Friday, April 9, 2021

Plants crowding their neighbors

With the advent of warm weather a lot of plants are putting on major growth spurts and suddenly I have a variety of issues with plants not just rubbing elbows but actually swamping one another.  The worst culprit is Lotus berthelotii 'Amazon Sunset'.

I know from past experience, that this Lotus is robust but, after adding 2 plants in 4-inch pots last fall, they did very little.  A little rain in March, followed by long stretch of warm weather, and the vining stems were everywhere.  The good news is that this plant can be managed relatively easily with regular (weekly!) trimming.

In another case, two plants jockeying for space appear to be equally culpable of crowded one another.

Both Acacia cognata 'Cousin Itt' and Salvia lanceolata slowly merged while I wasn't watching.  I'm not sure what to do about this.  I love both plants but I'm not sure how I feel about the combination.

My Echium webbii has exceeded expectations with respect to its growth, although the problem is only evident on one side.

This Echium is projected to grow into a 3x3 foot shrub.  Its height (discounting the flower spikes) is about right but its closer to 5 feet wide.  The shot on the left shows the Echium engulfing two Santolina virens, which I clearly need to move.  I also need to thin out the Mexican feather grass (Stipa/Nassella tenuissima) on one side.  There are some Lisianthus (Eustoma grandiflorum) buried in there too.  However, I don't see any issues on the side facing the back door (shown in the photo on the right).

Other areas requiring some form of adjustment include the following:

This area is something of a mess.  The Achillea 'Moonshine' now in bud are fine.  Geranium 'Tiny Monster' (with the magenta blooms) sprawls but it's manageable.  The problem here is that a lot of self-seeders, Gazanias and Osteospermums, need to be pulled and some of the bulb plants, like Scilla peruviana (which just finished blooming), need to be dug up and divided.

The Westringia 'Morning Light' on the left eliminated the need for evaluation of its placement by dying.  There are some Spanish bluebells (Hyacinthoides hispanica) I'll probably lose in the process of digging it out but that's okay.  I originally planted 5 of these shrubs and 2 others died suddenly just like this one.  Only one of the plants, shown on the right still looks good.

The only thing this Aeonium haworthii 'Kiwi Verde' is crowding is the flagstone path on the left.  As soon as it's done blooming I'll replant from cuttings. 

A noID Wisteria is creeping up behind the Mexican feather grass here, and climbing up the side of the screened catio.  This is an annual problem.  I've been trying to remove the Wisteria since we moved in 10 years ago but the roots must extend under the house.  I'll be cutting it down to the ground again this year, digging up the roots I can get to. 

A gardener's work is never done.  Adjustments are a continuous process.  Problems crop up everywhere. 

This bunny is part of a legion that have appeared every spring for the past few years.  I don't even try to manage them, relying on the coyotes to send them packing.

Whatever problems you may have in your garden, I hope they're manageable.  Best wishes for a pleasant weekend.


All material © 2012-2021 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party



22 comments:

  1. I can't imagine having to trim a plant weekly. That must be quite the grower.
    I think Cousin Itt would look good all by itself. Such a nice texture. The salvia would too I bet. Have a good weekend.

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    1. Lotus 'Amazon Sunset' is definitely and over-achiever, Lisa!

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  2. The lotus is beautiful running through.

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    1. It's a great plant in general even if a trifle exuberant - and the cut stems are useful in flower arrangements ;)

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  3. You have lots of work ahead, Kris. Even though crowding is taking place, it's all beautiful. Wisteria - a devil plant for sure. It has escaped into the woods all over in north Alabama and runs rampant. I'm also trying to eliminate it and I wish us both lots of luck.

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    1. One of the prior owners (there were two in quick succession) planted Wisteria on each side of the arbor in our south-end garden. I managed to wipe out one after just two tries but the other has proved obnoxiously resilient.

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  4. The adage "you'll never get it all done" is never truer than in a garden. I'm facing a fair amount of plant divisions myself. Nature seems to be always a step or two ahead of us!

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    1. While I do tend to cram plants, I'm afraid I also get annoyed when they don't just manage to get along. It's clearly time for me to step up and learn to be a proactive mediator ;)

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  5. Wow, you know I love me some cramscaping, but that Acacia cognata 'Cousin Itt' and Salvia lanceolata combo takes it to an entirely different level. Good luck!

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    1. It appears that the Salvia spreads by layering, with its stems rooting where they touch the soil. As that activity occurs underneath the cover of the Acacia's branches, I wasn't aware of it until recently. I'm inclined to move the Salvia but I've no idea where.

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  6. It took me 10 years to get rid of our wisteria. They are something else!

    My Lotus had a few beautiful weeks and then it died. You have the touch with yours. I would worry the Salvia might damage the beauty of 'Itt', but maybe I'm just jealous of your 'Cousin Itt's. ;^)

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    1. I'll keep working on that Wisteria...My 'Cousin Itts' ARE happy plants, HB. I think I lucked out by getting them early on before the nurseries started releasing a lot of substandard plants to fill the demand.

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  7. I had me a good chuckle as so many of the plants that are trying to take over your garden we baby and pamper to get them to even make a small show. 'Grass is always greener' scenario.

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    1. There are plants I call weeds that the local nurseries sell, Elaine, but I guess there are differences even locally.

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  8. So I am not the only one! Even so your garden is beautiful and I wonder if it really matters in the end. Unless it kills a plant. I promise myself that I will not let it happen and then I forget and wonder what happened to that plant I used to have. I hope you have a lovely weekend too.

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    1. I'm always nervous about moving even overcrowded plants, Jenny. And then there's also the issue of where to move them to ;)

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  9. Is it possible to have too much success? If a plant is too vigorous I tend to remove it out fear I'll have to devote too much time to managing it. I cracked up at "eliminated the need for evaluation of its placement by dying". It has to be the phrase of the week!

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    1. I always find it easier to dig something up if it dies! I still haven't dug that particular shrub up, though, as I don't want to help the raccoons, who are back with near nightly visits, with their frenzied digging for grubs. I need to find a replacement to fill that spot, preferably something big enough to keep the raccoons at bay.

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  10. Your bouquets always lift my spirits, Kris. I kind of like the fused Salvia and Cousin Itt. Would never have thought to combine them, but they are kind of cool together like that. :)

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    1. Well, for now the Salvia-Acacia mash-up has been left alone, Anna, but I plan to see what I can accomplish with some judicious pruning once the Salvia's done blooming.

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  11. Beautiful plants , how lovely assortment of plants you have in your garden. Well I don't like to remove the wild growth of plants and succulents generally but my helper in the Garden trims it up periodically. Thanks for joining in Garden Affair.

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