A Session With Dr. Hortfreud: Digging Out Blooming Plants

Another therapy session with Dr. Hortfreud...

Carol, where have you been? You missed weed therapy last week and your garden is really showing it.

Dr. Hortfreud, I know! I went to Chicago for the Spring Fling, but I’m back now.

Oh, that’s right, I saw your post the other day about the “one of” plants. You know, you don’t have just “one of” plants. Take that Snow-in-Summer with its pretty gray foliage, you have a lot of that.

Yes, please take some Snow-in-Summer, Dr. Hortfreud, because I’m pulling it all out of this bed so that it stops mauling the Geranium x cantabrigiense ‘Biokovo’.

I can see that but aren’t you going about it kind of awkwardly? You are leaving all kinds of roots by just trying to pull the plants out. You know that Cerastium tomentosum, Snow-in-Summer, will just grow back from those roots.

Yes, I know that but I figured I would just keep pulling it out and eventually I’ll wear it out.

Or it will wear you out, Carol. You know there’s a better way to do that, right?

Yes, I know it would work better to dig it all out in the early spring, both the Snow-in-Summer and the Geranium, and then replant the Geranium. But I didn’t get to it, and the Snow-in-Summer started blooming. You know it’s bad luck to pull out a blooming plant, don’t you? And see how pretty the Snow-in-Summer blooms are?

Who says its bad luck? I’ve seen you pull out dandelions that were blooming and that doesn’t seem to have brought you bad luck. Ditto henbit.

Oh, sure, pull out that scientific evidence, I don't care. I’m still going to try to avoid pulling out blooming plants, just on principle, if nothing else.

Okay, do as you wish, but I’m just saying if you have bad luck from pulling out a blooming plant then my name isn’t Dr. Viola Q. Hortfreud.

I didn’t know that was your name!

Yes, my parents named me Viola because it is a sweet little bloom of spring and can survive frost and isn’t easily intimidated.

What does the Q stand for?

I’m not sure if I should tell you, but it stands for Quercus, which is the genus of the mighty oak tree. My parents thought it would remind me to be strong and stand tall, no matter what.

They named you well! Dr. Hortfreud, I will try to follow your advice to dig out both of these plants and then replant the geraniums. But I better hurry before real summer arrives.

Yes, hurry, Carol, and let me know how it turns out.

Thank you, Dr. Hortfreud, I will.


  1. Carol - I am holding my sides laughing! It's a good thing you have Dr. Hortfreud -- you need him!!!

  2. Carol, I just did the same thing with a Dianthus that was being swallowed by Blue Star Creeper. It was the only way to save the Dianthus. Blue Star is rude.

  3. I'm enjoying getting to know Dr. Hortfreud...she's hilarious!

  4. I love Dr VQH! You are in excellent hands...and what a delightful sense of humor! gail

  5. I didn't know Dr. Hortfreud was a woman! Somehow that makes her less intimidating; perhaps I will schedule a therapy session with her after all. I rarely pull out blooming plants, because if it blooms here it stays:) I hope, though, the bad luck doesn't apply to bloomin' weeds, because I'm pulling lots of those!

  6. I thought Dr. Hortfreud was a man also! Glad you resolved that one!

  7. I suspected Dr. H. was a woman, she talks a lot of sense. I used to be like you, but now I have no qualms about pulling out plants that are blooming. I try to cut off the flowers and bring them inside for a nice arrangement. That helps assuage the guilt.

  8. A plant growing in the wrong place is a weed whether it is blooming or not. The good Dr is right, just yank it out.

  9. I wonder what Dr. Hortfreud would tell me about my obsession with rocks? Never mind, I don't wanna know!

  10. Haha -- what a hilarious tale of your battle to free your Geraniums from the clutches of Snow-in-Summer. Can't they learn to play fairly and just get along? (You can probably tell I have kids...)


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