I welcome self seeders in the garden. The forget-me-nots do a great job of hiding all the weeds until I can deal with them and provide early colour. The foxgloves always seed themselves in just the right places. Others receive a mixed reception. Alchemilla mollis is such a useful plant that fits into any colour scheme and always looks good. It is easy to dig up but annoying in paving cracks. Ever since I planted the white geranium pratense and the stripey ‘Mrs Kendall Clark’ I have these tall bushy geraniums in all shades of blue and
white seeding everywhere. A large plant can smother treasures, but is not hard to dig up. Also appearing in all shades from almost pink, through blue to white is campanula lactiflora. Four foot or more high and very vigorous. It needs strong roots to keep it stable. This is a real pain to dig up, with thick white roots that go really deep, so get these out when they are very small. Fennel will seed everywhere unless you cut the seed heads off, and with its tap root is difficult to get out. I gave up growing the purple cow parsley, ‘Anthriscus Ravens’s Wing’ for the same reason. It seeded in the middle of other plants and its seedlings were not always a good colour.
Why is it that plants you want to self seed in your borders will only do it on the gravel path beside them? I am always rescuing seedlings of helleborus corsicus and euphorbias before I weed kill the gravel.
Don’t waste all those lovely Autumn leaves. If you do not want them for leaf mould then pile them up round your shrubs. It is nature’s way of feeding her plants and will keep the weeds down too. Not too close to the stems though, just where they would naturally fall.
[Please note that this message is not posted on behalf of Bentworth Parish Council and does not necessarily reflect the Parish Council’s policy]