Our garden is a mass of colour from May onwards. Four varieties of true geraniums –pink, white, blue and a low-growing one I call rock geranium – aquilegia, (also known as columbine) and other flowers contribute colour.
Recently I have been trying to bring a little order into the explosion of new growth. Although I spend hours in the summer dead-heading, the pink geranium was threatening to become the dominant species. Left to itself our garden would only have ferns, geraniums, spurge (which I pull up on sight) as well as shrubs including potentillas, hydrangeas and hebes. Another perennial, which has to be kept in check is alchemilla mollis (Lady’s mantle). The seedlings are easy to weed out, but the mature plants become very large. The flowers are pale green and turn brown as they go to seed. I chop them off ruthlessly as soon as any brown appears. Some still manage to escape and produce new plants. You can have too much of a good thing!
I have to admit that in recent years I have not done enough gardening and some plants, which could have been removed easily, are now causing problems by growing close to the roots of taller plants.
I am reminded of two of the sayings I grew up with: Nature abhors a vacuum and Laziness has to be followed up.
Plants grow in every available space and try to invade neighbouring areas, such as paths and lawns. A job, such as pulling out a small plant, becomes a much larger one if the plant is allowed to become established.
At one time we had over one hundred iris flowers in bloom. These were the irises, which grow from bulbs not rhizomes. Over the years they have disappeared leaving only a few. At first it was a mystery. Had they rotted? Our conclusion was that they had been eaten by a field-mouse. A hole in the ground had been a mystery, but we do sometimes see a long-tailed mouse in our garden. It is a pity that it preferred irises to Spanish bluebells.