I haven't seen any rabbits hanging around my garden for several weeks now. Where are they? I uncovered the peas, lettuce and spinach, and so far, the rabbits haven't eaten them.
Perhaps I have successfully banished rabbits from my garden?
I am hopeful, but doubtful. I know those rabbits are out there, somewhere. I must remain vigilant.
But I have banished Heliopsis helianthoides, False Sunflowers, from my garden.
They were messy and self-sowed themselves in many places. That's a good thing if you are planting a prairie-style garden, not so good if you are trying to have a nice grape arbor and a semi-neat perennial border.
It all started innocently enough when I purchased Heliopsis helianthoides 'Lorraine Sunshine'. It had the most wonderful variegated foliage! So I bought it, planted it, and loved it that first year.
Then there were seedlings, and some were variegated like the parent plant and I was happy. But others were plain, the species. And they grew and flowered, too, and I let them be. Soon I had many false sunflower plants and I planted them here and there, and even around the grape arbor.
But they turned out to be thugs. They made a mess of my garden. They grew everywhere and cast their seedlings about the garden.
So on Saturday, I banished them from my garden.
I cleaned up the bed around the grape arbor and took them all out, along with all the weeds they were harboring around them, including dandelions and grass.
This is what the grape arbor looked like before I banished the false sunflower.
Here's the same bed after I weeded and removed all the false sunflower.
My primarly tools were the short-handled Cobrahead (love it!) and a pitch fork.
And here's the bed all mulched up.
I left some daylilies around each post, but otherwise, this bed is cleaned up and free of false sunflowers. They have been banished, unceremoniously dumped in the compost bin to become compost. Let the the grape vine grow in peace.
But just as I must be watchful of the rabbits, I must be watchful of the false sunflowers. You see, over in the perennial border, I left the variegated 'Lorraine Sunshine'.
I couldn't bear to get rid of its beautiful variegated foliage. I was weak, maybe foolhardy. Time will tell.
But I promise to my garden and my grapes that now that I know about the self-sowing habit of the false sunflower, I'll be careful and watchful. Really, I will. I've learned my lesson. Plain green false sunflower seedlings will be treated like weeds and promptly removed from my garden... when I get to them, hopefully before they flower.
Have you banished any plants from your garden this spring?