A bit out of control

The edge of the koi pond is getting a bit out of control. Not all of it, but of one hundred twenty feet of stone partially submerged in the pond, a section of perhaps thirty feet of mixed irises has been infiltrated by Japanese silt grass and other annoying weeds.

Japanese irises and Oakleaf hydrangea spill over the edges of the koi pond.

Japanese irises and Oakleaf hydrangea spill over the edges of the koi pond.

Two circumstances contribute to this weediness. One, though my recovery from recent surgery is going remarkably well, it will be weeks (or months) before I am able to squat and bend while balancing precariously on boulders at the pond’s edge. The root of the problem, and the secondary difficulty is that this section of the pond is overgrown by Oakleaf hydrangea, a seedling panicled hydrangea, and Joe Pye weeds so that the weeds gained a foothold even while I was fully capable.The bog filter

A more minor concern is the Northern Brown water snake (or two) that has taken residence in in the pond recent years. Recently, the snake was caught red handed, dragging a small koi into the shallows, the first time that I’ve witnessed the snake(s) doing what I know full well that it’s been doing all along. In any case, I cannot figure a way to rid the pond of the snake, and there are so many koi that the natural predatory cycles are unlikely to make a dent in the population.

For the purposes of clearing the invasive weeds from the pond’s edge, my temporary infirmity is the greater challenge than my concern over a confrontation with the seven foot water snake. With consideration for my current limitations, I have decided to ignore the problem, thus far with limited success.

Painted fern growing in a mossy rock at the pond's edge.

Painted fern growing in a mossy rock at the pond’s edge.

I am pleased that I am able to keep up with the worst of the weeds in the remainder of the garden, so that it does not become a one acre weed patch. But, mostly I am overjoyed to be able to regularly stroll the garden, despite wretched heat that is extraordinary, even for August.

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12 thoughts on “A bit out of control

  1. The Hydrangea and Iris combination is lovely . What is August without too many weeds in all the wrong places ? I am ready to deal with them as the weather finally cools in September , and hope you’ll be back to light gardening by then as well . Happy to hear that you can at least stroll about now . Thank you for mentioning your snake ; saved me from some serious envy of your beautiful water garden . Cheers ! WG

      • This is one of those months of the year, like January, when gardeners have ‘permission’ to be lazy! Expectations will rise as temperatures drop. But I’m glad to know your recuperation is coming along well. By the way, I haven’t made it to the GBGH since early July, but remain in the market for Mexican Sage in small pots. If I squeeze in a trip (I’m based in W’burg) is it likely there will be any Mexican Sage for sale? So far I’ve not found it anywhere, on any herb buying trip this year- and ours didn’t make it through winter. It’s absence leaves a gaping whole in our fall garden. Best wishes, WG

      • It is rare that annuals are delivered after July 1, so I think it’s unlikely GBGH will have any this year. Since annuals grow so quickly, small pots are typically sold only in the early season, with larger pots coming on in May. Most annual growers consider annuals left over in June as trash since the market for them drops off quickly, and they have a very short shelf life.

      • Very sad , but thank you for the information . I bought most of my herbs at GBGH, this spring , and loved the selection . I’m still starting cuttings to refresh tired annuals and fill in holes . The weather has taken its toll . ..

  2. Dear Dave,
    I bet some of your followers would love the opportunity to take a “weeding tour” of your enchanting gardeners…. your writing is such an encouragement to so many, I’m sure they would love to give back!

  3. Hii Dave – you better not to have been outside when you read this today (Tuesday the 16th).and I’m writing from the jungles of Columbia, Md.! I second the comment from another fan that many of us would be willing to come have a “learning lesson” while at the same time helping you to tidy the pond area.
    I can’t think of a better day trip! I hope your recovery continues quickly, and look forward to more ideas and pictures,

    • Thank you for your kind offer, but I am resigned to waiting until frost to remove the silt grass. While it is shallow rooted, it is entwined in every nook and cranny between rocks and roots of the irises. Fortunately, silt grass is an annual, though I have no doubt that it has dropped enough seed to be a problem next year as well. I’ll pull the grass after it dies down this autumn, and figure what to do with the seeds next spring.

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