Something to like, something not to like

I've been focusing so much lately on weeds, and cleanup, and the rainy weather, that it's important to realize that there are things that I really like about my garden. Enjoyable things. Beautiful, interesting things.


For instance, this spot next to the patio. I put these Heuchera in these pots "temporarily" three or four years ago. I've never repotted them or moved them. I do water them when it's hot, and fertilize them once in a while, but for the most part I leave them alone.


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They add such a nice splash of color here, especially with the dianthus in bloom, and the Japanese maples looking so vibrant.


They offset the mass of green that this sedum brings to the stairs. This is a really vigorous sedum that I thought was called "Mexican sedum" but I'm pretty sure that's not correct. It may not even be a sedum at all. I hope to identify it soon.

In contrast to the view above, which I really like right now, here are a couple of things that I don't like. Well, I do like them, but I don't. You'll see what I mean in a minute.


This is Monarda didyma or "Bee Balm". I really like this plant in theory. It spreads nicely, has a nice, minty fragrance, and the bees love the cool flowers.

In reality though, this is what makes this plant a loser for me:


Powdery mildew. That white powdery stuff. Bee Balm is really susceptible to it, even this "resistant" variety. Usually I don't see the powdery mildew show up until the flowers appear, or even much later in the summer. This year I'm seeing it super early. Now I need to decide if I want to spray the plants (with Neem oil or a milk solution) all summer long, or rip them out. I already ripped out a large patch of this last year (different variety) and although I miss the flowers, I can't say I really miss the plant.

Here's another thing I like: a nice patch of Rudbeckia triloba:


The problem is...


Its location...


it's right in the middle of my lawn! I'm not really sure where the grass went, but this area is a lush carpet of Rudbeckia right now, and it has to go. Maybe this is a good time to get some Buffalo grass started over here.

Speaking of Buffalo grass and plants in the lawn:


The Bee Balm has crept into the lawn too. It's easy enough to pull, but... I have enough weeds to pull already! (Here I go talking about weeds again.)

Well, look on the bright side: there are very few weeds that smell as incredible as this Bee Balm does when you pull it, so I get to end this post the way I started it: with something I really like. Mmmmm, Bee Balm.

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