Irises, The Rock Garden, and a Rose I Should Kill

We’re now well into June, and there’s plenty happening in the garden.

Irises I got last summer from a friend have begun to bloom – aren’t they pretty?

Another gift from a gardening friend – these Foxgloves:

These are actually the descendants of foxgloves she gave me years back. This year, I finally moved them to the front where I’ve been able to appreciate them. Before, they were crowded by the back fence where mosquitoes make prolonged visits miserable. This will be a much better location for them.

Something I’m not as excited about – the Multiflora Rose in the side yard.

I know I spoke positively about this plant last week. It’s pretty and it smells nice. But since then, I’ve learned that it can be a serious menace – difficult to remove and capable of harboring pests that endanger other roses in the garden. The only thing good I’ve read is that its hips and leaves contain vitamin C and that birds eat from it in winter. Almost every website I visited used words like “noxious weed” and “invasive species” to describe it. Gardeners are urged to get rid of it, with writers stressing that its cons far outweigh its pros. Maybe it’s time for me to grab the clippers and try to do it in – especially, as I’d hate for it to choke out the Mountain Laurel beside it.

Be warned, though. Mountain Laurel is no saint – I recently learned that all parts of this plant are toxic to both animals and humans. Even the pollen is poisonous and can taint honey if visited by bees. (Good thing that’s a bumble bee on that blossom!)

Come to think of it, the foxgloves are poisonous, too. Gads! The plant world can be a dangerous place!

Let’s move on to more benign plants, shall we? Ice Plants, for example.

These are new additions to my rock garden – a dry, sandy place where I’m hoping they will fill in space and help crowd out weeds.

I think they look a bit like sea anemones. In fact, the entire rock garden reminds me of a coral reef. It’s a nice change of pace from the other areas of the yard which require more work. I love that the plants I put there – mainly ice plants and succulents – are so low-maintenance and hardy.

These Creeping Sedum are also in the rock garden and, so far, are doing an excellent job of keeping the weeds down.

It’s nice when plants work with you and not against you, don’t you think?  (Multi-flora rose, I’m looking at you!)

So, that brings you up to date for this week. If you drive by, you’ll likely see me out puttering in the yard, tending to the plants and trimming the azaleas that have gone out of control. It’s always extremes, isn’t it? Hacking at one thing while trying to coax life into something else. Never dull in the garden

From the dining room table, adding that people have actually made spoons out of Mountain Laurel wood. Would you use a spoon if you knew it came from a poisonous plant? I’m not sure I would.

Mrs. Smythe




2 Comments on “Irises, The Rock Garden, and a Rose I Should Kill

  1. I’m fascinated by your mountain laurel, I just read they will not do well in clay soil. So sad. I would love to add this to my shade garden.