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May 25, 2007



Hi Tracy - your iris is very pretty. And that geranium looks like you planned for it to be there.

I love getting volunteers in my gardens - and I usually let them stay - at least until they act bratty and wear out their welcome!

Some I have: virginia waterleaf (very invasive), Solomon's Seal and False Solomon's Seal, jack-in-the-pulpit, violets (don't like them in the yard but a few in the garden are fun), bellflowers. The thistles and dandelions I pretty much kick out right away! lol


I'm with Kris! All volunteers are welcome until they wear out their welcome by trying to take over. I have some kind of wild asters, Great Blue Lobelia, some kind of verbascum and goldenrod.


I actually bought seed of Dame's Rocket; I didn't know it was invasive at the time and I love its fragrance. I now pull it rather ruthlessly from the front of the bed but allow it to grow in the back. Goldenrod, I'm sorry--it's not a volunteer, it's a thug. It will be project to eradicate from my garden, too. (I know there are some well-behaved ones, but they're not the ones that volunteer.)


I love this post. We have volunteer catnip hiding in the shady spots in our lawn. It works out great for us considering we have four cats. I'll also keep any buttercup or violet who makes it into teh garden before I do.


Ah, you've hit on two wild Minnesota plants that I really miss finding here! The columbine and the geranium did so well in my Minneapolis gardens. Dame's rocket? Not so much; I think I was too far away from a wild patch of it. Here, I have asters and yarrow out the wazoo. I pull almost all of it. Sniff.


Kris: I'm with you on the dandelions and thistle. I especially hate dandelions. I didn't know that virginia waterleaf was very invasive - I was thinking of planting some in my shade area as a ground cover. My MIL has it growing wild in part of her woods, and I always liked the little purple flowers.

Oldroses: I'm actually very lenient about most volunteers, except those that are listed as non-native invasives with the state of MN. Hence, I have wild columbine in all sorts of unlikely places. I keep looking at it, thinking I'm going to pull it, but then I don't.

Kathy: I would have left the dame's rocket, but now that I know how to identify it (4 flower petals; wild phlox has 5), I see it everywhere! I figure I can plant phlox and have the same effect, just a bit later in the season. And yes, that canada goldenrod is a problem here, too. I had some in a small bed, and was amazed at how far it had crept underground to form new plants.

Greengirl: Catnip, that's a new one. I guess it's hardy here, right? I leave all violets alone, too - our yard is full of them.

El: I'm surprised you don't have columbine and geranium in Michigan, too. Maybe it's just a bit south for them to do well.


Tracy - I fell in love with virginia waterleaf walking along the Luce Line, and was thrilled when some showed up as volunteers in my garden - the flowers are great. But after about 3 years, it became a nuisance - crowding out other plants and showing up in new garden spaces and in the lawn. I still have some, but keep it controlled in just a couple places.


Kris: Thanks for the info - that's good to know. I also like the flowers. My MIL has it in a place that has dutchman's breeches. Once the dutchman's breeches go dormant, the virginia waterleaf takes over. It's a nice combination, and like you said, the virginia waterleaf flowers are pretty. If I put any in, I'll definitely be careful about where it goes.

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