Journey 147: Interlopers in the Garden

wildflowers daisy fleabane 2

After a day in Arkansas, helping with Greg’s dad, the garden beckoned to me when I returned. We were rain-free today, and the warm air and abundant sunshine lured me in. The garden is thriving, because of….or in spite of…the heavy rain we’ve experienced in the Joplin area.

wildflowers cranes

I will have to relocate the cranes soon, as the ornamental Japanese Silver Grass will soon hide them from sight. I scouted out new locations for this pair, and in doing so, was delighted by the Impatiens blooming profusely in the corner of the meditation area. Those shade loving plants are loving the rainy season we are having.

wildflowers impatiens

As I prowled about the garden, I crooned to perennials, stepping carefully over young plants that are still pushing up through the ground and watching out for toads. Beauty assailed me in every section of the backyard. The Lamb’s Ear is blooming! I didn’t even know that this wooly looking plant did that. It has put up stalks that are approximately three feet tall, with small purples flowers on the cone-like tips.

wildflowers lambs ear

I stopped at last in front of the mystery plant that I have been watching. This evening it has white daisy-like flowers blooming amid the lush green foliage. Using my LikeThat Garden app, I was able to correctly identify this plant at last…although I didn’t really need the app. The small white blooms with yellow centers gave the identity away. This is a Missouri wildflower…a Daisy Fleabane.

wildflowers daisy fleabane

I have two interlopers in the garden. I’ve allowed another Missouri wildflower, Harvey’s Buttercup, to remain in the southern border as well. Because it grows rapidly and blooms early…March to May…I have kept several of these wildflowers in my perennial bed. The tiny bright yellow flowers added a splash of color while the slower to arrive perennials were growing. Most of them are budding now and beginning to blossom.

wildflowers harveys buttercup 2

And so now I have a decision to make. Will I allow the self-starting wildflowers to remain? Or remove them to make space for the flowering plants that I intentionally tucked into the ground? The Harvey’s Buttercups are at the end of their flowering season. They return easily in the spring, popping up all over the yard. Those will go.

wildflowers harveys buttercup

The Daisy Fleabane is a large plant, taking up a considerable amount of space in the midst of my perennials. While it has plentiful green stalks and leaves, the flowers are tiny by comparison. However, the daisy- like blooms lend a charming cottage-style grace to the garden. I researched the plant, to help me make my decision. The plant was used in Medieval times as an astringent, as a herbal remedy for dysentery, and when dried and burned, the smoke was, indeed, a repellent for fleas and other insects. The herbaceous plant was also regarded as a repellent for wayward spirits and was often hung over the doorways of houses, to protect against evil. In a similar fashion, it was thought to drive away the “frenzies” that might afflict a person, if the one in such a state bound the plant to his forehead.

After curiosity guided my journey tonight, I decided in favor of keeping this intruder in the garden, at least for now. If the Daisy Fleabane crowds my other plants too much, I’ll attempt to relocate it to another area. I love the surprises that life brings across my path….or sneaks into my garden. Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “Earth laughs in flowers.” I get the joke now.

wildflowers earth laughs

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About Cindy Moore

I live and work in the Joplin, MO, area. I am a blogger, writer, realtor and traveler, enjoying the journey through life and helping others along the way.
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