Their delicate white flowers are some of the earliest of our spring display. In a blink, they transform into a tall spindle of seed pods. Even when I gently brush against them they explode like fireworks casting their spell across the warming spring soil. Fortunately, I wear glasses. The little missiles splatter my face but they don’t blind me. I flinch in surprise every time.
In just a couple of weeks, the ground will magically transform into a carpet of them happily taking over the world.
In an unfamiliar garden, it makes sense to let all plants grow until you identify them or they show their true intent. Then decide their fates.
These little monsters are Hairy Bittercrest (aka Cardimine hirsuta). They’re annuals – seed factories. The best defense is easy –
NEVER LET THEM GO TO SEED!
The straightforward action might be to get out there & weed like crazy.
Yes, that helps + it’s good anti-Seasonal-Affects- Disorder therapy.
Yes, it removes the offending seed creator, but many of last year’s seeds are still on the ground getting ready to sprout … just more weeding for tomorrow!
AND pulling out the weed stirs up the soil as far down as its roots went. That brings up the weed seeds from years gone by… even more weeding for tomorrow and the day after that!
Each winter I lay down 2-4 inches of fish & bark mulch.
2 to 4 inches.
It buries any seeds deep enough that they won’t get enough light to start growing.
If you’ve already mulched, the problem’s solved before it’s even begun. 🙂
This is not normal for Victoria. The snow might be pretty but this is a rain-forest. We’re not set up for snow. Neither are our gardens.
Tonight’s concern is the snow load on the hedging. It’s amazing how flexible some branches can be as snow gathers & literally weighs them down. But some wood fibers are breaking as the branches bend. The sooner the weight is removed, the more likely a branch is to bounce back & resume its regular shape for good.
Out comes my trusty rake. Wielding it backward, I thrust the pole end into the lowest branches & give the shrub a light shake.
It’s best to start low & gradually work up. Release the load from lower branches before risking adding more to them with the snow falling off upper branches.
Once broken, there’s no mending a branch. All those years of growing into a full-sized shrub…
the lovely shape…
our increased privacy…
can be ruined overnight. Heart-wrenching.
Although hedgers like yew & cedar are especially susceptible, same goes for the broadleaf evergreens. Rhododendron.
Flower buds are already well-formed on the rhodos & camellia. So if I want many blooms this spring, it requires a delicate shake to remove the snow & only the snow.
After that, it’s good to head inside, dry off & treat myself to a hot chocolate (with Frangelico). After all, it’s a dark and snowy night…