Sunday, 3 May 2015

Beware

It's nearly four years ago now since I wrote about my perennial sweet pea in A Thug post. I was gifted a cutting of this plant from Mick's uncle a couple of years before that and it wasn't long after that post that I decided enough was enough and dug it up. The flowers were very pretty but it made a bid to take over the whole border and just didn't work, there were bits popping up all over the place and it was so hard to keep it under control.


Four years on and I'm still pulling bits up on a regular basis. Not only that but it's now popping through the wall which retains the border.

Out of all the plants I've ever grown, this is my biggest regret, I don't think I'll ever be rid of it. Have you lived to regret a planting decision?

40 comments:

  1. I have always loved the perennial sweet pea and planted one last year it has failed, not a sign of it so we have bought another one and will plant it in a different location, maybe this one will become a thug if it survives.
    it is possible that we will regret planting the rose Kiftgate, that is already threating to do a take over bid.

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    1. Kiftsgate is so pretty but it is known for being vigorous. I think the main thing is giving these type of plants the right location, Mick's uncle gets a beautiful display from his perennial sweet pea, that's why I asked for a cutting, but it's obviously too happy where I planted it.

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  2. I once planted a perennial sweet pea and I also dug it up. Passion flowers similarly try and take over but somehow I can't dislike them. The same goes for cyclamen hederifolium.

    Ones that I regret planting are Cymbalaria muralis, commonly called Kenilworth ivy or toadflax that increases like a sort of diminutive bindweed in the way it rapidly spreads by fleshy white underground roots. The tiniest bit regenerates,

    The other is Viola nigra 'Bowles Black' which throws seeds everywhere which will grow in the tiniest crack. The flowers revert to a lighter purple which is pretty in the right place but not clogging containers where it refuses to budge. If you don't 'catch' it whilst tiny the roots hold fast and breaking the plant off just causes it to reshoot.

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    1. I didn't know that about passion flowers, something I've never grown but have always fancied having in the garden. I may rethink that now, but I know what you mean about being unable to dislike them, they're beautiful flowers. Plants with spreading underground roots can be a real pain to get rid of once they take hold. You wouldn't think that viola nigra would be a pest, it's so pretty and looks quite delicate, just shows how looks can be deceiving.

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  3. We have a climbing plant our neighbour dug out by our front door before we moved in, the previous owner let it run wild and it caused problems, but each year it comes back, last year we did not get any flowers but i let it get so big and then cut it back, it's a clematis and should have lovely blue flowers.

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    1. It sounds like your clematis has no intention of losing it's foothold by your door. It's amazing how many plants survive all attempts to get rid of them, yet we often lose others which we want to do well. The blue flowers sounds lovely.

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  4. I haven't planted many ornamentals as of yet, so no regrets so far on that front. I did, however, plant mint - right into the ground - in my very first garden. You can pretty much figure out how that went!

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    1. Eeek. Someone had planted mint on our first allotment before we took it on. It had spread everywhere and we never did manage to get it all dug out, it was too far gone. It's taught me to always plant mint in a container.

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  5. I had a passion flower a few years ago, the one plant sprawled out and completely covered a 40' by 7' wall. The one regret that I had was Melissa, I put a tiny plant in a corner of my garden in Tydd and spent the next 9 years digging offshoots up and cutting armfuls of it, I had the sweetest smelling compost.

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    1. I can just image the fragrance of your compost. That's one thing about moving house, you can leave your mistakes behind, though you never know what you might inherit in your new garden.

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  6. Lily of the Valley! I know it doesn't spread for you Jo, but in some ways be grateful. The other one is the common form of crocosmia, I think I will be digging that up forever. I even found it amongst the Lily of the Valley a couple of days ago. Now that is taking the p...

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    1. Oh dear, I'd better not mention that as well as Lily of the Valley, I've had problems establishing a clump of crocosmia. It's funny how things which can be problems find it hard to get going in my garden, though like you say, I'm grateful they haven't become pests.

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    2. I can;t get lily of the valley to grow. We have masses of crocosmia Solfaterre - yellwo and are about to dispose of some. If you would like sopme I'll pot some up for you.

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    3. Thank you for that kind offer. I think I've managed to get some going now, though there hasn't been an abundance of flowers as yet, I'm hoping that this may be the year.

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    4. I keep away from Lilly of the valley a neighbour had some and it invaded our garden.

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    5. I keep hearing horror stories about it. I bought some a number of years ago yet it hasn't spread at all, I wish it would, but not to uncontrollable levels.

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  7. I think that we all have plants like that, although having said that I don't really have any real problem ones on the plot. Flighty xx

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    1. You're lucky that your plot is thug free. I know quite a few of the plots on our site has horsetail, I'm glad I'm at the other side of the site where it's free of it.

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    2. Do you know any way of getting rid of horsetail Jo other than chemicals? We are plagued by it, it's even manage to grow through straw bales that we have experimented with this year and that's in the tunnel.

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    3. I'm afraid not. We don't have it at the allotment but we do have it in our front garden. We use a glyphosate weedkiller on it but even that doesn't get rid of it completely. It's even coming up through the pavement in the street.

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  8. I think many problem come from these plants being sold with the warning of only plant in large gardens and it needs tough control measures, I had perennial sweet peas in my last garden and they were lovely but then I had plenty of space for them to sprawl, its unfortunate that they dont have a sent like annual sweet peas, Flash was very good at eating the shoots and keeping it under control. :-)

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    1. It is a lovely plant if you have room for it. I know Mick's uncle's plant puts on a lovely display, that's what attracted me to it, but it's so hard to control. I bet Flash is good at keeping things like this under control.

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  9. I was tempted to buy one the other day, thank goodness I didn't.

    When we moved here pendulous sedge was in the garden................dozens of them. I removed many (really hardwork) roots are in Australia I think.
    They seed prolifically, it is a constant nighmare.
    The plants I did not manage to remove initially are like triffids.............quite frankly I wish I had never set eyes on the plant.

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    1. You'd probably be ok with it in your garden as it would have enough room, but it was certainly a thug in my little border. You never know what you're going to inherit in a new garden. Our worst nightmare might have been the previous owner's pride and joy.

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  10. I had no idea they were so persistent! I planted a load of green manure when I first got my allotment. It was supposed to be dug in, very simply, whereupon it would quietly break down. I dug it in twice, and in the end I had to go over the entire area on my hands and knees taking out huge clumps of grass, it was horrendous.

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    1. I've heard horror stories about green manure before, that's why I don't sow any. I think some types can be worse than others but knowing my luck I'd choose the wrong one.

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  11. I have never known if there are perennial sweet pea. It must be so interesting if we grow it here, I mean on the high land tropic that have cool weather.

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    1. I didn't know there was a perennial sweet pea either until I saw Mick's uncle's plant. It does put on a beautiful display, but you definitely need plenty of room to grow it.

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  12. Love this post & the comments Jo, It's funny isn't it what works for some doesn't for others. I've always struggled with 'Poached egg' flowers - even when I managed to get a small clump established they were all yellow. I think I will amend plans for perennial sweetpeas amongst the roses now x

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    1. I suppose it's all to do with the conditions the plants are grown in whether they really take off or not. I've only tried to grow poached egg plant once and it didn't work out, funny how all your flowers were yellow without any white.

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  13. It's difficult to get rid of plants that have been inherited from the last owner and don't want such as the French variety of bluebell. Despite digging up clumps of them some are still there taking up room where I want to grow plants that I've chosen.


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    1. We've lived here for twenty one years now, I can't think of anything I inherited which was hard to get rid of, all the mistakes have been of my own doing unfortunately.

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  14. How annoying Jo. You have to wonder though how some plants are so tenacious and survive our determined efforts to get rid of them. My biggest planting regret is lamium galeobdolon or yellow archangel which is a real thug - give it an inch and it will take a mile!

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    1. There's so many plants which are like this, we usually plant them because they're so attractive but looks can be deceiving.

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  15. I thought it would be great to plant perennial sweet pea. Maybe not!

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    1. Me too. It definitely needs a big spot to spread out, though even then I should imagine that it wouldn't be happy with its allocated space.

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  16. Maybe this is something to try in the wildlife area at work....we need some colour there!!

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    1. Just be aware that it can get totally out of control and then it will need hacking back as it all becomes a bit of a tangle.

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  17. I planted a perennial sweet pea last year, it died, sounds like I had a lucky escape! My biggest problem are ferns and crocosmia, both are impossible to get rid off, the ground becomes like rock too making them hard to dig up. xxx

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    1. You've got a lovely size garden so a perennial sweet pea would probably do well there but it's definitely not a plant I'd recommend for a small border. I've never grown ferns and I've had problems getting crocosmia established. I think it's a case of plants preferring certain conditions to what I've got to offer.

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