An outsider

Seedlings are common in this garden. Toad lilies (Tricyrtis) and ferns regularly spread by seed or spore, and others are typically found in close proximity to the parent. Today, I am surprised to see a small flowered Blackeyed Susan (Rudbeckia, below) growing between two toad lilies and a yellow flowered Baptisia. With no more than a quick glance in recent weeks, I presumed this was a coneflower (Echinacea) seedling, but now that there are flowers, the question is, where did it come from?

I haven’t looked, but presume there are Blackeyed Susans in the neighbor’s garden. So, it’s not unusual for seed to travel this short distance across lawn into this spot. But, what to do about it? No doubt, it can’t stay where it is, at least not for long, and do I want a Blackeyed Susan at all? Some were planted in the garden years ago, but the area became too shaded, and eventually they died out with little complaint on my part. Now, the smaller than typical flowers are a bit of a curiosity, and of course, I am very reluctant to chop out anything of even the  slightest ornamental value.

While the origin of a small clump of purple coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea, above) is obvious, I’ve questioned over two years if the purple should be left in place, and would it eventually overrun the white flowered parent plant (below)? Again this year, the answer is not clear, but another vigorous toad lily and a slowly spreading clump of carex threaten both. For now, a minor amount of pruning and digging of the carex frees enough space, but this is not a long term answer.

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