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Rosebay Willow Herb and Space Filling plants...

Discussion in 'NEW Gardeners !' started by Sally Parker, May 8, 2018.

  1. Sally Parker

    Sally Parker Gardener

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    Our garden has plenty of open spaces where nothing has been planted and Rosebay Willowherb is sprouting up EVERYWHERE and we've heard (And can tell!) that it is very prolific and spreads like wildfire!! Our back garden is partly a wildlife garden so we've just let it go really, except for a few small trees and shrubs we have planted in the last year and a half, since we have been living here. There is also lots of Love-in-the-Mist growing, in amongst the Willowherb and we love this, so don't want to dig out the Willowherb because we will then have to dig out a lot of the Love-in-a-Mist too. We don't really mind the Willowherb that much, as long as it doesn't out compete or choke any other plants. We also have a mint growing madly too, which hasn't been contained in any way and strawberries aswell!! :oopss:

    So, we really need some ideas for a few more plants which have a good spread, which will help to prevent weeds like the Willowherb, Nipplewort etc., coming back every year. We already have a couple of English Lavenders and some Borage growing, but these are very small at the moment and there's lots more room in the back for more plants. In the front, we do have a couple of similar types of Geranium which spread well, a couple of Pulmonarias and a Bergenia, but again these are all small at the moment.

    Any other ideas for plants that give good ground cover please?? It's our first ever garden and it is in three parts (Middle part is quite small though), so quite a large area to maintain and I'm sure we have done lots wrong and made some bad decisions with it, but everything does seem to be growing very, very well (Especially the weeds!!!!) :biggrin:

    Our soil is quite sandy and we get a lot of sun on most parts of the garden for a lot of the day (Although we do have some areas which are extremely shady, but not as much as sunny!)
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2018
  2. Sheal

    Sheal Total Gardener

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    Willowherb is a prolific self seeder Sally and the seeds are blown from the plant on the wind (like a Dandelion) which is why it spreads rapidly. If you remove the dead flower heads before they seed that will help keep it under control. Left to it's own devices it will take over your garden.

    Vinca is good for ground cover but again it needs to be controlled. Aubretia or as it's now known Aubrieta covers well and a few plants will give it a good start. Available in several colours too. Many rockery/alpine plants are good to spread also, so it's worth checking those out and most are happy in sandy soil. :)
     
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    • Mike Allen

      Mike Allen Gardener

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      Lucky you that you have the space. Yes. Willowherb is at times a pain, however it really is such a beautiful plant. It doesn't only multiply by seed, it also uses stolons to spread. It is much appreciated by some of the Hawk Moths. The caterpiller of the Elephant Hawk moth loves it, an interesting species to study. As a gardeners enemy, it can be harmful to Fuchsias, often being blamed for fuchsia rust.
       
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        Last edited: May 9, 2018
      • Marley Farley

        Marley Farley Affable Admin! Staff Member

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        You are probably going to hate me for saying this but Rosebay willow herb is one of my most favourite wildflowers.. I have a small patch in the lane in front of me and I keep it in check by removing spent flowerheads before they go to seed.. ;)
         
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        • Fern4

          Fern4 Total Gardener

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          I like rosebay willowherb too. I've got a large patch of it doing very nicely. :biggrin:
           
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          • Sally Parker

            Sally Parker Gardener

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            Thanks for all the replies! :)

            I do like it too, it is a pretty plant, but I was just worried about it taking over the garden! So will remove spent flower heads before they go to seed.

            I think I saw a Hawk Moth Caterpillar last year, it was really pretty!
             
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