Duelling plants

I spent several hours today working in the flowerbed alongside the pond. Most of my time was spent rooting out the Creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia ‘Aurea’) from other perennial plants.

While I love the way the Creeping Jenny frames the pond and its foliage contrasts beautifully with other plants, I can’t let it travel unchecked.

One method I have discovered for keeping it under control is to plant the Jenny alongside Sedum spurium, and let the two of them compete for the available space. Neither plant wants to lose any of its territory, so they seem to reach a stalemate which keeps both of them happy and me as well.

And I’ll sign off for the night with a picture of the Lewisia – a few more flowers have opened … as the flowers age, they turn an interesting orange-pinkish colour. I just hope I don’t have dreams of Creeping Jenny taking over the garden …

14 thoughts on “Duelling plants

  1. Clare says:

    It was clever of you to plant the Creeping Jenny (another great name) next to the Sedum Spurium to let them duke it out — it’s like they’re people having to learn to live together in close quarters! I like watching trees do the same thing, where one bends out of its way to avoid the branches of the other tree. It’s fascinating to me! 🙂

  2. Pam says:

    We have Sedum growing unchecked all over our stone walls, and I love it. We are not gardeners, most of what we have pretty much takes care of itself, like hostas, but we love the green.My daughter and her husband and my stepson’s wife, however, have gorgeous gardens, they never cease to amaze me.

  3. jodi says:

    Every time I go to your blog, dear Kate, I learn something new. I was surprised to find out that L. n. ‘aurea’ was a territorial beast, because so often gold-foliaged plants are a little more shy. I think I killed it in our garden (but then again, I’m not ENTIRELY sure where I planted it, and some things still aren’t up. Love your solution, too. Bliss! Bliss! Joy! The yellow trillium poked its head up overnight. It won’t flower for a while yet, but it made it through the winter. Now you’ve got me wanting to try Lewisia again…naughty girl, you!

  4. Abby Creek Art says:

    I love that name…”creeping Jenny”. That little vixen likes to be in control!Beautiful shot of the pink and orange flowers. I seem to be very attracted to those colors right now as they pop up in just about every painting I do. :)xoxo

  5. Kate says:

    Clare – I came upon that trick by accident. If I want to grow plants that spread enthusiastically, I grow them side by side. They seem to spend their time fighting for their territory and not spreading so much in other directions. Pam – I think Sedum growing on stone walls is a beautiful sight. I have become a green lover too … all the different values of green and the texture of different plants. Mary – I have a devious mind!Jodi – So far as I can tell, both the green and yellow-leaved versions of Jenny travel equally as happily. Trying to pick it out of the emerging hostas and bugbane was no fun. I had heard that the yellow Jenny was less of a traveller, but not in my garden. I am really happy to hear that the yellow Trillium survived the winter …. will be awaiting pics!And good for you if you try Lewisia again. Just pack it with pebbles and rocks so that the rosette doesn’t touch the ground! AbbyCreekArt – Creeping Jenny is a little vixen and likes to roam far afield from where she’s supposed to stay. I love your recent paintings with the pinks and reds … they are wonderful!!

  6. A wildlife gardener says:

    One way of growing the creeping Jenny is to plant it in a tall barrel and let it cascade down the sides…

  7. Annie in Austin says:

    The Creeping Jenny grows like mad in my Austin, TX garden, then retreats when the weather turns hot, so its spread has been gradual. Kate, you have me wondering what would happen if some creeping sedum made life more interesting for Jenny. I like your idea! Our native Gregg’s Mistflower can move fast. I made one long bed with fellow natives and sometimes thugs, Monarda, Physostegia, Malvaviscus and ‘Katy’ Ruellia, and let them mix it up. The butterflies think it’s a fine idea.Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  8. chigiy says:

    Kate,Good idea putting the creeping Jenny next to the sedum. I’m jealous that you have a pond. I have the skeleton of a pond that I have been waiting to finish. Unfortunately money is limited these days so it’s filled with grass and weeds.

  9. shirl says:

    Hi Kate,Gosh these plants are blasts from the past! I too remember the creeping of Jenny. My solution was to grow it on the edge of my pond but from memory that just slowed it down! I have never thought of letting plants fight it out – what a clever idea.Lovely Lewisia…… I have grown many over the years, slightly tilted to keep the wet from rotting the rosettes, in pockets between rocks in my rock gardens. I have none now but I always remember them fondly with a smile 🙂

  10. Blackswamp_Girl says:

    That lewisia is gorgeous, Kate! I love your philosophy on letting the two aggressors duke it out in the garden. Great idea. 🙂

  11. Curtis says:

    Kind of like English Ivy and Monkey gras/Mondo grass. My mother has them growing together and they seem to blend in well. I always find new ideas for my garden by coming here and learn alot.

  12. Kate says:

    Simon, if push comes to shove, the creeping jenny will likely win just because it can root itself right over most anything. But it won’t be an easy victory. Wildlife Gardener – That is an excellent idea. Since I have so many pieces of Jenny, I should try putting some in pots. I truly like the foliage.Annie – I didn’t realise that Creeping Jenny would die back in heat … it doesn’t do that here, but then we don’t have the kind of heat that you do. Your mention of Physostegia reminded me of my futile efforts to eradicate it from my first flowerbed. Now that is a plant that could travel – I quite like calling them thugs. Putting them together in a flowerbed is an excellent idea. Each can hold their own!! Chigiy – Whenever you get to making your pond, I have great ideas for plants to try. Ponds are a lot of work, but they are worth the hassle … especially if you have fish. Everyone loves watching the fish lazily swim about. Shirl – I’m glad the Jenny and Lewisia brought back memories. It’s near impossible to stop Jenny from spreading especially around ponds … it grows and grows. When I clean out the pond in autumn, I find long, trailing bits of Jenny all the way along to the bottom of the pond. That is the best way to plant Lewisia – at an angle and surrounded by rocks. Any excess moisture and the plants rot. Blackswamp Girl – I thought of you at the garden centre when I saw huge asparagus plants and wondered if you had decided where to grow them. When the Lewisia has a few more blooms, I will post another pic. It is such a beautiful plant!

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