Battle of the Boulevard

Purple is my favorite color; you’d think that purple flowers would be my favorites as well. And for the most part, you’d be correct, except for the aromatic little purple flowers that are taking over my front boulevard.  Creeping charlie, also known as ground ivy, creeping Jenny, catsfoot and run-away-robin, is the bane of my existence.

In general I don’t care for ground cover unless it only covers the ground that I want it to cover. Unfortunately that’s not how ground cover works. I think of it as a virus that I’ve caught. I’ve gotten plants from so many places, that I’m not even sure where I caught the virus but based on where I first noticed it, it probably came from something I purchased at Bachmans. Tsk tsk.

I tried the easier poisonous route last summer and not only did it poison one of my peonies, it didn’t really work. So this summer is the battle of YA and I against the CC. On Sunday we spent about 5 hours weeding and half of that was an all out attack on the purple menace on the boulevard. I did the tedious around-the-flowers/bushes weeding while YA went for a more scorched-earth policy of ripping up whole chunks of sod, roots and shoots and all.  We talked about the fact that we’ll have to do this all summer and probably some of next summer as well.  YA must have concurred; I came home today to find a pile of CC pulled from the side of the house near our raspberries.  So I guess it’s official – it’s the two of us versus the creeping charlie!

When have you had to do battle?

97 thoughts on “Battle of the Boulevard”

  1. Rise and Soldier On, Baboons!

    Oh, dear. You asked me the question about doing battle, VS, which may make you sorry. I fear I was born to do battle. My sister says I am a born Crusader. Unfortunately for my mother, my first and longest Crusade was against her as the enemy. I decided that she expected far too much in many ways (true), then formed a labor union comprised of me and my two siblings.

    “Resist,” I said. “Resist!”

    My sister cowered. My brother distracted with clownish antics. I forged ahead,figurative sword in hand.

    Now fast forward 50 years. During 2016/2017 I formed a professional organization comprised of people and organizations which do the kind of psychotherapy I also do. This therapy, DBT, is evidence based and effective. And now, regulated. The purpose of the organization I formed is to share information and cooperate with each other to work with the State Department of Human Services to problem-solve about the barriers we find in the system and promote recruitment and training of new practitioners. The barriers are many. DHS is also a powerful ally which can promote us and trip us up.

    I am trying not to just resist, but to problem-solve, while letting DHS know we are a presence to be recognized and respected. So far it is working really well. I hope I am using more sophisticated Crusader techniques than I did when I was 12 years old.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I battled and quit….me against hosta. So now…unless I locate dedicated hosta lovers willing to battle their feircly entwined roots…I let them just exist….probably invading but I don’t have the strength for battle anymore.

    (I DO battle when they come anywhere NEAR my Yellow Ladyslippers!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. i may be that hosta lover and i do love doing battle with hosta roots.
      i would love to come and lift and separate as jane russel used to say.
      my sisters front lawn was transformed and receives additional loving contriobutions as i go on my hosta collection adding from a nomadic location.

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  3. I tried doing battle one year against The Plantain in the back yard. Managed to get it to where there was more grass than plantain, and then forgot about it, and guess what – it came back even more the next year. I gave up and moved to Winona.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. I have loved wildflowers since I was a little girl, and I still do. Plants that most gardeners scoff at and try to eradicate from their gardens are welcome in mine. So, about thirty-five years ago I decided to establish a wildflower garden in my back yard.

    I deliberately planted wild ginger, Jack in the pulpit, May apple, lupine (which for some reason won’t grow there), and they’re all fine. To my everlasting regret, I also planted Virginia waterleaf. What was I thinking? For good measure, some years later I broadcast a packet or two of wildflower seeds. What a brilliant move that was! I now have Queen Ann’s lace, oxeye daisies, bachelor buttons, poppies and columbines popping up everywhere. Interspersed with purple bell flowers and creeping Charlie, which to my defense I didn’t plant, my landscape is now a random mess dominated by Virginia waterleaf, a plant I might add, that isn’t even pretty. If you need additional evidence of just how clueless I am with regard to gardening: For years the pretties small tree in my yard was a buckthorn. I didn’t plant it, it was already there, but I really loved that little tree with it’s dark green foliage and almost black berries.

    For years I tried to eradicate the Virginia waterleaf, but I’ve given up. It’s a battle I’m clearly not going to win without resorting to heavy duty poisons, and that’s not a weapon I’m willing to deploy.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Hope your eyesight remains good. I had the same plan in mind, but by the time I retired I could no see well enough to be able to do it.

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  5. We are off to MOA and the Crayola Experience with our two children and three grandchildren, which may be about the last outing we have together ever.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. For non-plant battles, I often do battle with myself, i.e. trying to obey some new eating regimen that I have decided upon, or getting myself to bed earlier. And then there are countless little battles with Husband, of course, and I’ve learned to “pick my battles” and focus which things are really important. Back when we were in the thick of it with some members of Husand’s family, I didn’t do battle as much as stood my ground.

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  7. i have two eco friendlier attempts for you. there is a weed killer made of vinegsar and hot sauce that is eco friendly and it simply burns the plant up. i got it from a guy and dont know where it is sold. my guess is that the home made recipe is online and would work fime and costco sell a monster bottle of hot sauce (so does aldi for avbout 5 dollare and vinegar is a buck a gallon. put those two in a spray bottle and you are in business
    option two is burn the plant up. there is a weed torch that is a big scary thing and about 50-100 dollars that will do but i suspect any bernzomatic torch will due. when you put a torch flame on a plant it destroys the cells and the plant dioes and does not repopulate according . do not try this with ponderosa pine ala yellowstone. the ponderosa pine requires a fire to heat and begin the growth process. that is why a forest fire in yellowstone startsnew growth immediatley. its cool but i think ponderosa pine on your boulavard may not be what you are after.

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      1. My notions of lawn management were always complicated by my sense that “perfect” lawns reflected the same conformist notions that I disliked in hair (cross-reference this with my recent comments about close-cropped hair). Given my druthers, my lawn would have been free and wild. Further complicating the issue was my fondness for a neighbor who was both a very nice man and a Lawn Nazi who forced his lawn to behave and suppressed weeds chemically as Assad suppresses political opposition.

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        1. I’ve seen Barb in Blackhoof’s goats munching – I’m pretty sure my flowers would go before the creeping Charlie!

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  8. Our yard is a springtime homage to the Vikings, with creeping charlie and dandelions crowding out nearly everything else. I’ve managed to conquer most of the dandelions in the front yard, but have left them alone in the back, since I read that the bees like them, and we do need to keep the bees. Our whole neighborhood is a veritable field of creeping charlie and a neighbor informed us that it’s all thanks to a previous owner of our house! Martha went to northern Minnesota on vacation one year and fell in love with CC. She brought some home to beautify her (our) yard and it took over with a vengence. Stronger folk than I have attempted eradication without success; far be it for me to think I have a chance against it. CC will live on at this address.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I do battle with Snow on the Mountain, which is invasive and smelly. I also battle tomato blight and cabbage butterflies.

    The domestic abuser across the street still has his Trump campaign sign prominently displayed in his front yard. I should like to do battle about this, but haven’t arrived at a clever first move.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When we first moved into our house 38 years ago, Snow on the Mountain, a few hosta, and a hedge of peonies were pretty much the extent of the landscaping. I ripped out the Snow on the Mountain, and have managed to keep it mostly at bay. Wouldn’t mind it if it weren’t so stinky. Because of where it was planted, it is very limited how far it can get out of hand, and for that I’m grateful.

      I have an elderly gentleman who “helps” me with gardening chores. He knows even less about gardening than me. Last summer I discovered that he had ripped out all of my various thyme plants. I could have cried. I had nurtured them along for years, and in one fell swoop he had removed every last one of them. He just shrugged. His “help” is costing me a lot more than the $15/hr I’m paying him.

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        1. Maybe I could say it was an accident. We have rather strong winds out here. I could claim it just drifted across the street.

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      1. a border to the east if he lives on the east side so the westward wind would accomplish the deed. if not and he lives to the west maybe you could make a gift to the neighbor on the other side and volunteer to help plant a beautiful border of snow on the mountain for them one saturday in may

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  10. I was always a “make love, not war” kind of guy who went far out of his way to avoid doing battle. One significant exception was a long, passionate but somewhat covert battle with my boss about how I should do my job. I ultimately lost in that conflict. Because his position was so unreasonable, his victory was fatal to us both and fatal to the business we both sought to defend. When the final curtain came down it was like the conclusion of a Shakespearean tragedy with bodies littering the stage.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. i argue more than the average guy i think.
    i feel passionately about whatever is in my head at the moment
    i often regret taking such a strong stand at one moment and not remembering i felt that way a month later.
    i am working a little bit with my inner demons to overcome this battle but the damn demons are pretty set in their ways
    i had a confrontation with a guy over here in china i am giving a big order to and he was difficult online to deal with. when i got here he is difficult in person too. we yelled at each other pretty much a solid 2 hours and i asked the boss to come in. i am told the boss is very mild mannered but the reason my guy was difficult on my issues was because the boss told him to be. i had to yell with the boss outside the office while waiting for my driver to come as the boss finally gave in and agreed for the big picture to do what i asked.
    sometimes fighting is better than settling i find
    you can always search for plan b if plan a sucks for certain

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  12. Personally I think green goutweed is more objectionable than creeping charlie, or waterleaf, for that matter. But with some weedy plants, I figure I might as well just resign myself to living with them. They have more energy than I do.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s what I decided to do. A long time ago I decided to dig up all the dandelions in the yard (what was I thinking). I was going to work my way through the yard systematically. That was a losing battle(and didn’t last long) and now I have creeping charlie, too, and I try to keep it from choking out the plants I do want, but otherwise I have a live and let live policy with creeping charlie, dandelions, plantain, and other weeds. My energy is better used elsewhere and fighting a losing battle is demoralizing and exhausting.

      Liked by 2 people

  13. Morning all. Hopefully it’s pretty wherever baboons are today – lovely here in the Twin Cities, although still a bit chilly this morning. I’m off to do more battle w/ my creeping charlie this morning. Thanks for all the suggestions yesterday.

    What are your plans for the weekend?

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    1. We all plan to come to your house with lawn chairs to watch this battle. It should be better than football.

      In truth, I am moving my office furniture today to the new office. Only a month until I am spending all my time at the new job.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I see a lawn ornament idea here. Perhaps a baboon in a lawn chair ornament would be as popular as pink flamingos.

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    2. Exciting stuff here. Planning my weekend around the weather forecast. I have already washed and hung up to dry two large loads of laundry. This afternoon/early evening I will do some yard work. There shouldn’t be too much of that – for the first time EVER I did a bang up job of yard cleanup in the fall last year, so it’s not too bad. Cut down the dead tops of plants, assess the winter damage so I can start planning what to get at the plant sale, spread some or all of the chicken manure I got from Ben. That should be enough for today.

      Rain forecast for tomorrow, so it will be a good time to clean the bathrooms and catch up with my paperwork which has piled up for a few weeks. And if the rain isn’t a downpour, maybe go out shooting.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yard work report: I didn’t get around to spreading the manure, but I got the cleanup done, at least good enough for now. Oh, who am I kidding, it’s good enough, period. Winter Survival rate was dismal: guess how many herbs survived the winter?

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  14. Going to the Climate March for Sustainability, visit my mom, help out if needed at the local indy bookstore, watch next episode of Call the Midwife Season 3, go to UU meeting Sunday a.m., then to friend Walken’s to make brunch there. I have a feeling there’s something else Sunday but I’m afraid to look.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. OT: Happy Saturday, Baboons. This isn’t my story to post, but I do want to call your attention to an article on kid-friendly architecture that is running in today’s Strib. The architect is my sister’s younger boy, Steve Kuhl. Steve has a wonderfully childlike sense of fun, and it shows in homes he has designed. Some of you might remember the home that had the pirate ship in one bedroom. Anyway, check out the article. You’ll smile.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was hoping for more pictures of the hidden spaces – and, a little less advertising by other homebuilders! Steve also installed a 100′ long zip line outside. He built the house with a special door on the second floor just to open up to a rope swing bridge out to a tree house he’s now designing. Those are two very lucky kids.

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      1. If you open a “private window” in firefox or “incognito window” in chrome, I think you can get a few more articles per month. Not that I would ever cheat like that or anything.

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        1. just ticks me off
          i read mn post and the st paul paper instead
          i wonder how much revenue they get vs what they would get form advertisers if the paper had a circulation of a couple million because it was free.
          run a model like pandora where its free if you pay and loaded with ads if you dont

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  16. I was a warrior in the 60s. I immersed myself into the civil rights movement, teaching black history, coordinating a huge rummage sale to bring suburbanites and inner city blacks together. What was “rummage” to us was a treasure to them. My goals were to involve whites with blacks and to raise enough money to build a playground for their kids. The big thing back then was to march, but I preferred working behind the scenes. It was such a tumultuous era. Between the Viet Nam protests, civil rights, and assassinations, it felt as though the country was spinning out of control. Now, once again, it feels like this.

    Last week in the Strib, there was an article about two older women who’ve formed an activist/resistance group for women over 60 to push back on the nightmare of Trump. It’s half a century later, but my warrior spirit has come back to life now. What’s different this time around, however, is that millions around the globe are joining in the fight for the soul of this great country as well. On January 21st, 4.5 million around the world marched in solidarity – the largest recorded protest in history. I now see the value of marching: it creates a visual for the whole world to see just how many of us are distraught.

    Liked by 3 people

  17. Doing battle today with the grass and weeds in the strawberry bed. Found what appears to be a deserted but recently occupied hole for wintering rabbits. Now we will have to battle bunnies in the berries.

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  18. I ended up taking the chainsaw out today as well to chop up some big branches that Xcel left in the backyard during the winter. Trip to the hardware store. Then rewarded myself with some work in my studio!

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      1. Little Cinco de Mayo cards & candies for work, May baskets for the neighborhood, toppers for wine bottles (when taken as host gifts) and a variety of cards.

        Liked by 1 person

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