Home of the Practically Perfect Pink Phlox and other native plants for pollinators

Monday, January 19, 2009

Good morning, Garden Blogger. Your Mission, Should You Decide To Accept It...

Involves the recovery of beauty, peace and harmony to The Garden of Benign Neglect, the residence of Queen Gaillardia, of Clay and Limestone!

Clearing skies over the Kingdom

Listen carefully to the instructions and familiarize yourself with the players and their relationships. You must follow these instruction; deviating from them could create future problems for Fauna and Flora in the Kingdom of Clay and Limestone.

Residents Flora and Fauna

Years ago an unknown resident invited the Vinca family to the Kingdom. They were charming and offered to help take the burden off the groundskeeper. Little did the Queen know that they had set about creating a network of underground passages to move about undetected. Their goal~~complete dominion over the small, but happy Kingdom. Major Vinca and his minions


Before long Major Vinca and his minions had infiltrated every aspect of the community....Siphoning off the country's meager natural resources for their own uses. Vinca Minor, second in command, even more aggressive then her cousin, has aligned herself with the Bush and Privet families. The very corrupt and once prominent families have been removed from influence. They are bitter and determined to get re-rooted in the community. The Queen finally realized the seriousness of the problem and it's devastating effect upon her subjects. The Queen gets tough and throws out the corrupt families

She set about eradicating the kingdom of these troublesome thugs. The Vincas had been able to plow over all the advisers the Queen placed about the GOBN.

Her good work continues. But the throne is threatened! The throne

The Vincas are aggressive and tenacious! Removing them from the The GOBN has taxed the kingdom and the Queen. She has had little time to think about rebuilding or planning.

That's
were the Impossible Missions Force comes into this story.



Your job, if you decide to accept this mission, is to disrupt the network. The Queen needs plans for placing strongly defended plants throughout the city. She can't do this alone. Your energy, your vision and creativity are needed!

Your team:

Cedaric Glade: He's tough, he rugged....he likes extremes; He's the spirit of this team.

Nativa: She's taprooted to this community....and only needs one name.

Exotica Occasionalie: A disguise expert; she can fit in.

Heady Gardener: Brings the big picture to light.

Good luck Garden Blogger. Should anything happen to you or any member of your team...well, you know what that means!





This video will self compost in five, four, three, two, one......

;-) g

78 comments:

  1. Good morning Gail, HA. It is a mission impossible for that vinca major. Whoever comes forward with the solution, send them over the mountain when they finish at the GOBN. Heady gardener, double HA. This post was inspired, brilliant even! Thanks for the smile this morning. I am hoping to get my new witch hazel planted today. That is my own mission impossible! :-)
    Frances

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  2. I bow to the Queen and her Court. For she rules over the GOBN with a, now wiser, hand.

    There are so many wonderful woodland plants. I am sure you will come up with a great combination to grant you ease of control and the joys of viewing.

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  3. Very good Gail :)

    I have a similar Mission this year. If you substitute Major Vinca with Ivy (coming over the fence from the public land next door and ceaseless in its march across my back garden), then that's what I need to tackle this year!

    It's a dilemma as ivy's so good for insects and birds, but it's out competing my other plants!

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  4. You are so fun! Love the mission impossible and good luck to the queen and especially Nativa with her one name. Too cute!

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  5. Good morning Gail! I share a similar issue. Like VP, we have ivy. Ours comes from our neighbor. We have winter creeper too. The winter creeper's actually ok where it is, and is kept in bounds with occasional trenching to sever the roots followed by pulling it where it's strayed. We do the same with the ivy and that's been working for our current purposes.

    Or so we thought. This summer when the arborvitae hedge planted between ours and said neighbor's houses suddenly started to die, (and now has deteriorated even further with the weight of snow and ice we've experienced this winter.) I think the ivy finally strangled the arborvitaes.

    So anyway, I'll be curious to see what the Mission Impossible team comes up with, as I watch another wall of privacy in our back yard die.

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  6. Happily, the stuff doesn't grow here, sounds like a tough opponent. We are currently battling with garlic mustard which in the end will probably win.
    Marnie

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  7. Marnie,

    Some plants just win! I won't be able to rid this garden of the vinca, but I hope to keep it from further encroaching into the GOBN! Good Luck with the garlic mustard...it's a problem in some counties here, too. Are you warming up a bit up there? gail

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  8. Linda,

    I am so sorry that your privacy is disappearing...this calls for quick thinking. What grows fast and looks good and isn't a problem? That may impossible! We use forsythia...It is pretty, too. Hey gardenbloggers any suggestions?

    Gail

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  9. Tina,

    I am glad you liked it! The ground has been frozen, there are no plants in the nurseries to add to the GOBN and most of the digging (you know I love planting) is for removal purposes! I liked Nativa, too....but Exotica O made me smile.

    I just saw the dusting of snow...just a tiny little bit on the sidewalks.

    Gail

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  10. VP,

    Invasives are us! That's the garden's tag line! Ivy is so strangling of everything in its path, too. Good luck! I am rooting for you~

    Have a good day. gail

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  11. To reveal the solution will also reveal my clandestine past where I planted Vinca among a wooded hillside of Azaleas. I left the country before the complete takeover. Therefore, I must ask you to destroy this comment as soon as it is read.

    This is a dangerous mission and one that requires several steps to wipe out the evil Vinca. Beheading the enemy with a weedwacker is the first step. Then, you'll need to suffocate the culprit to keep it from growing new appendages. Thick layers of cardboard or newspapers will be needed to cover the body. Wet the paper and then cover with several inches of thick mulch. You may have to keep it moist for awhile. It's a slow death and the enemy will still try to find it's way out of the suffocation chamber. It will be difficult to use the space until the mission is accomplished, which can take a few seasons. Wherever it finds light, it will try to re-emerge, so you'll have to be ruthless about pulling any escapees.

    If you just want to imprison the Vinca in one area, you may need to lay down walls to prevent escapees. This enemy will try to tunnel out from under the most secure areas.

    Good luck, Gail.

    Cameron

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  12. Frances,

    Hi there...I am willing to tackle it only so far, mind you! Then it can have the rest of the yard! Is the ground still frozen at Fairegarden? I sure hope not...I know you want to get Arnold's feet firmly in the ground. He's a beauty, too.

    I'll send the team over as soon as they have rested!

    Btw, thanks!

    Gail

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  13. Thanks for starting my week off with a chuckle and some excitement, Gail!

    Looks like one member of the team already has gotten to work with creating plans to suffocate the evil villains. I don't know if I have the necessary skills to join the team but my literary skills bring to mind a quote from George Orwell, "If there's hope it lies with the proles(natives).." If you can get the power back to Nativa and the other natives, you may be able to defeat Villain Vinca.

    Apparently the MI team has lots of other jobs in store, too!

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  14. I'll have to think on this one a bit! Something native that will over take vinca. I'm not sure that there is! You could mow the vinca, rake the vinca, then cover with newspaper and mulch to hopefully beat it down. That may help reduce the amount of vinca pulling you have to do.

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  15. If you reall want to get rid of it, I thing the only thing you can do is mark off 10 x 10 squares and pull, pull, pull. I weeded the entire yard by hand when if first moved here one summer. Strangers would walk up and down the street just to see how far I had gotten with the task.:-) With my back I couldn't do it now, but I did then.--Randy

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  16. Most entertaining! I know you'll come up with a pleasing assortment of plants, Gail. Thanks for the morning smile. :)

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  17. Nancy,

    Thanks...I am chomping at the bit to get out there but...it is still frozen from that arctic blast! Winter is not through with us yet.

    Gail

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  18. Randy,

    I would love to have my 40 year old back...back! Yes, I am pulling a little bit each day! The woman who lived here before me planted the V major in every nook and cranny and it visits from the neighbor's too. Thanks for the encourage and reminding me that a little at a time is best.

    gail

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  19. Gail,

    What a hilarious way to start the day! Thank you. Good to know about the dangers of vinca - I might have ended up in the same boat. Unfortunately I have vine honeysuckle and privet, along with a new tendency to carpal tunnel or it's cousin if I work too long at pulling it out. Good luck from NE Alabama. Barbara

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  20. Dave,

    Nothing can really fight the vinca...I will continue to pull it out. Apparently for the rest of my gardening days! I will try the mowing and smothering! Maybe even some roundup for woody plants! Thank you.

    Gail

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  21. Wow, quite an overwhelming assignment. I think there's only one garden blogger that I know of who could undertake this project! Oh ANNA...

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  22. Rose,

    I do love the quote...my husband will, too. I plan on using natives but really my design senses are coming up empty! I think I need to see plants at the nurseries and get inspired. I could use some visualization skills.

    I hope you are keeping very warm.

    Gail

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  23. Cameron,

    Your message is too important to erase...others must see it, too! I am going to follow your instructions and rid the GOBN of this problem!

    Thanks!

    Gail

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  24. Sending best wishes to the queen to fight the good fight!

    You brought a smile to my face as I read this post, Gail. It's good to see the humor in a bad situation.

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  25. barbara,

    It's an evergreen in the south. The arctic blast didn't even scorch it's leaves! So glad you escaped planting it.

    I am glad to give you a smile today!

    gail

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  26. nancy,

    Thank you. I know it will eventually come to me...that's how it is with non visual folks...but it is a waiting process. In the mean time I will soldier on to rid the yard of vinca, privet, honeysuckle, winter creeper....

    Keep warm and safe Nancy!

    gail

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  27. Cinj,

    Hi there! Oh yes, Anna! Thanks for suggesting her...maybe she's listening!

    You take care up there!

    Gail

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  28. Very fun, Gail. I refer to the read here not the evil vinca. Well, with a team like that the mission should be acceptable to some wise gardener familiar with the landscape... surely.

    I had a similar situation with wild grape vines growing in my back forty for years until I decided to clear it and claim it for more gardening space. I will tell you I didn't even try to plant it out for 3 years following the clearing. It was a meticulous effort to keep those tenacious vines out of there. Lots of oak leaves and grass cuttings piled on the ground... in those days I used Round up without a thought ... and then just old fashioned persistence to pull out starter vines.

    Patience, dear Queen. The key is patience and determination.

    Meems

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  29. Pam,

    It is necessary to laugh at these problems or drive one's self nuts. Glad you stopped by...I loved your post today!

    gail

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  30. All hail Queen Gaillardia! Long may she reign!

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  31. ROFL...ohhh those darn invasives! I'll come help you with today's vinca invasion if you come help me with my elk problem!

    Great post, started my day with a smile and a chuckle, thanks, Kim

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  32. Great post!

    A very good morning chuckle.

    Jen

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  33. Boy, Gail, did I need this today. What a true and humorous post. Mission Impossible indeed! I have that stupid Vinca minor. Hate it! Good luck to you and the queen and king.~~Dee

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  34. That is a really tough mission. I'm not very familiar with Vinca - you need to know your enemy to kill him/her! But I'm sure Major Cameron's and Major Rose's mode of attack would work. Let us know if you were successful. Lemme go study about the enemy and come back into the field.

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  35. dear gail, i am sorry but i feel i must decline the mission seeing as i have no expertise in this area. i hope you will have the best and most diligent agents come to help you on this one, you are gonna need them.

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  36. Ha, good post today Gail! ;) You have a true mission with the elimination of those thuggish villains in the GOBN. I'm sure if anyone can regain her throne and conquer the source of evil you can!

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  37. Well that's a hoot! You're really fueling those creative juices in this cold winter weather. Guess it's better to laugh than to cry, right?! I just put my sick daughter (6) down for a nap and I'm going to sneak outside in the sun for a bit to putter and pick up poop! I HATE not making use of a sunny winter day.

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  38. Well that's a hoot! You're really fueling those creative juices in this cold winter weather. Guess it's better to laugh than to cry, right?! I just put my sick daughter (6) down for a nap and I'm going to sneak outside in the sun for a bit to putter and pick up poop! I HATE not making use of a sunny winter day.

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  39. Gail ..................................... you do KNOW that I will have that bloody theme song runing bare naked in my brain for as many as five days now ??????
    There may be another impossible mission, in the making, coming your way because of this girl !!!!!

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  40. This was so delightful. Reading it was the perfect way to start the day.I read it this morning, and I shared it with friends this afternoon. I can just picture the villains, the Vincas, and the Superheroes.
    :)
    Philip

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  41. So funny, Gail. I have vince major, also. I planted it 12 yrs. ago in an empty backyard...and now it's in my garden area, Each year I get out there and pull away those sturdy green vines. It's a love-hate relationship I have with it. It covers a lot of brown ground out in my backyard, which is good; but it invades my garden area and gets in the ways of the plants. Yes, I think one of the best things you can do is pull it out! From what I know about you, and from what I told you about me, we both have serious back and neck issues (at least I do) so I'm limited now in how much I can actually do. Yes...I want that 40 yr old body and strength again! What happened to it and where it went is a mystery to me:/ Good luck with finding a way to eradicate it. Let me know if you come up with a viable solution other than sheer strength and determination:) Jan

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  42. Count me in as a soldier to any invasive critters ... and I have many ... trust that you are not alone, dear Captain!

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  43. Great post!

    But, I'm afraid I'll have to decline the mission due to the two Vincas persisting from our old landscape. They're now distinctly diminished, but ready to pop up at a moment's notice. And they'll creep back from the neighbor's yard when we're not noticing.

    Personally, even though I'm basically Ms. Organic by inclination, I'd keep pulling, but in really bad spots where that doesn't suffice, I'd recommend to the Queen that she consider painting cut-stems with glyphosate to kill the roots!

    I can't think of ANY natives that would outcompete Vinca once it's established!

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  44. IKW,

    I know I have to pull and poison...doesn't that sound just awful! There are a few wonderful wildflowers that are able to push their way through! Not many.

    I said this earlier but Invasives are Us! is not far off the mark in some of our gardens. Good luck in your own!

    gail

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  45. Joey,

    You dear! Bring the desserts and we won;'t put you to work!

    Gail

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  46. Jan,

    Yes we are pulling it out...Once the ground unfreezes...another night or two of sub freezing temps and then in the fifties. I have lower back issues....and there is some lifting and pulling I ought not do. Like all the stones. Once the soil warms up I will stretch out there and rest my back between lifting and toting! I hear you...and really miss my 40 yr old back strength. I will let you know right away should I find the vinca cure! Take care. Gail

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  47. Phillip B,

    You are being very kind...just don't tell me you said..."Look at this crazy blogger from Tennessee!" But I am glad you got a few smiles from it;-) I will by to see your blog tomorrow...I bet it's a good post. gail

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  48. Joy,

    I am really sorry! Really...let me think of another song to have running in your head...HMMM! My brain is experiencing brain fog right now! Yikes...

    Gail

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  49. Diana,

    The greenhouse...with warm sun streaming in the windows and all those delightful blooming plants!

    It sounds wonderful, aside from the sick sweetie pie. I hope she's feeling better now! and the cleaning up poop!

    Gail

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  50. Jen,

    Glad you liked it...the vinca is unlikable!


    gail

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  51. Racquel,

    I shall keep up the good fight! Have you any invasives in your yard?

    Gail

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  52. marmee,

    I would pass on it too if I could! I wonder if the guys who removed the honeysuckle want to come back for this job!

    gail

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  53. Chandramouli,

    Yes...gardenbloggers always have the best ideas! I will let you all know what works.

    gail

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  54. Watch your back, Gail. I'm sure you'd be the type to say, oh, it's ok and then proceed to over-do it! Be careful and take help!

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  55. Meems,

    You are right...patience is my friend here. Patience and vigilance. Patience, vigilance, determination and hard work! Maybe it would be easier to move;-)
    But seriously...it will take all of those to get rid of the invasives. But worth it to have control of my gardening space. The invasives are all over the parks here...winter creeper is the worst.

    I am glad to stopped by to encourage me on!

    gail

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  56. Cindy,

    The Queen is pooped just thinking about the battle ahead of her.

    Gail

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  57. Dee,

    I think a salesman came through the Southern states and sold homeowners on vinca in the fifties and sixties...it is everywhere here and now is on the noxious weed list. Still they sell it and winter creeper at the big box stores.

    The Queen wishes the King like to garden, she could use his stronger back!

    Take care and have a good week,

    gail

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  58. KIm,

    Having popped over to see the Elk...I will pass on helping out! They are really big guys...I mean really big...Gizmo even stayed away from them.

    I wish the deer would eat the vinca and leave my plants alone!

    Gail

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  59. Hi Gail,
    you said
    "just don't tell me you said..."Look at this crazy blogger from Tennessee"
    No...but I did not tell you the whole story. We took on the superhero plant personalities and we agreed that in our gallery Bruce was Cedaric, everyone chimed in and said I was the Heady gardener, and Pam said she was Nativa by day, and Exotica at night!
    Oh my!
    You gave us a lot of fun.
    :)
    Philip

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  60. Gail, what fun. I am amazed how well you carried the theme through to the end-I smiled all the way through.

    Like the Queen, I planted vinca minor a few years ago thinking to reduce the area to mulch and helping keep weeds down. Now, every spring, I have to trim, pull, and dig to keep it out of my other plants. So if the MI team comes up with a better solution, I will be thrilled. Good luck with the mission!

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  61. Phillip,

    That is priceless and I have ben laughing my head off! MY stomach hurts, I've been laughing so hard. Surely that will count as ab work! You've made my day for certain. Thanks for telling the whole story!

    Gail

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  62. Beckie,

    I am glad you enjoyed it...it take take a few days of letting it sit in draft before I was able to finish it!

    Little did we know when we all planted helpful ground covers to reduce maintenance...that we just gave ourselves another maintenance job with managing them! So many opportunities to learn life lessons in the garden!

    I am going to try the pull, trim, smother method first!

    Gail

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  63. Ha! And I have a client that has tried to grow it for several years now.

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  64. A wonderful post of Mission Impossible! You had me laughing and when the video was clicked, I about fell off my chair with more laugher! Good Luck in the Enchanted Kingdom…

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  65. I've been battling buckthorn for many years now... does that count?

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  66. Carolyn Gail,

    Oh does that make me chuckle...as does this story of my neighbor a northern transplant. She refused the columbine seedlings I offered as invasive, but had planted vinca all over her garden beds. Sometimes we have to bite out tongues!

    Gail

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  67. Skeeter,

    Thank you...I wasn't sure how the video might work!
    had to copy it with the lens facing the blank wall...other wise you would have a good look at Tom Cruise! Tom is not my vision of the IM team leader.

    Gail

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  68. Monica,

    Yes it does...it's the corrupt and evil family in your kingdom!

    Gail

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  69. Hi Gail....this had me laughing for all the wrong reasons. I planted both Vincas here to cover a horrible part of the garden....did it spread...no. Did it take over the garden....no. Did it spread into nextdoors garden and take over their space.....yes. Fortunately my neightbours are not gardeners and love it......

    Great post though.....really loved it......

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  70. Too cute. I was just in VA for MLK weekend and I spied some in my friends garden. She is new to garden and makes the mistake newbies often make...fill me up fast, Vinca Major will do just that. Then they get new missions!

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  71. Cheryl,


    That is funny...and weren't you lucky on all accounts! It can be a problem but it also can cover a ugly spot in no time at all!

    So glad you stopped by!

    Gail

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  72. Helen,

    Impossible ones! Did you say anything or like me keep it to yourself! In my case there was no way my neighbor would want to hear what I had to say!

    I have a lot of work ahead of me!

    gail

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  73. You got me and my husband laughing !
    Little wacky huh :)
    Fun post.

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  74. Very Cute! You just keep hopping back there... I'm just watching, listening, and waiting. ;-)

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  75. How did I miss this wonderfully clever post? I am rooting for the restoration of the Happy Kingdom!! Vinca is a testament to "too much of a good thing" at C&L, isn't it? It doesn't misbehave like that in my garden but it's planted in a restricted area (with the house on one side & sidewalk on the other) so it really can't mount a full on invasion. Best of luck removing it Gail. and thanks for the brilliantly written post that gave me a good chuckle.

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  76. I swear, I never knew gardeners were so funny until I started blogging. This is a hoot!

    You might try Cameron's suggestion. I did that years ago with Johnson grass, which is tenacious. It worked but I didn't have as big an area as you do. Best of luck on your mission!

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  77. We don't have such problems in NC--the perfect state. And I'm a size 6. And I never have bugs or mildew or aphids. It's love all day long and sometimes all night too. Won't you join me? Leave your court and jester? Who is your jester btw? Is it jester or jestor? Just like I can't remember complement or compliment. I do know the difference in blue and blew. OH we got off topic and I never do that either.

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Let us be grateful to people who make us happy;
they are the charming gardeners
who make our souls blossom.


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