Bit of a weeding problem ….

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.

Sweet peas round the base of the pollarded Willow

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!

The leaves of the Alchemilla can just be seen peeping out down near the stones!

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!

This is what was left when the clean-up was completed!

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 little seedling and a tiny piece that broke off during the weeding process.

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!

Divisions of the Alchemilla – hopefully at least some of them will survive!

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!

4 thoughts on “Bit of a weeding problem ….

  1. Joan Gallagher

    The Alchemilla looks so sweet Hazel and I hope your rescue plan works. No room for tolerance of celandine here I’m afraid, though I do like to see it in nature and keeping the bees fed is so important.


  2. Paddy Tobin

    Celandines are an absolute curse if they are left off in the garden and almost impossible to eradicate – constant digging up is the only way to go.


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