Mint condition

We’ve had a spell of warm weather the last few days – finally. Tim and I got out in the yard over the weekend and did some much-needed raking. I also did some serious maintenance in one of my flower beds.

One of the things I love most about my flower beds: the majority of my plants have been gifts. When Tim and I bought the house, both our mothers offered us tons of things from their gardens. Tim’s mom gave us some wonderful hostas and Solomon’s seal and astilbe from her yard. My friend Helen gave me day lillies, Siberian irises, lungwort, lamb’s ear and thyme. My friend Lisa, who can grow anything anywhere, gave me tiger lillies and more hosta and paperwhites.

My mother, who my family has long nicknamed the Garden Ho, let me run rampant in her yard, digging up things willy-nilly. Hostas, thyme, wild onions, peonies, phlox, foxglove, liatris, myrtle, a pretty thing we later learned was called rose campion…all kinds of plants.

And mint.

A word about mint:

INVASIVE. That’s the word about mint, all right. Argh.


The mint invasion.

You’re probably thinking that my invasion doesn’t look so bad. Consider that it’s only April – the start of the growing season. If I don’t tend to that now, it will get two feet tall and consume everything in its path. Which is great if you’re a mojito factory, which I’m not.

I spent some time digging out rogue mint. Digging, ripping, extracting by any means necessary. Mint sends out runners, so when you pull one plant out, you can chase the root back to another plant several feet away. It’s really amazing. The whole time you’re ripping it out, you’re thinking, how the hell did that get over here? And then you find the root. Oh. That. That’s exactly how it got all the way over here. Yikes.

Anyway, I cleared out a ton of it, potting some for myself and some for friends. Who have been warned that the wee little fuzzy thing in that pot will transform into Audrey 2 given the chance. With the mint out of the way, I was able to move a foxglove that had self-seeded in the middle of some phlox, giving both the phlox and the foxglove more space. And put in a pansy left over from my window box – hanging basket – front steps flat. I’m pleased. Next up: the back yard.

mint tamed

After the purge. Room for new plants.