Sunday, June 21, 2015

The Creep

Looking to the north we see the little wetland. Not so little, so maybe I should start calling it the north wetland. It's a glorious place.

Turn around and this is what you will see. Maybe you are familiar with it -Creeping Charlie, Glechoma hederacea. Charlie is the third weed in our list of once appreciated, now fallen plants. Unfamiliar to me, it turned up the charm early this spring with its geranium-like scent when crushed or walked on (I was quite ready to plant it in garden paths), but it turned on the creep as I got to know it. Now I see that it inhabits every garden, every path, and most of the lawn.

Creeping charlie was most likely brought to this location by my father in law. He may have planted it in his garden, where it still grows but less vigorously. From there it went to the lawn, where it spread readily via lawn mower-chopped stolons, each able to start a new plant. The spread from the lawn down into the woods was brought on by leaf raking. Bits of charlie would get caught up in the rake and leaves which were then deposited down slope each spring. The herb found the super rich soil, damp ground and shady location to be perfect.

Since this zone is a hotbed of garlic mustard and creeping charlie, I think mechanical extraction is the way to go. This side of the woods, the wet and cooler side, is likely habitat for the scattered ferns I see to the east and west. Twenty years of leaf deposits have made a very rich soil for future planting, meanwhile I will need to find another way to remove an acre of leaves from the charlie infested lawn.

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