Monday, August 16, 2010
I neglected to get a "before" photo of this corner. It contained a clump of some verigated, trouble-making grass, which I suspect to be invasive, volunteered Japanese barberry, Asiatic bittersweet, and gobs of periwinkle. I had a large round cone of black plastic left over from the top of a failed compost bin. I stuck that on the grass to kill it, and for a few weeks in the Spring we could lift it up to see a dozen surprised-looking snakes inside.
The plants under the cover cooked nicely. Then, this weekend, as I walked by, I couldn't resist tugging one strand of periwinkle out of the yew. The nasty stuff was entwined all through the shrub. Then I tugged another. And another.
This is what the bed looks like a little farther on: a nice, dense mat of periwinkle. It would be nice if it weren't sending out runners into the grass. Left unchecked, it would do this to my meadow. And to the woods beyond. Periwinkle, Vinca minor, does not play nice with Massachusetts woods. It carpets the forest floor and prevents native plants from growing. I don't know why it didn't rank the Massachusetts Prohibited Plant list.
I kept yanking and yanking. The plants went into a plastic bag, to make sure they are well and truly dead before I compost them. I'm not taking any chances. Here is the bed after I've cleared out some space.
A lot of work remains to be done in this space. But I suppose the dawning question is: what should I plant here?