Sunday, October 16, 2016

Gooseneck, Iris, and Narcissus

How's that for a title?  Gooseneck is Lysimachia clethroides to give it the Latin name, and it is a loosestrife.  That fact should make warning bells go off in your mind.  No, not all loosestrifes are invasive, some are merely "vigorous" (hear those bells?), and some are decent, law-abiding plants.

The lovely white Gooseneck is not a decent, law-abiding plant.  I thought it was when I planted it.  After several years, I thought, "Well, maybe it's a 'vigorous' variety."  That when I was beginning to dig some of it out so it wouldn't crowd its neighbors too much.  Hah!

Now I consider it invasive, and I have spent the last two days rooting it out of the entire bed beside our driveway.  Let me tell you, it is very sneaky.  I had to dig out a politely spreading Cerastium (don't know it's common name - gray leaves with white flowers) that grows well in poor soil because the Gooseneck had so thoroughly invaded it that I couldn't pull out individual plants.  Gooseneck has very hardy roots that cluster at the base of the plant and then snake out wherever it wants to go.  I think I will be digging out and trying to follow those roots for years to come.

I started that chore yesterday and had to leave a couple of plants to finish up with today.  Of course, those "couple" turned out to be more as I kept finding little ones hiding here and there.  However, I did finally turn my attention to my glorious white irises. They were in need of thinning, and after dealing with Mr. Gooseneck, the iris thinning seem easy.  The little ones ("Anniversary" and another whose name I do not remember) were thinned and the overflow discarded.  

However, the so-called "Immortality" were not treated in the same cavalier manner.  Little story here. I say "so-called" because "Immortality" is supposed to be a repeat bloomer. The mother plant was purchased before I retired, I think, was planted correctly, thinned once or twice when I thought it needed it, and organically fertilized but rarely.  Its blooms are large, abundant, and breath taking in the early summer, but it has never bloomed again.  By the way, it is listed as one of the most reliable of the re-blooming iris.  

I don't know.  Maybe it just doesn't like where it's planted.  So today one of the things I did was plant some of the thinned rhizomes, but I still have many left. So I posted on Facebook and have one

friend who is also an iris lover who will take them, but I don't know how many she wants so . . . If you're interested let me know.

Then there's the narcissus.  That was the easiest and the most fun.  It was the most fun because I was planting instead of digging up.  Fifty-eight white narcissus were planted:  Stainless, Green Pearl, Calgary, and of course, Mount Hood.  The first three are new to me, but Mount Hood is a favorite.  Spring in the white garden will now have more blooms to show off.

Also planted was a white allium called Mount Everest.  I am hoping the chipmunks aren't fond of onion.  And finally four lilium "Casablanca" which I had for several years until the rodents wiped them out.  This year I planted each bulb in two perforated, plastic bags in which it arrived.  One bag on the bottom and the other upside down over the bottom's open top.  Will it foil the chippies?  Only time will tell.

Tomorrow I have many more narcissus-of-color to plant in the back yard.

1 comment:

  1. when you do the lily of the valley, let me know. I have lots of room under a tree to fill up. Sounds like you got a lot done!!