Wednesday, April 27, 2016

W is for Weeds

W is for Weeds
or A Second Look featuring 
the Weed, Garlic Mustard.

This is the second year of growth for these garlic mustard plants.
By definition, a weed is a plant that is growing where you don't want it to. So what is a weed in one situation, may be a flower in another.  However, there are several plants that most people agree are weeds because of their invasive nature. From time to time, I'm going to showcase one of these invasive weeds in a Second Look as a heads up. Meaning if you see one of these in your yard, pull it. If you don't, it will take over. Unfortunately, I've learned this the hard way more than once.

Today's feature is garlic mustard. It's a biennial that was brought to this country 150 years ago as an herb. Like most invasives, nothing likes to eat it, so it can spread to its heart's content crowding out native plants along the way. In places, it covers entire forest floors. The best way to control it is to pull it getting at least some of the root. Mowing before it can form seeds also helps. Control has to be repeated every few years because seeds can be viable in the ground for five years.

Here are some other things
 I saw this week during a Second Look.

Most of the trees are well on their way to leafing out. Here you can see a Japanese Maple, Sweet Gum, Dogwood (leafing and blooming), another kind of maple, and pine trees.

Yellow swallowtail butter fly on an azalea that is starting to bloom. 

Cherry laurel. The blossoms aren't big, but they have a great smell.

Goldfinch. It has its full summer/mating colors now.

Mating crane flies

Pink Dogwood

White Dogwood

Light pink Dogwood. And here's another example of why I take a Second Look. It wasn't until this year that I realized that these dogwood blossoms were a different color than the others we have.  They are a beautiful, delicate pink.

The bluebirds have laid more eggs for a total of five. 

Squirrel enjoying sunflower seeds. It put on a good show for the cats.