Garden Bloggers Foliage Day: Space Invaders

Good ground cover plants are always in demand – well they supposedly suppress weeds and they usually look a lot better than bare earth.  So what do you do when they do a bit too well and start invading each other’s space?  Do you try to control them or just let them fight it out between themselves?

Ground cover at side of rockery

Ground cover at side of rockery

The vinca here is easily controlled by giving it a good Autumn cut back, but the problem plant is the Houttuynia Cordata.

It has invaded the hebe  Summer Frost. . . .

Houttuynia invades hebe

Houttuynia invades hebe

It has invaded the vinca . . .

Houttuynia invades vinca

Houttuynia invades vinca

. . . or is it the other way around?

And it has invaded the chamomile

Houttuynia invades chamomile

Houttuynia invades chamomile

As it spreads by underground roots it is not so easy to dig out without destroying the other plants too.  Considering it also dies right back in the winter, should I just leave it to spread or attempt to control it?  What do you think?

There are other plants too that are getting a bit invasive.

The ajuga has been getting a bit big for its boots since it finished flowering, but equally the chamomile doesn’t seem to want to stay between the paving stones either – the colours complement each other beautifully so I might leave these to co-exist.

Ajuga invades chamomile and vica versa

Ajuga invades chamomile and vica versa

Else where in the garden things are behaving a little better.

Round the side in my shady damp border the greenery is flourishing.

Round the side in August

Round the side in August

Here you can see the dogwood which has such wonderful red stems in winter and in front of it the monkshood which has now finished flowering, but still has lovely feathery foliage.  At the other side of the path, in front of my pink rhododendron, you can see a silver eunymous and a white heather just coming into flower.

Behind the dogwood is a Fatsia Japonica, a lovely vibrant green berberis, a rather straggly forsythia, some hostas before they got shredded by snails and an inula.

Hostas, berberis and fatsia Japonica

Hostas, berberis and fatsia Japonica

And the other side of the Fatsia is a eunoymous – the one that should have black spotty flowers – and the obligatory Achimilla mollis.

fatsia and euphorbia

fatsia and euphorbia

Then in front of the monkshood is my little fern garden.

Ferns round the side

Ferns round the side

Here you can see the lovely dryopteris or Japanese shield fern, a holly fern, a brunnera Jack Frost and at the back some maidenhair fern which disappears totally every winter.

Foliage is an essential part of  our gardens, great for ground cover and for those difficult places, as well as acting as a foil to show off all those lovely flowers. It really comes into its own though as summer fades to winter and the flowers disappear. Why not pop over to Christina’s blog to see what foliage other gardeners have in their garden.

Next Garden Update:  Victorias at Last

 

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18 thoughts on “Garden Bloggers Foliage Day: Space Invaders

  1. Ah! you have Fatsia too,I love the foliage and the fact that it copes well in dry shade. Thanks for joining GBFD this month Annette; it is lovely to see how much lovely green you still have. Your garden must be so wet for the Houttuynia to be doing so well.

    • The Fatsia was rescued from a neighbour who was removing it to build a dog kennel! Thankfully it survived the move although it was quite large. Well we do get a lot of rain, but wouldn’t say the Houttuynia is in a very wet place – it is actually on quite a dry slope. It has taken a long time to establish, but now is becoming rather a nuisance – so I think I will have to pull some of it up.

  2. I do like all your foliage plants in the shade, you have so many interesting shapes and textures. Ferns, Hostas and Brunnera always combine so beautifully.
    Groundcover spreading beyond their allocated space is always a problem, I have a few of those, then a firm hand is needed to bring them back into line!

  3. Annette, I like ground cover almost as much as I like flowers in the garden. It gives the garden a cottage look and I love that! My fatsia died and I truly thought it was such a great addition to my garden!

  4. I had to smile at those ground cover plants and your indecision – poor things! – they are obviously very comfortable where they are, thank you very much! I think I have finally removed all traces of a variegated vinca here, but houttuynia doesn’t like the garden at all and ajuga took a while to get used to it and doesn’t look likely to outstay its welcome. Thanks for showing us your shady damp border and down the side of your house – interesting to see different parts of the garden.

    • Yes, you have to laugh don’t you. The garden usually does what it wants despite our best efforts. Things really seem to have taken off this year – maybe a combination of a really mild winter and some very heavy downfalls during the summer.

  5. I always rather wary of planting what is described as ground cover. Many years ago, in a previous garden the Houttuynia drove me to distraction!
    Some pretty foliage Annette – all looking lovely and healthy too.

    • I had real problems getting this to establish, but it has really taken off now. It does look lovely on this difficult slope, but think it will be severely cut back shortly before it disappears. Though I might move some to the top of the garden to see if it will naturalise there.

  6. Pingback: Garden Update: Anyone for spaghetti? | My Aberdeen Garden

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