Today’s task was to plant out the Sweetpea round the pollarded Willows in the front areas. I added lots of compost to the area at the base of the trees to give the sweetpeas a chance.
Having planted out these little seedlings I decided to weed that area of the border. What prompted me was the way the Lesser Celandine had inflitrated one particular plant in the border. This is the very pretty Alchemilla Alpina that I was given by a gardening friend in 2014. It was doing quite well and had started to increase in size over the first few years but the Celandine has a preference for seeding into the middle of other plants so each year I was having to extricate the seedlings to help the Alchemilla survive! Because I was out of action this time last year that job didn’t get done so I was horrified to see how it looked today!
Just for good measure there are a couple of Japanese Anemone seedlings also rooting into the plant. I began trying to winkle out the invaders but this was not working. In the end I had to uproot the whole plant and tease out the soil until the invaders could be dislodged. I filled a bucket with what was taken out!
I decided that the best approach would be to divide up the plant and pot up the divisions while I look at a better location for this very pretty plant! I’m sure this is not the best time to do this but having already totally disrupted the plant I felt there was really no alternative! Just then I spotted a little seedling of my alchemilla in the gravel path so I carefully transplanted it into the space once occupied by the parent plant!
The next task was to divide and pot up the main plant. I managed to create lots of pieces with decent roots attached and planted two or three pieces in each pot! They are planted in a mix of soil and my own sifted compost so I hope they will do well! For the moment I will keep them in the cold-frame so that I can keep an eye on them and see how they go! If they survive I plan to find much more suitable locations for them where I can enjoy them!
It is particularly disappointing when a treasured plant from a friend gets into this kind of difficulty. I have mixed feelings about the Celandine – in my woodland area they are one of the first flowers in the Spring and when they appear elsewhere I try to weed them out with as much of the root as possible. They are one of the early pollen sources for the bees and other insects but they really are terrible thugs! People say they just die away in summer but the ones in my garden don’t appear to have heard that news! Here’s hoping that the rescue of the Alchemilla Alpina will be successful!