Island garden’s weeds and invasive plants

There are many invasive plants on this Island. Too many to cover in this blog.

A Scotch broom is the biggest problem . Although it looks cheerful in the sea of green plants in an early spring there is no doubt that it is overwhelming the native species. The Himalayan blackberries are  close second in my opinion. They are everywhere along the roads. I believe that they are native to Asia but naturalized here and spreading out of control. The winery down the road is making a wonderful blackberry merlot dessert wine.

We have a problem with a big leaf maple tree on our property. This tree can multiply and grow with incredible speed. Several meters in a year. Getting rid of them is almost impossible. I am pulling thousands of seedlings every year. This year we called  tree service people to get rid of several large trees in undesirable locations. A month later they already have new shoots 2 feet long. I will probably miss the fall colors they displayed for us every fall. There are still few specimens that we will keep around. Such as this one:


Some of the following plants and groundcovers might not be considered weeds, (some are sold in nurseries) but we have as far you can see the sea of them and I am pulling and disposing buckets of them every year.

When we moved in I was impressed by the blue hills around. All covered with Vinca minor(periwinkle). Since then some became overpowered by St.John Worth. I have no idea where it came from. This hill used to be blue and now is yellow.

St.John Worth flowers are very showy but the plant spreads very quickly due to creeping rhizomes. It is used as medicine for  to mild nervous disorders and used for treating depression. It’s leaves contain phototoxin …dangerous for people with a sensitive skin. Apparently it is poisonous to the livestock. Commercially it’s used for dyeing wool and silk.

We have one older St. John Worth bush which is very well-behaved and has the same pretty flowers (bit smaller.)

Vinca minor grows in any condition on our property. Including in a deep shade.It will create a nice green carpet but will hardly bloom in the shade. In the sun it will create a beautiful  blue ” carpet.”


Yellow archangel  ( or dead nettle) grows in the same manner as vinca It has beautiful variegated leaves.They are selling it in the local nursery as a basket stuffer. A big chunk of the forest floor here is covered with it. It blooms yellow in early spring. It is very invasive.


An ivy that I picked in the forest and planted as small plants in the pots ( to cover the lattice)  grew into a monster plant. Happy,happy,happy.

Many trees  on this property are covered with ivy.


Ferns are a definite problem .Especially the fragile fern. Invasive in this part of the word and very hard to dig out. In this picture they are overpowering rhododendrons They killed couple of  rhodies here. Rhododendrons have very shallow roots and when the fern takes the territory it will suffocate it.

We have several species of ferns. This is the leaf of the one I really dislike.It is quite messy when mature ,very fragile and the roots of it are impossible to dig or kill.


I also have to watch  the following plants , otherwise they would overrun the flower bed:

Yellow Loosestrife is deer resistant in the Island garden but it is sure aggressive (creeping roots) and I have to keep eye on it .It is not related to the purple loosestrife.

In the old days the dried herb used to be burnt in houses, so that the smoke drove away gnats and flies.  As well as snakes. I am experimenting with that ….just putting it in the vase .

Medicinally it was used mainly to stop bleeding .



Rose campion pops up everywhere. Flowers are small but very bright. One cannot miss them

It propagates by seeds


Bishop’s weed can spread very quickly if we would let it. It spreads like a quackgrass  It has very nice variegated leaves and creates an attractive ground cover 



This plant is a true weed

Close up:

Wild Geranium leaves


Himalayan Balsam is an annual plant but after it flowers the seed capsules “explode” in whichever direction and  each releases hundreds of seeds. It is very handsome plant . It is 2 meters tall with exotic looking flowers…. but high maintenance as one has to pull out all the seedlings and keep only a few plants. Bees love it.

There are many more weeds and invasive plants I have to deal with. Enough for another blog.


 We found a little deer laying on the lawn. My husband went to see if he is sick but as he approached it the deer stood up and left. We thought that he was sick. Day later we noticed a couple of vultures flying in the circle and immediately thought about the young deer. Well, it was not dead, a week later it was standing in the middle of the lawn looking pretty . It is  still a baby, I estimate only a week or two .

The big deer frustrates me but I cannot be mad at this. So cute. Clumsy too.

Mamma had to be around as well because I found some deer damage on several plants. I have not seen her though, I only saw the baby.


On July 10th we found the first tent caterpillar moth. Since then I have seen several. I very much dislike all the moths. My husband admires them. He is a true nature lover.

tent caterpillar moth


She was pretty when she was younger.

Pileated Woodpecker at our birdbath. We had a family with 2 young ones last year and we loved to watch them to come feed and drink. I hope they will return this year and nest nearby. They are sure noisy though.


Such is life


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