I've been lazy this summer. I've let some weeds and weedy perennials get out of hand. I already mentioned the globe thistle that have spread more than I wanted them to, but there's more. Today we're looking at my largest raised bed:

This bed borders the stream and is what you see if you look down from the deck -- it's quite prominent, so you'd think I'd make sure it was looking its best all the time. Not this year.


Now, it's not a total loss -- it contains my coneflowers after all -- but there's lots going on here that isn't so much fun. Saturday I finally had enough and literally jumped in to get things back in order.

Seen from above before I got in there:

Right now there are two main "weeds" causing trouble here. First, what looks to be a huge Persicaria of some kind:

Second, the Rudbeckia triloba which is desirable, but is growing in lots of bad places. This reseeds strongly every year, but I let it grow because I know the deer like it and I assume they'll prune much of it out for me. I always forget how large this plant gets though -- 5' (1.5m) tall and almost as wide in a good location -- and I shouldn't have let them grow up in this box.

So even though these are starting to bloom I bit the bullet and do what I almost never do: I ripped them out. I didn't cut them back or try to transplant -- I just pulled them all up.

The Persicaria (if that's what it is) was big:

I noticed this plant at least three weeks ago, but left it alone because I saw one of the very few Japanese beetles in my garden this year (yahoo!) eating the leaves:

So with the triloba and this weed removed, there's much more room. Here's the before and after so you don't need to scroll up:

What a difference! There's still the ever-spreading plumbago throughout this box, but at least you can see all of the coneflowers now.

From the side, before and after:

You may notice that the Shasta daisies in the center of that last photo are looking less than wonderful:

Every year I debate digging these out. They start the year so wonderful and fresh, but by mid-summer they're a mess. Although I'm not quite ready to dig them out right now, I'm very close. So instead I just cut them down to a foot tall or so -- maybe they'll push some new growth. I can always dig them out later.

You may remember that I usually plant a castor bean in this bed. It's late this year, but that's what I did after the weeds came out:

I've not put two here before, but I had an extra and since they probably won't reach the size this year that they have in past years (being planted so late) I figure that a second plant will help things look fuller.

I'm showing these next images just for comparison later in the summer, as there's nothing special about them:

I stuck a few Colocasia of various types in here too. I still have extras in pots, so why not?

I must be making some progress as a gardener, as I didn't really think twice about pulling that Rudbeckia out. Experience teaches that plants need to earn their spots in the garden -- it's a privilege, not a right... right?

Do you have any weedy or not-so-nice spots in your garden right now? It's that time of summer when things can get a little "tired".


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The Gardening Blog  – (July 30, 2013 at 3:50 AM)  

Wow - I love your weeds...... !! Isn't the castor bean poisonous??

Alan  – (July 30, 2013 at 6:55 AM)  

Yes, castor bean is poisonous. I don't eat it though. :)

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