We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I can't locate my past post on garden cancers. I am not talking about evil weeds like Porcelainberry. I am talking about things we plant on purpose which have the power to take over and destroy a planting area.
Such things should only be planted where they can be mowed around because they spread underground, or just spread, to the point of overwhelming everything in their vicinity:
Wisteria Bamboo Trumpet Vine Members of the Mint family (best let to go wild in a meadow) English Ivy Pachysandra
I had a few more on my list, but I can't remember right now.
English ivy! Arrrrgh! I used it 40 years ago to hold a tall berm together during a stormy spring and summer. It worked wonderfully! But now I spend every spring (and summer) weeding it out of my garden and pulling it down from walls (where it can be VERY destructive). The berm is firm now with other plantings. One of these days I'll get every bloody bit of the ivy out of the area. One of these days….
Our neighbors have a kind of clumping bamboo that's supposed to be safe. After 15 years, it's still growing where they planted it, not spreading all over. That may be in part because it's dry here, but spreading plants that thrive at this rainfall level, like cape honeysuckle, definitely move like wildfire. We planted some maypops (passion flower) once that came up absolutely everywhere for a couple of years before we got them under control. Ditto for moonvine.
Wisteria. I can live with this one, because it's so fragrant and beautiful. When I sold an old home with an heirloom variety that had taken over the back yard, I took some with me and planted it around the post light at the new home. It's taken about 8 years to get properly established but it's doing great now. Yesterday I looked out my office window and noticed something new creeping out onto the lawn from the tree line. Yep. Wisteria runner. The darn thing snakes out from the lamp post under the grass to the tree line, then loops through the woods on the ground for about 50 ft before emerging out of the undergrowth onto my lawn. Awesome plant.
Chameleon plant, also call lizard tail, heartleaf, fish wort or bishop's weed. Virtually impossible to kill. Even with Round-Up it disappears for a year but then comes back with a vengeance. I've been told it must be dug out and the soil sifted through as each time a root breaks it takes off again.
Burning Bush. Spreads like cancer, shoots up from roots. You can saw it off at ground level spring, summer, or fall. It WILL send up shoots in the spring. In fact, it becomes even stronger, like the mythical Hydra.
I got rid of some ivy between my garage and the one belonging to my neighbor (20' x 2-12') by raking out the big stuff and dumping gallons of vinegar on the area. Then I had two strong teenagers from the local garden store dump a bunch of gravel about 2" thick. It's been plant free for 4 years.