If every winters day was like today there would be no complaints. It was cold but not cold enough to freeze the ground, it only rained towards the end of the day when an excuse was needed for a cuppa, I watched a mole wrestle with a worm, the garden was full of chirpy birdlife and the jobs got done.
These are the emerging leaves of Papaver “Patty’s Plum”, an oriental poppy in a delicate shade of mauve and a particular favorite of Hero’s. What is not so apparent at first glance is that it is surrounded, nay riddled, with Houttuynia cordata “Chamaeleon” (known in our garden as Hootin Rootin Tootin!). Today I have begun the, let’s be honest, hopeless task of trying to clean the area of this invasive monster. This is an eye-catching plant, with tricolored leaves and simple white flowers, and the promise that it will fill that difficult damp and shady corner. It is easy to be seduced into believing that this is the plant to solve all your problems. The trouble is it doesn’t stop at that difficult corner but proceeds to the next and the next. The roots run deep and pass through the root balls of anything in its way making it very difficult to eradicate. I managed to clear about a quarter of the area this afternoon and with the pain fresh in my memory I would strongly recommend that if you are considering planting Houttuynia cordata in your garden DON’T!