Gorgeous thugs


Most gardens have them.  Here’s one from the Borders garden.

Marvellous flowers, wildly invasive habit!

When I asked for a piece, it’s owner looked rather doubtful, saying, ‘Well, if you really are sure….’  It must be some sort of relative of Papaver orientalis, or P. bracteata, though neither of those does much in the way of runners.  This one, in a season or two, covered a square yard of garden, appeared inextricably in clumps of day lilies, grasses, rose, the works.  It had to go.  Fortunately, it comes into leaf early, so spot weedkilling helped.  Some got dug up and replanted out in the ‘wood’, a tiny bit of waste ground out beyond the garden’s end gate.  It thrives there too, and looks great flowering amongst the cow parsley.  However, I must have missed a bit, and here it is, looking enchanting, amongst Geranium pratense ‘Striatum’, a Polemonium whose name I forget, and if you look carefully, another dire thug – the double form of creeping buttercup.  Does anyone know what it’s proper name is?

And what are you favourite thugs?  Scutellaria species? The marvellously perfumed soapworts? white fireweed?

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About david stuart

garden writer and journalist, and occasionally a designer, with a garden in the Scottish borders, and his pal's gardens in Edinburgh, London, and Lincolnshire. They keep both of us very, very busy. Books I've written listed on my website, and dozens of articles and garden and plant pictures. Currently working on several new projects. One of these was to return to painting - see the blog - and which is proving exciting! www.david-stuart.co.uk or, more fun, have a look at www.pinterest.com/davidcstuart
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3 Responses to Gorgeous thugs

  1. Cristie says:

    My favorite thug has to be the Japanese Honeysuckle that has taken over large parts of unmowable forest and roadway edges. I recently made the decision to remove it from the own personal sitting area. It was shouldering aside the Madame Hardy Rose and even threatening to overrun the sweet autumn clematis ( c. ternifolia)- a thug in its own right, but one I can brutilize into submission when needed. When it started casting an appraising eye toward the herb area, I had to take action. I cut, chopped, and finally applies weedkiller to every sprig I could see. TWO springs later, I had succeeded and now a lovely american honeysuckle(L. sempervirens var. GoldFlame, I think) is beginning to bloom. I do miss the scent of the other thug.

  2. david stuart says:

    For some reason we don’t have that problem in the UK, tho lots of gardeners grow, and like, it. Some of the ivies put their scares on me tho. Just had to peel off E A Bowles’ monster var of ivy, a whole yard above the wall head, and beginning to open up some nasty cracks between the stones! Aaargh.
    And amonst herbaceous stuff… Petasites species… horrors…

    • Cristie says:

      …just finished pulling Lemon Balm ( Melissa ) from …well, from everywhere! I love it, but it is very prolific, as well as quite fertile. But my hands smell wonderful.

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