I had a wonderful day in the garden yesterday, about 16 hours worth ending at 8:15 pm. Until then it was light enough to weed out plants with a spading fork, light enough to tell weeds from desireables, light enough to prune the Sargent crab, which will develop vertical branches no matter how I cut it back in the fall. The temperature was just right for hard labor tonight and the mosquitoes haven’t hatched yet, so I used the time to dig a wheelbarrow full of “generous” plants.
I’ve been reading Gaia’s Garden, Version 2.0, and in it Toby Hemenway has a great rant about plants that have been termed “invasive”. It’s all about niche: water hyacinth loves polluted waterways, and subsides when the pollutants have been filtered out, kudzu loves disturbed soil and thrives in the poor, sunny margins of construction sites. I planted valerian and didn’t take into account the vast amount of poor soil and droughty conditions in my garden. Valerian will grow on in 1/4″ of wood chips on top of landscape fabric. So will rose cambien, dyers woad, weld, heath, and Japanese buckwheat. I dug up a wheelbarrow full of those “generous” plants tonight, and will plant them today at the garden’s sunny, poor frontier.