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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Attack of the Spiderworts

This morning I put on my sweatshirt and went out to take a photo or two. Forty five minutes later I remembered that I was supposed to come back in and blog. It was so nice to be outside and just putter that I didn't want to come back inside at all.

My original reason for going out was to photograph Tradescantia 'Sweet Kate'. In other posts I've mentioned that she is not really so sweet, Kate seems to scatter her babies everywhere and they don't even have the decency to keep that lovely chartreuse color.

Poor Hosta Loyalist has had a rough time. First the oil delivery truck drove over this area compacting the soil to the consistency of a concrete block and squashing all plant material. Now on the rebound 'Loyalist' has a rude spiderwort seedling trying to move in and take over. Tsk, tsk.
Hosta 'Tea and Crumpets' is also under the attack by these ill behaved children. Ok, it's time to get down and dirty here. I'm heading back out there with my trusty dandelion digger and I'm going to show those spiderworts who's the boss around here. Oh yes, I am!

As for 'Sweet Kate' herself, I'm not sure I need this hussy in my garden. What do you think?

18 comments:

Gail said...

Not sure about Kate, she is located in a few spots in my garden and I am watching her closely. She is a beautiful chartreuse and much valued but....you do have to commit to monitoring her!

gail

Carol said...

I have 'Sweet Kate', too, though at one time I was calling her 'Blue and Gold' by mistake.

I have other spiderworts, too, so I don't know if I can blame her for all the seedlings... which reminds me, I need to go out and do some weeding of those seedlings today!

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

garden girl said...

Melanie, Sweet Kate is pretty and does tempt me at times with her charms. So far I've resisted her siren's song. Posts like this one strengthen my resolve!

Helen said...

Shes very attractive. If she is seeding every where can you remove the flowers before the seed drops?

Aunt Debbi/kurts mom said...

She is really pretty. My large spider wort behaves, but those little ones are a nightmare.

Robin's Nesting Place said...

I added a spiderwort to my garden last year, I hope it isn't 'Sweet Kate'. I don't have any little volunteers though.

ourfriendben said...

Well, Melanie, beautiful hostas, beautiful spiderwort. 'Sweet Kate' looks like she's worth a little trouble. (More plants for your sales!) And, oh, my, those delightful hostas! I'd suggest one of the golden-leaved hakonechloas to partner with them instead--God knows, *they're* not invasive!--but then you wouldn't get the beautiful flowers. Thanks for the gorgeous photos! Two more hostas to add to the list...

tina said...

I don't grow Sweet Kate and wish I did so I say keep her.

Marie said...

Beautiful photos :)

Frances, said...

Hi Melanie, We have the regular old blue and mauve spiderworts and get seedlings all over, but they are easy to pull and the flowers are welcome in those shady areas. They bloom under any conditions here, sun, shade, wet or dry so it's hard to be too critical of them. I would love to have Kate, even without the babies coming true. The voter says Keep Her!

Cinj said...

Sweet Kate does look mighty pretty. I wouldn't mind having a lovely plant like that. Those plants would be great to dig up for a sale. Does the leaf color come with age or are they changing?

Hoot Owl Hollow Nursery said...

I have Sweet Kate in a couple of places and wouldn't get rid of her, despite her bad habits. The others are right, the babies aren't hard to get rid of and you could sell them at your plant sale since, at least so far, they have the same nice dark flowers.

badhuman said...

One of my favorite past times is heading outside with my camera.

Melanie said...

Gail, let me know if you find seedlings by Kate, I wonder why she's such a pain here for me.

Carol, I have seen 'Blue and Gold' for sale around here too and I don't know for sure which one this is. I buy most of my plants from one particular nursery though and they only carry 'Sweet Kate' so I'm guessing that is what I have.

Linda, glad you think about things before you put them in, I've made that mistake enough times in the past.

Helen, the problem with Tradescantia is that the flowers only open for one day like daylilies. There's lots of little buds though and they are all in the same spot. I'd need my reading glasses, an embroidery pair of scissors and a house keeper if I wanted to dead head this plant.

Aunt Debbi, the little ones were the hardest to get out, they kept breaking and leaving roots behind.

Robin, most of my other spiderworts are well behaved. Today I'll take photos of one that's a bit aggressive but beautiful.

Ourfriendben, I love those all gold Hakonechloas and have two or three clumps in the back yard. Hopefully I'll find some more for sale tomorrow when I go on another shopping spree. I just won't pay $12.99 for a 4" pot with three springs popping out of it.

Ok Tina, she's still here today.

Thank you Marie! I hope you are having a beautiful spring now.

Frances, you must have amended your soil well. These seedlings are in an area with lots of tree roots so weeding is a real pain.

Cinj, I was hoping those leaves would change but nope, the dark leaves stay that way so they have to be removed. They are thicker and stronger than the chartreuse leaves and would actually crowd them out if I let them.

Jane, leave it to you, I never though about potting them up for sale! So many people around here are looking for plants that will grow in shade and root bound areas that I bet they would welcome the dark green leafed spiderworts. Of course I pulled them all out yesterday but I'm sure I'll have more soon.

Badhuman, I know exactly what you mean, I love going out there with my camera in hand.

Now I'm off to work outside. Mom is here today and we're expecting a 6 yard dump truck of triple sifted composted manure. Hooray!

chey said...

I do love the color of Sweet Kate.I would definitely keep her,and deal with the babies as they arrive.

Amy said...

That Kate sounds pretty pushy to me :) I can't believe that oil delivery truck drove right over your lovely plants! What nerve!

Esther Montgomery said...

'Tea and Crumpets! I wish I had somewhere to put a plant like that - simply for the sake of its name.

Esther

michaelswoodcraft said...

Nice pictures. I like growing Sweet Cate, it's easy to grow. Looks great along the border.

chcek out my post on Sweet Cate.

Michael
Sweet Cate