Anemone canadensis, Japanese maple, sweet woodruff, heuchera, and lamium are having an early June get-together here. 

When I saw this quote/paraphrase from Sir Mixalot’s 1992 hit in my local gardening group, I thought, “Finally. Somebody gets me.”

My gardening life is punctuated by love/hate relationships with plants that have to be cut back and selectively pulled out on a regular basis. Trumpet vine, wisteria, anemone canadensis, sweet woodruff, lily of the valley, and ostrich fern are a few that can be oh-so-readily named. Vigorous climbers are needed to help screen the garden from a neighboring property and, at one time, wisteria was doing a great job there. It did not pull up paving, tear down trees, or tear down structures, as commonly-seen dire warnings advise. Eventually, though, it all fell down on its own during a pruning mishap and I easily pulled the rest out. I’ve never seen it since. I’ll admit that trumpet vine is another story, but I loved it while I had it and I still admire it in other gardens.

Anemone canadensis came through wildflower seeds and didn’t do much until it woke up a few years back and began to spread. It pulls out easily, though, and I love the long-lasting white flowers and handsome serrated foliage.  Sweet woodruff is one of the few groundcovers for dry shade that I can tolerate. I’ll always have it. Ostrich fern—well, I would love to have a lush, waving bed with nothing but this in it. Still working toward that.

As long as the plants aren’t on New York State’s DEC invasive list, I’ll always be looking for easy spreaders with the word “vigorous” on their labels. My combination of dry full shade and partial shade makes it necessary to be tolerant, but I also love the wildness of it. I like having plants I can barely control. I cannot lie.

Originally posted on

Elizabeth Licata is Editor-in-Chief of Buffalo Spree Magazine.


(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.