If you can’t beat ’em, best leave them be, is the Fairegarden philosophy regarding the wild violets, Viola ssp. that abound on the property here. These could be several species, or even a mix. The local gardeners call them dog violets. Some are solid blue, some are more violet blue, some are white with blue/violet veins. All are scentless.
The battle was waged for many years, beginning in 1996 when this house was purchased as a home for offspring Semi and Chickenpoet while they attended college here. Easy care shrubs were planted along the sloping portion of the front yard in between the grass and weed lawn of the lower part and the weed section around the concrete stoop front door entrance. Mulch was added and it looked neat and clean.
With each visit to
check on, see the girls, there would be gardening done, mostly the pulling of the huge clumps of violets that threatened to choke out everything in their path, including the one gallon sticks passing as shrubbery. It was a losing proposition for me. Enlightenment came later, after we moved into this house ourselves in 2000.
The shrubs had finally grown large enough to fend off most colonization efforts by the violets and could now live side by side with them in harmony. This is in the front garden. In the back, where there is still some effort made to grow small ephemerals and specialty bulbs, the violets need to be kept at bay lest they become a monoculture. Seeding into the very center of the crown of weaker plants, the rhizome of the violet will grow, with roots reaching across the host plant to find soil and smother its benefactor in the process.
In the end, we have given up, raised the white flag of surrender and only pull the worst and most flagrant offenders. The garden denizens must co-exist, for the gardener only has so much time and energy to perform her duties and besides, she would rather simply enjoy just being out there.
This story is part of Wildflower Wednesday, hosted by my dear friend Gail of Clay And Limestone, seen here on the left. Please check out the other posts presented, you’ll be glad you did. (Above photo credit to JJ.)