I call them thug weeds because they are aggressive and strong and persistent. When I bought this house in 2006 the front yard was a mess. And in the middle of that mess was the non-variegated form of snow-on-the-mountain, sometimes call bishop’s weed or gout weed. It’s also known as Aegopodium. I don’t care what you call it. It’s a thug.
It doesn’t seem likely now, after six years, that I will ever be able to rid my front gardens of this thug. Last evening I pulled up as much as I could from the row of boxwoods that sweeps through the front gardens. It was threatening the heuchera, too.
The nasty thing about this plant is that it sends runners out and just when you think you’ve tamed it, or yanked it all out, a sneaky little runner sprouts a new infestation. And this seems to happen just as soon as I turn my back.
But it’s not the only thug weed in my gardens. For 30 years I tried to get rid of star of bethlehem, a relatative of the lily, in my old gardens. I knew my work would continue when I found ornithogalum all over the yard when I moved into my current home. Only rarely do I see its star-shaped flowers. I try and yank it up before it gets to that stage. But it doesn’t seem to matter. It’s the onion-like bulbs that seem to multiply. And they grow deep, so often when I try and pull it up, all I get is a handful of grass-like leaves. I even struggle to get the bulbs when I use a spading fork. They are sometimes 18 inches deep, beneath layers of decomposed bark and topsoil.
I can handle the wild morning glories that wind themselves through the peonies, even though I faithfully pull out the seedlings when I see them. I can handle the rose of sharon seedlings that turn into saplings so quickly. And I gleefully pull up the mustard garlic when I find it hiding behind the lilacs in the Secret Garden. But the star of bethlehem and the snow on the mountain, I’m sure, plot infiltration during the deep cold days of winter. I know they have their invasions planned. I know…