The Spring garden above the flower garden is one of the most exiting yet difficult parts of the garden to work with. At its best, it’s a colourful evolution of Robinson’s original wild garden; at its worst it is a slab of orange plasticine-like clay, infested with perennial weed.
Japanese knotweed, mare’s tail and blue chicory are a few of the nasties we have been dealing with over the last few years here, but probably the most prolific weed we have is bind weed. Every year we dig it out, teasing its spaghetti-like roots from the sticky clay, and every year it comes back again.
Yesterday, myself and Arthur dug out two bucket loads of weed from a patch which we plan to plant with heather later on. I remembered digging this patch last year and just as I was starting to feel a little despondent, Arthur insisted that the situation is improving over time.
It is unlikely that we will ever eradicate this weed from the Spring garden. All we can do is stay positive and keep chipping away at it to reduce its vigour as much as possible. When bind weed is allowed to become rampant, it can swamp the whole garden, but if carefully controlled it doesn’t cause as much of a problem. When it flowers amongst our Japanese anemones with its beautiful white trumpet flowers, it actually makes a lovely display and if only it wasn’t so invasive we would all want it in our gardens!
Words by Tom, photographs by Martin