirt. There was still some frost about. But then the sun came out and it was wonderful.

Pansies on the bottom, tulips on top

When I got home from work, I went digging around the garden. I didn’t have to dig for the first bit of returning plants. The tulips had been coming and the pansies made it through winter. Now they were side by side, enjoying the sun.

One pansy plant had been knocked out of the planter and I will have to ensure it is in the ground before much longer. I blame the squirrels, they are convenient villains in this tale. Why the husband does not allow me to shoot them is beyond me, besides the fact we live in town on the same street as the former mayor and fire chief.  I would be doing a public service considering they are always chewing up the soffit of another neighbor’s portico.

Daffodils with tiny blooms

I started looking around again and there were the daffodils by the base of the rose bush.

I did not plant these particular bulbs. I might have daffodils in this garden but this group I did not plant. Nor am I ever moving them elsewhere until this rosebush is done done. I mean never going to sprout again done. The thorns on this bush are particularly nasty and I only try to touch it when I am pruning or dead-heading. So there, the daffodils stay.

One of my favorite plants in the spring and early summer months is the Star of Bethlehem. Right now

Star of Bethlehem

the green stems with a white strip are coming up. These particular ones have not been covered by mulch so their color is green. In my shade garden I discovered a number of these under the mulch and they are a green-yellow color. Once the mulch has been removed, they will green up and later in May they will bloom.

grassy weed

As happy as I am to see these plants, a few others that I do not like have re-emerged.

I do not know the name of this one but I hate it. It has long roots and tries to spread. There is no pretty flower, the leaves are not notable and it is unwanted. That makes it a weed in my book.

Creeping Charlie

The same goes for this creeping charlie. I pull and pull and pull it all summer. It has a miniscule purple flower I do not value as it winds its way around the flowers I do value.

It is always one of the first and last plants I will pull this growing season. But wait there is one more.

Dandelion

Can you believe it? I actually saw several of these throughout the garden. Today is going to be spent clearing the mulch and using my weed stick on dandelions. I guess we could use them in salads as these are younger and more tender.

But I see them as weeds so out they will go. At this point in the year, I have a one gallon ice cream bucket I use for weed collection.

By May, I will be using a five gallon bucket.

How is your spring garden shaping up?

Is It a Weed or Flower?

Which plant is a weed?

Both plants have flowers. One will have a tall stalk with flowers, the other is an annoying vine with white or purple flowers.

Every now and then I will talk to friends about my garden and we get into the conversation of  “is it a weed or a flower?”

Well, how do you know? Personally, I wait until the plant is a few inches tall if I do not recognize it right off. In my perennial bed I have plants that come back every year and I know them right off. My Hen and chicken (Sedum) has started off quite nice as have the two colors of Obedience plants that live happily with the various Black-Eye Susans.

But there are always a few I am never quite sure of.  I took a few pictures from my garden today to illustrate how easy it is to mess up identification.

Wait, you are saying to yourself. I thought this blog was about family and movies and the occasional alcoholic beverage. Well, it is. But when you live in a cottage, one should have a cottage-type garden. Plus I have noticed that as soon as you bring out the plants to be planted, the shovel and the mulch, kids seem to want to be right there with you. I dig a hole, they put in the plant, we all move the dirt back to the right place.  It works nicely.

This is our daughter’s first year in 4-H. She is doing visual arts and crops. We will grow corn in the back yard. I think that is perfect for her to do this year. One of the other things that was done in the yard today was her little plot of land was heaped with compost and then turned over. In six weeks it will be ready for her seeds.

Now back to the quiz.

Did you figure out the first picture yet? Both are hardy plants, over winter nicely. Both will have flowers. However the one I want is on the left, commonly known as Hollyhock. It will grow six feet or taller. I currently have shades of maroon. I would appreciate other colors but I cannot seem to get them to grow.

The other plant is called creeping Charlie by some of my friends. I call it a major pest and will be ripping it out all summer long. It chokes my Obedience plants and pulls them down. It does the same to my Black-Eyed Susan plants as well. Another pest that does that is Morning Glories. They can be pretty but I work to contain them in one part of the garden or the blasted things take over.

Now lets talk about this next beauty that is resting at the bottom of the page. It looks like a clump of grass. Feels like grass until you pull it out and there are tiny white bulbs dangling from the roots. What do you do? Put it right back, of course and water it.  But how will you be reward?

In mid-June you will notice the grass die back a little and little white flowers, about 1 – 1 1/2 inches wide, bloom like crazy. You might notice little white bulbs in your garden as you put in bedding plants. Just stick them back in, water the ground after you are done putting in the bedding plants and next year you will be rewarded with more of these flowers.  It sounds crazy but this was one of the hidden delights in my garden.

Good luck with your garden this spring and by all means share a secret or two.

St. Mary's Grass

It is a clump of grass that has a white line on each blade. But is it a weed?