Friday, September 3, 2010

Loose as a Goose

Gooseneck Loosestrife
Last summer while visiting friends in Portland I was introduced to "lysimachia clethroides," better know as Gooseneck Loosestrife.  The introduction came via a huge bucketful of white flowers that truly resembled a gaggle of geese.  I was smitten.  Who wouldn't want to see this dazzling display swaying in the summer breeze in their backyard? 

Luckily my friend had a few plants to spare and I happily trucked them back to Coeur d'Alene.  I wasn't very timely in getting the transplants in the ground - in fact I'm pretty sure it was late September before I managed to dig them in.  Knowing my penchant for digging things up (not always by accident), I placed a large marker in the spot and anticipated my own flock of geese in the spring! 

Whenever I find a new plant I eventually get around to a little research.  Imagine my surprise when I discovered Gooseneck Loosestrife was listed as an invasive species! But, oh what a beautiful species.  Nothing like the miserable Lemon Balm that I am constantly pulling out!  If you are going to have something march across the garden you may as well like it and it better be beautiful.

Even with the plant marker I managed to rip out a shoot during one of the marathon weeding sessions this spring.  But I guess invasive species are hard to knock down, and I am delighted to say that my GNLS is a healthy flock of two with some goslings shooting up alongside.  Hal swears we'll wake up one morning surrounded by white goosenecks. 

Burgundy Gooseneck Loosestrife
Last weekend at the Manito Garden's fall plant sale I purchased two more Loosestrife plants, Lysimachia atropurpurea 'Beaujolais,' or Loosestrife-Burgundy Gooseneck.  It's a bird of a different feather with mounding silver foliage, deep purple stalks and is not invasive -- or so they say.  It is also a beauty and at this point, very welcome in the garden.  

We'll see what next spring brings; but in the meantime, don't turn me in to the EPA!    

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Thanks for reading and sharing your comments! Candace

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