Here you see the swath of Black-eyed Susans that I once welcomed because they quickly filled in the longest sunny border in my front yard. So cheerful! Such long-lasting blooms! Not to mention, Maryland’s State Flower.
But this year I noticed they had killed off a lot of my ground cover Sedum (S. takeseminse), threatening even taller perennials and closing in on the walkway. You know how it’s hard to rid your garden of good-looking plants? People pay good money for them, right? But more isn’t necessarily better, and in the case of thuggish plants – native or not – I steel myself to toss them but I really enjoyed it.
It felt good to rescue shorter plants from the fast-moving threat and finally confine the still-cheerful, still long-blooming Susans (as I affectionately call them) to a manageable bunch, where I can keep an eye on them.
I removed about two-thirds of the Susans and in their place I planted a dry-garden mix of Russian sage, Agastache, Rose Campion and three full-grown Little Bluestem grasses. I did all this in early August – I know, I know! – but who among us hasn’t broken all the when-to-plant rules in the book? I had my reasons, as we always do.
Where to grow Black-eyed Susans where they won’t bully neighbors? In places like this raised bed filled with old Boxwoods and some Asiatic lilies that tower over the Susans. I adopted this little garden just a year ago and love that it was easy to improve simply by replacing weeds with the Susans, which block out new weeds pretty darn well with their height and good basal foliage.
Back at my house, where I’m training vines to provide screening, the best performers so far are the Morning Glories. Up against the Wedgewood blue house, I can’t resist them! Every morning I inspect them. I counted the blossoms until there were too many to count. Training vines may just be my favorite gardening task of all. Just a bit of tying up here and wrapping stems around other stems there. No bending down, no lifting, no tools needed. Playing with these fast-growing plants with beautiful blossoms is pure fun.
To my eyes, Morning Glories go well with everything in the garden, like the orange reblooms of the Crossvine, but also purple Petunias and pink chairs.
But look at the price I’m paying in weeding for all that glory in the morning! I bet a dozen people warned me about the awe-inspiring reseeding capacity of Morning Glories but I tossed off those warnings as overblown. After all, I actually like a bit of weeding.
But this is not a bit of weeding! Look how easily the seedlings are poking up through the groundcover Sedum. The entire front garden seems to be covered in Morning Glory seeds, after being grown here just one season.
So now what? Should I ever let them bloom again? I am so conflicted.