April 29, 2009

Lesser Celandine: Scourge of the Garden

Does this plant look familiar?  If it does, then I am sorry.  You probably have to fight it in your garden, where it forms a choking green mat that prevents anything from growing.  This invasive Eurasian plant is currently everywhere in our garden, and is creeping its way into the woods behind the house.  And don't think that simple weeding will do the trick.  Lesser celandine forms little tubers that break off very easily when pulled, and new plants will grow back from these tubers.  In short: it is extremely difficult to eradicate.  We've got a method of weeding where we delicately tease the plant out after first loosening the soil with a claw.  Do not compost this plant, as the tubers will survive in your homemade fertilizer and you'll risk spreading it all over the place.

We can win Syracuse back from lesser celandine.  All it takes is vigilance.  Good luck.

April 28, 2009

A Long Overdue Spring Update

As with many graduate students this time of year, my life has within recent weeks been consumed by that weird concept of actually finishing my thesis, which I (successfully) defended last week and will be presenting tomorrow. Regardless, I couldn't keep myself away from the garden blogosphere any longer, even though I promised myself to put extraneous activities on pause in a sort of triage where only work pertaining to my thesis was permitted. Anyhow, so much has been happening in the garden that I had to at least throw up some photos of the action.

Let's backtrack just a bit. Here are some early spring blooms, which are now gone of course (especially after the 90 degree heat wave):

Bloodroot and lungwort in early April

Grecian windflower (Anemone blanda)


Hyacinth, of course

I'll admit I'm not much of a tulip or narcissus fan. But when I'm up at 6am on a cool spring morning it's very difficult not to appreciate these temperate gems, with the rising sun gleaming orange behind their silhouettes:

Darwin hybrid tulip, variety 'Daydream'

Narcissus, possibly variety 'Fortissimo'

Darwin hybrid tulip, possibly derived from the 'Dover' variety.
Apparently the colorful streaks are caused by some kind of

And of course the more subdued blooms:

Viola sororia 'priceana', apparently called the
"Confederate violet". My favorite violet in the garden.


Even though they're relatively plain, there's something about
the green variety of Lenten Rose that I find elegant and appealing.