Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Hint of autumn

Naked lads, Naked ladies, Colchicum, fall crocus--whatever you call it, when it emerges the gig is up: you know the hot days are numbered.

There are large drifts of these at Denver Botanic Gardens, and I have a handsome clump at home as well...I remember as a child walking past a decrepit wall garden a block or so from my house in Boulder that was a weed patch much of the year, but every fall burst into glorious bloom (the whole schmeer with those giant lavender-pink goblets....

Goblets indeed, filled with autumnal memories and toasting the dying sun.


  1. It appears time would be well spent weeding this little patch. Some plants that would still show the Colchicum, but out compete the weeds might be worth planting. If the spot is shady, a thick mulch of leaves might help keep the weeds repressed.


  2. You are very observant (and just a tad wicked) James, my man...I guess that was a thistle. I do have a few weeds in my garden--but not too many. And we do mulch pretty heavily! I shall be more careful in posting in the future, knowing you are watching!

  3. Yes, I debated throughly whether I should say anything. However, the comment that you should invite the NARGS often because it would improve your house keeping kept coming to mind. You could say,"People living in glass houses should not throw stones." It is much easier to be critical when I can see your garden and you cannot see mine. :)


  4. Be as critical as you wish! 33 years in public horticulture has done wonders to pachy my derm.

    And do keep things up enough that people drop by and I'm not TOO self conscious--although I do not have the lavish lifestyle so many Americans manage: I am always amazed at how crisp and perfect so many homes are. Their gardens, however, usually aren't as up to snuff!

  5. I think your thistle is the dreaded field thistle. Some call it Canada thistle, but since it is not from Canada this seems inaccurate. I have not found a way to erradicate this one from my garden. I pulled field thistle for years from my strawberry patch, only to have it pop up again the following year. I tried using Roundup to 'kill the roots.' The thistle just popped up again the next year. I was told to use a herbicide that must be purchased from one of the numerous distant ag coops. I did not feel the time saved in perennial pulling was worth the effort necessary to obtain an exotic herbicide.

    Field thistle is one of the reasons I use landscape fabric. This is the only thing I have found that can actually fend it off. In areas where I do not want to have landscape fabric, I carefully spray field thistle a few times a year. I have resigned myself to the fact that my garden will have a some weeds. I periodically pull those that can be pulled and spray those that need spraying for control. What I try to achieve is not a complete lack of weeds, but prevention of any weed from forming seed.

    Interestingly enough, field thistle often gets out competed in native plantings. Sometimes including a plants companions is better for controlling weeds than pulling or spraying.

    As you can see, I spend way too much time thinking about weeds. :)



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