Rooting for a Lovely Garden!

Another burst of warm spring sunshine seems to have sent all of the neighbourhood into the garden. Looking at ours and the thought of the work ahead is very daunting but today I decided that I needed to focus little by little on the garden closest to the front door. All part, I suppose of the idea of “entrance” and having a pleasant vista to return to at the end of the day.

On first appraisal the flower bed or “bordure” nearest the garden gate was just a raggle of weeds and I was hoping for an easy half-hour to clear the bed. Then I spotted some pretty blue flowers and took one in to identify. The news wasn’t great. While pretty, the vincus minor or periwinkle is a bit of a pest, and judging by the lack of any established flowers, with the exception of one very fragile and straggly rose, the bed was riddled with its root system.

vinca minor

An afternoon later I am not exactly flushed with success, but the “bordure” is much clearer than before. I managed to bend the prongs in of my brand-new garden fork in the process when the vinca-minor root system was not the only one I tried to uproot. I had a pretty eventful time with the roots of our fig tree too.WP_20150322_007

Some are still in the ground blissfully unaware of their impending rendez-vous with “Husband à l’etranger”. “Husband à l’etranger” is blissfully unaware too,  – well he was until just about now!WP_20150322_009

But to be fair, I did put in quite an effort filling the wheelie-bin full of roots,WP_20150322_010

Who would have believed that one flower bed could contain so many ? But since they self -root from runners under the ground, any roots left in will stunt all other flowers placed in the bed.

After calling it quits on the roots, it was fabulous to look at the first of the spring flowers in other parts of the garden.


WP_20150322_003But the slight chill of the early evening brought me back to thoughts of lighting the fire, and helping myself to a glass of wine.

WP_20150322_004But before I go, perhaps some of you are able to identify some of the following. Perhaps I have more hardwork in store rooting these out as well….



WP_20150322_013or perhaps I shall just invest in a pig and put an end to all this “cochonerrie” (slang for mess) once and for all!

After all I have these great little urns to deal with, and that’s much more fun!WP_20150322_011



4 thoughts on “Rooting for a Lovely Garden!

  1. Hi – your house and garden look fascinating, plenty to keep you busy but very rewarding.

    I think the first picture is Arum maculatum (Lords and Ladies) which has orange berries (poisonous) in the autumn. Relatively easy to dig up, sort of tuber rather than rooty. There is a much more attractive version Arum italicum var. marmoratum which has variegated leaves.

    The second picture is possibly cow parsley, but it’s hard to tell at that stage of growth – it’s the same family as carrots and parsley (and hemlock so under no circumstances try eating it!). They have a tap root, so at least the roots don’t spread but the seeds….!!!

    The last one looks like celandine and I’m afraid this one is more in the Vinca category with spreading root tubers. In it’s defense it does have a lovely yellow flower and dies back after flowering in April/May.

    Good luck with all your projects!


    Temporary resident of Le Havre (3 years) but now back in blighty


    • Thank you so much for telling me what these plants are. You are absolutely right about the Celandine, the yellow flowers popped up a few days later. I think you are right on all counts, the first plant is very Arum-like, and the second defintely looks like a variant of the carrot. Thanks so much for your comments.


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