Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Violets Are Not (!) Shy

Have I said this before? Well it's worth repeating. Violets are aggressive little thugs who will take over a flower bed the second your back is turned.

They have thick, knobby, rhizomes that spread just beneath the surface, connected to strong, deep gripping roots. They are hard to pry out. The rhizomes snap off easily, so that just when you have a clump almost levered out, "pop!"- it breaks leaving chunks of roots behind. And any bits left will just pick up and go to town, all the happier for a good thinning.

After a a struggle of an hour or so I cleared out a spot approximately one foot square. When I came back a week or so later, what did I find?

Wall to wall carpeting of violet seedlings.


Anonymous said...

My husband has waged an on-again, off-again war on the violets in our front yard in Minneapolis. Personally, I LIKE them in the lawn. But I would have a hard time enduring them in a flower bed. You have my sympathies. The only way to truly get rid of them is to paint their little leaves with Round Up in late summer.

Annie Pazoo said...

Yeah, at this point, I just try to enjoy the flowers while they're blooming. They seem to spread everywhere in the lawn (I never realizes they were rhizomes...guess that explains their persistence and spread-i-ness...)

Elizabeth said...

Yes, I used to think they were so pretty, but I've seen them take over and eliminate some other plantings when I wasn't paying attention. Garden bullies, they are!