Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Tell The Truth Tuesday

I want to start by thanking everyone for their encouraging comments on my last post about my struggles with the holidays, etc. I did appreciate everyone's thoughts and ideas and support. It helped to lift my spirits to know that I'm not alone in my disillusionment with the holidays and with social media.

Loree at Danger Garden suggested that I start a new meme about showing the ugliness in our gardens. I don't know who or how many will actually join me, but if you feel like it, feel free. I may only post once a month, I may post twice a month, or maybe every week (I have a lot of ugliness to show you). It's flexible too, if you want to post the next day or on Thursday, or whatever day you realize "Oh Hell, that area of my garden is getting me down."

I thought I'd call it Tell The Truth Tuesday -- an opportunity to "Tell It Like It Is." And if that expression doesn't mark me as a child of the 60s I don't know what will.

Tell It Like It Is

So, for my debut image, here is my other raised bed and its weedy burden.

Yes, those are ALL Canada thistles.  Four feet wide and 20 feet long.

Some of you may remember a few years ago when I dug out an area of my garden to get rid of this monstrous weed, sifting all the soil and carefully picking out every little piece of white root. I posted about that here. I managed to eradicate it from the garden proper, but when I had some left-over sifted soil that I thought was free of weeds, I dumped it at the far end of this raised bed. There must have been a little piece of root still in the soil, because soon Canada thistle popped up. But now busy with other projects in the garden, and figuring it was contained in the raised bed, I put the chore of digging it out on a back burner.

In three years, it has filled the entire raised bed. This horrifyingly embarrassing weed is just one reason I will NOT be hosting an NPA garden tour this year.

What do you think will shift it, now that I've ignored it for three years? Agent Orange? Napalm? If I don't do something, I fear it might explode the sides of the three foot tall concrete raised bed.

How about you? Do you have a horror as bad as this to show us?


  1. I love it and will certainly join you next week as I've been taking "truthful" pictures of my garden since your last post. What a pernicious plant. On the bright side, the cute and colorful goldfinches love thistle seed so you could call this a wildlife-friendly garden and let it go.

  2. Yikes! I remember my mom going after this one. She had a sprayer and would go out all suited up and do battle, god only knows what she was spraying. I remember a county extension agent inspecting her work, we were out in rural Eastern Wa where I suppose it could really have taken over, if allowed to.

    Oh and get this! Inspired by your last post I went out and took tour pictures of my garden and posted them today, which the goal of "keeping it real". I'll have to add a post-script and link to your #tellthetruthtuesday

  3. I am not familiar with Canada thistle, but from your description it sounds like horror. Why not host a weeding party? Clear the bed early with enough time to still host the NPA garden tour later this year.

  4. Your earlier post got me thinking about the realities of my hideous back slope and I took some "before" photos of it this past weekend in preparation for a post, perhaps later this week. I've spent chunks of time over 3 days on general clean-up but it still looks pretty darn terrible and, as I'm seriously thinking of tackling the area for real in the coming year, you may see more ugly posts than you'd imagined from me.

  5. Gah!! I hate Canada thistle, we have an infestation of it in the Pachyberm. It's relentless. And painful to pull. The only thing I've found so far that can subdue it is extremely heavy mulch, as in a foot thick, basically smothering it to death, and if it comes through, I just keep piling more on. I've eradicated it from one garden bed, but I see it's starting up in yet another one, half an acre away.

    Now if I could only find some way to kill Creeping Charlie. :-/

  6. I've had good luck getting rid of bad weeds by covering them with heavy black plastic for a few months. the heat bakes themand any seeds.

  7. Boy Alison, I don't like herbicides but this looks like an emergency. I would support the use of Roundup in a case like this. Although I wonder if those weed-blow torches would work--The Red Dragon.

  8. Whatever is ugly in my garden will have to wait until after the new year. Oh, wait. I think by tomorrow morning we might have some mounds of black, frozen dead plant life on out patio, where I can actually see it from the house. We haven't had a freeze here yet, but it's coming.

  9. Truth, yes that's bad, but the nasties are isolated to that one planter, so it's not hopeless.

    I'm with ks--I avoid all powerful chemicals, but sometimes a really bad weed infestation is worth bombing with glyphosate. Or, when a stretch of sunny weather is certain, solarize the whole thing with a sheet of clear (not black) plastic.

    Solarization is also easy, buy plastic, spread it out and pin down the plastic, leave it for as many months as you like.

    Most of my garden is worse than bad--it is mediocre, which is a lot harder to correct!

  10. I love this! This is the kind of thing we need more of!

  11. Canada Thistle is the devil incarnate. I feel for you. The rotten stuff took advantage of your frugal nature. Lesson learned...throw out soil that has been infested with this plant. My SIL has been trying to rid an area much larger and not contained for some time. She had the best luck with the clear plastic. I know you can do it and you already have the plastic! Happy day.

  12. Alison, I've laughed long and hard at your cartoons... thanks for the pleasure.

    Is there a way to link to the Tell the Truth Tuesday meme? Inspired by you and others, I'm posting one for the first time.

    1. Pat, you can just include a link to my blog, if you like. It's a very irregularly posted meme. I figure most bloggers don't have enough of this type of thing to post every week, or even every month.


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