Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Dis-Obedient Plant

After the first hard frost, spiders sneak into the house, looking for a warm place to stay. It's this time of year when ski bums start crawling out of the woodwork, too.

Sorry to hear your Mom died. Hey, I bought a new car and I'm coming to visit for New Years!

Good grief... That was the note I received from my ex-boyfriend. On my birthday, no less. I sometimes wonder how such cold, crappy people infiltrate my life, though I know I must somehow be to blame.

Plants remind me of people and the Obedient Plant is a lot like him. Tall and charming, with snowy white flowers... and such mean-spirited behavior he'll suck the life right out of you.

This plant is so disobedient it was recently banned from sale in Utah. It's invasive, a voracious feeder that depletes soil nutrients all too quickly. If that’s not reason enough to dump this fellow, he also bullies the nice guys flowering nearby.

Now is a good time to dig up the Obedient Plant's underground rhizomes (aka big fat roots) or they'll choke neighboring perennials, come spring.

Awhile back, a popular bumper sticker bemoaned the bleeding obvious: Mean People Suck. No argument there, just curiosity. How to deal with them? Having been raised by wolves, I'm never quite sure.

* The Obedient Plant got it's name because when you bend the flower stalk, it will stay that way. 'Miss Manners' is one cultivar that tends to behave. USDA zones 4-8. Divide every 3 years.

** Try substituting White Veronica for the Obedient Plant. Veronica is not as showy but you’ll learn to love it’s low-maintenance ways.

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