On this Memorial Day weekend, many of us pack up the cars and travel across town or state, plunking ourselves in a beach chair or at a picnic table to enjoy food, family and friends. Take a moment while you travel the roads to discover the natural landscape. Notice the native mix of trees, shrubs and flowers and log it in your memory bank.
When you get back to your own garden, ask yourself if any of these native species would play into your own landscape. First, find out if those trees, shrubs and wildflowers you spotted on the roadside are invasive species. When you see an expansive stand of a single species, this can often be an indication of an invasive. There are many of these plants on this list and as astute gardeners we should be aware of them. To name a few, Norway Maple, Winged Euonymus, Autumn Olive, and Honeysuckle are some of the species on the Massachusetts’ list. (Note: There are lists for each specific region or state.) http://www.mass.gov/agr/farmproducts/proposed_prohibited_plant_list_v12-12-05.htm
These invasives take over everything and must be eradicated in order to maintain a diverse plant community. The cost of dealing with eradication and control is mind-boggling yet most people don’t even think about it. If you happen upon any of these in your own backyard, remove them so as not to infiltrate your garden. The purple loosestrife, that beautiful wetland flower has been raising havoc for years. It is hard to believe that this plant started in people’s perennial borders and has since choked out vast areas of wet meadows and marshland.
In keeping with the theme of freedom for this week’s quotes, it is fitting to use the words of William Wordsworth. “How does the Meadow flower its bloom unfold? Because the lovely little flower is free down to its root, and in that freedom bold.”
Don’t forget to check in tomorrow. There will be quick recipes for the weekend cookouts. Have a great day. Finally, our gardens have a little relief from the heat!
A Photo of Purple Loosestrife from the Internet
Bold and beautiful yet invasive!
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© 2009 Ann St. Jean-Bilowz/Bilowz Associates Inc. (including all photographs, unless otherwise noted in Annie's Gardening Corner are the property of Bilowz Associates Inc. and shall not be reproduced in any manner nor are they to be assigned to any third party without the expressed written permission and consent of Bilowz Associates Inc.)