Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Ah, spring!

I drove up from south Texas yesterday, and the roadsides down there are flush with banks of pink evening primrose, the first wildflowers I have seen this season. They are so pretty, and one of my favorites, but I have been pulling them out of one of my beds. The ones that come up with roots are being moved to some pots, because I do love them, but I had no idea they were SO invasive!
I have a long bed in front that parallels the curb, raised with a rock border which I dug out while working on the bed and digging in amendments. I have primarily agaves and succulents, a few other things around the edges. About a year and a half ago I transplanted 4 or 5 tiny scraggly stems of the primrose from my back bed, thinking it would be pretty to have a few wildflowers growing among the prickly pear and agaves... last spring I had a solid carpet throughout the entire bed of pink evening primrose. I let them grow and bloom, but then realized that everything that I had planted was being shaded out of existence, and regretfully pulled them up. At least what was above the ground. Because it is spring again and they are back thicker than ever.
I am not surprised, and they are still only a few inches tall, but I know what is coming. And, reluctantly but resolutely, I am pulling them up bit by bit. So far just the ones in the raised bed, leaving the ones coming up around the edges for last, since they will not be an immediate threat to my poor little plants recovering from the freeze. (Some things did OK, they did have row cover, but I lost about half of the bulbine, and my thread agave has only a green core.) I used a couple of bare patches revealed by the weeding to plant a couple of bluebonnets. The seeds I have planted have never come up, and I read that they just won't grow where they not grown before - maybe the soil needs some sort of inoculation. Perhaps the planted ones will provide that, and I will get returns next year. They will not grow so thick and tall that I will worry about the other plants - those primrose got a foot and a half tall! It is a good example of the old definition of a weed: a plant growing where you don't want it to.
Enjoy the spring!

1 comment:

  1. Ah, I love looking at the pretty evening primrose, but I haven't tried growing them even though I've thought about it. Good to know how hardy (invasive) they are!