My favourite nursery is Grange Hollow, a business run by a mother and daughter team. Not only do they have nice plants, but they are very friendly and always have time to answer questions and give advice. The nursery setting, an old farmstead, is beautiful. Two summers ago I was looking at Blue Star Creeper (Isotoma fluviatilis) growing on the nursery property. They had it for sale, but they warned me it might be invasive. As you know, most nurseries will never tell you that a plant is invasive. They will sell you goutweed (Aegopodium podagraria) as a low maintenance ground cover, without telling you that you will probably never be able to get rid of it or that it is likely to take over your whole garden in a matter of weeks.
|Blue Star Creeper|
I bought the Blue Star Creeper, planted in between the stones in the path and waited for it to take over. It did not do much. In fact, it died the first winter - so much for invasiveness, I thought. However, I bought it again last year, and this time I planted it in a sunnier spot where it seems to be thriving. It has already started to self-seed. I do not mind invasive plants on the paths between the rocks as they actually reduce weeding. This is what I have noticed with creeping speedwell (Veronica repens) and Mazus reptans. They squeeze between the stones and stop many less agreeable things from getting a foothold. They offer the added bonus of producing flowers for a few weeks. The speedwell blooms first and, as its season ends, it is followed by mazus.
I am also experimenting with another invader - Kenilworth ivy (Cymbalaria muralis). I have long grown it in shady areas, and it is very easy to control. However it would appear it can put up with a lot more sunshine. I got a new plant last year and thought that it had also died in the winter (another reluctant invader), but I was too hasty. It just came up later than I expected, waiting for warmer days. It even has already self-seeded in one spot. I hope it does the same job as the Blue Star Creeper does in slightly more shady spots. My theory is that if it can get its roots under the stone, it will survive in sunny spots.