Sunday, October 18, 2009

Aggressive Natives in Gabe's Garden

The violets planted between the rocks grew like gangbusters this year. They did so well, that even though they were a regular salad-bar for the bunnies, they grew back, and grew back again, and grew back again. This is exactly the aggressive native plant I needed to withstand animals and toddlers.

Have I mentioned that violets are edible? I haven't tasted them yet, but violet salad may be on the menu next year.

That, underneath the blueberry and grass, is common cinquefoil. I couldn't have asked for a better ground cover. It grew from a couple of small sprigs to this in just one season. Perhaps I should fear for the safety of my yard, but what's the worst it could do? It hugs the ground, so it isn't going to deprive anything of light. I don't care if it gets in our weedy mess of a lawn. The worst thing that it does is send runners onto the play-area mulch, just like its cousin the strawberry.

The roots are very long, so I may hate it if I ever want to eradicate it entirely, but that's true of many plants.


Carole said...

Your violets are also the host plant of Fritillary butterflies, so you should be seeing these beauties in Gabe's garden. Some of them are endangered so it's great that you've made a habitat for them.

Michelle said...

Oooh, thanks Carole! I didn;t know that.

Ellen said...

Hi Stol :-)
I am enjoying your blog! Carole is right about the violets..they are the SOLE host plant for Fritillaries. People tend to hate them because they invade lawns but they do make an impressive groundcover in a moist area. And even in a lawn they are a pretty, early season nectar source for all kinds of pollinators. What's not to love!

Michelle said...

Thanks Ellen! I'll have to keep an eye on the smaller critters that dine on the violets next year. Cheers!