Nightmare area number one

Emboldened by Peter's recent post about the less attractive parts of his garden, I'm going to share with you the three "nightmare" areas of my garden. Today's is actually the oldest part of my garden: the large raised planter box below the deck.


This was originally full of flowering perennials including shasta daisies and purple coneflowers. In recent years it's been the home to my main (and sometimes amazing) castor bean planting. Right now though it's just a bed full of weeds.



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About a week ago I decided drastic measures were needed, so I climbed up and took a closer look at what was left (that wasn't weeds).

I know there's a turtlehead (Chelone) in there somewhere...


...but that's not it. I thought it was, but it wasn't. The turtlehead is over here, just to the left...


...behind the two different kinds of snakeroot (Eupatorium rugosum).

It amazes me that I bought the 'Chocolate' type of Eupatorium rugosum about 15 years ago, and that it now appears in almost equal proportion to the regular (native) green type throughout the wilder areas of my yard:


Pretty, but still a weed in this spot!

I barely remember planting this "squaw weed" last year (an early-blooming native), but do remember seeing a glimpse of small yellow flowers early this spring -- well before I was ready to get out into the garden to see them up close:


I'll leave that in place though, as it appears to be spreading a bit and the foliage is nice.

The Liatris though...


...I'll never see a bloom from these again as the deer just love them. I suppose I should put some in a planter on the deck. Why haven't I thought of that until just now?

I found only two castor bean seedlings:



This was disappointing as I was hoping to find more. The seeds I collected from these plants doesn't look great, but I've learned from past years that volunteers are plentiful. More will start sprouting soon I'm sure, but these two will get transplanted to the center of the bed.

I yanked out everything else except a couple of Agastache foeniculums -- which now grow almost everywhere in my garden.


So that's half of nightmare area #1 taken care of*. My plan is to put only proven deer-proof plants here, primarily grasses and sages.

*Sure there are lots of small weeds left here, but I may end up just mulching over them. The big stuff is gone -- that's the important thing. I've never mulched this bed before!

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outlawgardener  – (May 31, 2017 at 9:20 AM)  

It's satisfying to see that other gardeners have nightmare areas. Looks like you've well on your way to turning this into a sweet dream of a spot! Thanks for the link love.

Mark and Gaz  – (May 31, 2017 at 10:49 AM)  

Looking forward to seeing how you get on with this area now that you've done a clear out.

Hoover Boo  – (June 1, 2017 at 3:33 PM)  

It will look fantastic in bloom (if the deer allow that?).

Your garden "bad" spots are way better looking than my garden bad spots.

Gerhard Bock (Succulents and More)  – (June 6, 2017 at 9:55 PM)  

I actually thought your weeds looked quite lush!

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