My backyard is a challenge for me in that it is a semi-tropical jungle back there. Over the years, I have dealt with over growths of all sorts of plants. My most hated is the hybrid blue morning glory vine that tries to smother everything. I tear it out by the truckload only to see it growing through the grass to strangle yet another plant. Seed companies sell the seeds as annuals. They are…in the Arctic Circle and the Dakotas where the roots freeze in winter. Here in Southeast Texas, they are a perennial pestilence, killing even the small wild morning glories I love.
Beyond that, I have made peace with another wild flower, the common lantana that blooms to provide nectar and pollen to bees and butterflies. The lantanas are more easily contained than the vines and provide food for the Mockingbirds. The mockers relish the black berries that follow the lovely pink and yellow flowers. The bushes provide privacy from the parking lot next door.
Other plants grow where they want at such a rate that I cannot keep them cut back or ripped out. Pondering the need to tear out a patch of plants rife with seed, I noticed my loud bird neighbors, the Mockers, bobbing about in the bushes, gobbling the tiny berries. Hmmm… Weeds or food for the birds? That is the question. Right now, they are food. Next week they may be piled out front for the City to haul away to the municipal composting grounds.
In this jungle there are lions, leopards, panthers, and tigers who lounge in the yard chairs and occasionally pounce at birds and lizards. I try to manage this crop too, but they are wily creatures who wriggle their way into the fabric of life at my place and bloom among the weeds and wonders.
I risk the same issue with my yard. This is the third summer since we tore out our grass to allow for a riot of colorful perennials. There are masses of sweet williams and pincushion flowers that came up from seed and somehow they are all over the garden. I am trying to bring some order to it but by next year i don’t think there will be any bare spots.