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The garden store guy said, casually, “It’ll spread.” Oh, it did. Courtesy photo
Columns Small Talk

Small Talk: Sowing the seeds of doubt

Once again, my amateur gardening decisions have bitten me in the backside.

I suppose a landscaper sees these things coming, but I tend to just hit the nursery and grab what looks pretty. I’m surprised I haven’t come home with a flat full of poison oak.

What I did manage included some Vinca, with nice, purple flowers to cover my front slope.

It not only covered my slope, it began to cover my then-lawn, my driveway, my sidewalk and anywhere else it could reach. I ended up digging it out, fearing it would become the kudzu of La Costa.

It played dead for about 15 years. Then one day last year, out from under a layer of wood chips, up popped Zombie Vinca, and it has again covered my slope.

It could have come right out of the popular graphic novel “Plants vs. Zombies,” and I think there might be a movie deal in there somewhere.

The real blowback has come from a graceful, feathery grass I planted along the path I put in for my daughter’s wedding reception.

The garden store guy said, casually, “It’ll spread.” Oh, it did, taking over my front yard, but I liked it, lining the walk and hiding sprinkler pipes. It looked lovely, swaying in the breeze.

The problem is the seeds. The zillions and gazillions of tiny, arrow-like seeds that stick to anything and everything.

You cannot walk to the car without carrying off a batch. It’s worse than pet hair.

So my summer project has been to pull out all the grass. It’s not the worst chore, as it has shallow roots, but it’s making me sad.

The plants made my yard look great and seemed to require no water. But after an hour of pulling it up, I find myself absolutely fuzzy with seeds attached head to foot. That firms my resolve.

And so it goes. Maybe I’ll actually do a little research this time. I see things that look perfect in landscaped areas around town, but rarely at the garden stores I frequent.

My camera is at the ready and the hunt begins.

Jean Gillette is a freelance writer searching for a well-behaved garden. Contact her at [email protected].

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