Gardening Journal, June 10th, 2012

The koi are growing likes weeds, probably (no, definitely) helped along by generous amounts of premium koi food. However, it is important to keep in mind to feed them only as much as they can eat in about five minutes. In my case that is about two handfuls of food every time I feed them and I calculated the other day they cost me in food about one dollar a day. And that is not taking into account the dried shrimp I handfeed them ever so often; yes, they are spoiled.

Koi 2012 

In June the lilies, both day lilies and oriental lilies, strut their stuff. Some will even continue into July and August.

Lilies 2012

In my garden the oriental lilies come in many colors from hot pink to white; red to neon orange. The peachy-pink lilies do not quite color-cordinate with their pink hydrangea neighbors, but the neon orange lilies light up an otherwise green corner. The white trumpet lilies next to the curb out front surprise pedestrians with their fragrance. The red lilies under trees reach for sunlight, indicating a wish for a sunnier spot, which is harder to find in my garden these days.

The only rose left in the garden, Queen Elizabeth, had some spectacular flowers early on. Then it rained and they turned to mush. Now again filled with flowers the Japanese beetles have arrived and they started devouring the blooms. Soon I will be making the rounds again with my container filled with soapy water (a squirt of dishwashing liquid works just fine). Knocking these beetles off their perches and into the water is best done in the morning when they are still a bit sluggish. Since the winter has been mild I wouldn't be surprised if there was a bumper crop of all kinds of pests, including that darn Japanese beetle.

This spring I have been on a quest to eradicate Tradescantia or spiderwort from my gardens. When I first got this plant I thought it was great! It had interesting looking flowers and it flowered for a very long time. I liked it so much I planted it in different spots in the gardens in front and back. Silly me! Then I noticed it reseeded itself a bit, but I weeded out the seedlings, or so I thought. I always seemed to miss a few, further and further away from the parent plant. After some research I found out this plant is colloquially also known as "wandering Jew" and I can attest to their ability to wander. In the southern part of the US this plant is considered an invasive species of weed (!) and attempts to eradicate it are not entirely successful. Last year I dug up all of the large clumps and tossed them in the compost pile. Then the smaller plants followed. Now each and every seedling, and I do look for them everywhere, is dug up and thrown out. No longer do I feel guilty by discarding a plant which is invasive. Nor will I consider this a "pass along plant" because I have so many of them. I am always happy to share plants with fellow gardeners and friends, but only those that are well behaved will be passed on. As gardeners we live and learn about plants and their habits over time. A trait which seemed pleasant at first (lots of flowers) may turn out to be a negative in the end (lots of seeds and seedlings). As mistress over my garden universe I will tolerate a bit of reseeding as it often results in some very interesting combinations, but I draw the line for garden thugs such as Tradescantia. It may go against your grain to toss a plant that just doesn't work in your garden anymore, but it's ok. And don't worry, I won't call the garden police on you either!

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