March of the Walking Dead…nettle that is

Saturday, April 7

April is finally here and my inner garden engine is revved up and ready to go. Each evening when I return from working in a windowless stuffy office I take a look around the garden. It’s amazing how much can happen in just a couple of days, weeds and all.

As I was admiring how the Erythronium was coming on  I turned and came upon an army of Dead nettles, not to mention all the Herb Robert and Shot weed lurking in corners.

Dead Nettle

Looks like I’ll be spending some time weeding this weekend in between visits to Xera and Joy Creek nurseries.  At least the soil is soft and it’s easy to pull this invader out. Weeding and nursery hopping always seems to coincide and conflict with the precious little time I have to play in the garden.


But enough winging.
Here are some photos of what’s appearing in my garden today.


Some may think Corydalis is weedy but I think it’s a welcome sight in a natural garden. It certainly dresses up the chain-link fence.  I brought up starts and seeds of this and of Corydalis lutea from the Bay area decades ago. I used to live minutes from the Berkeley Botanic Garden and I believe I may have gotten the seed there.



These are wildflower seedlings (California poppy, Baby Blue Eyes and Phacelia) I scattered a few weeks back. They are hiding beneath that army of the walking dead nettles.



Now this is what I’ve been waiting for; the Erythronium ‘Pagoda’ is finally beginning to take off and colonize. The Forget-me-nots are something I’ve just given in to and now I think they look quite pretty with the butter yellow of ‘Pagoda.’



I tried this purple Fritillaria meleagris for the first time ever this year and I love it. Note to self to buy heaps of bulbs this fall and plant out with the Erythronium.  Lily of the Valley is poking up in the mix. I only planted a few pips, forgot about ’em, and now they are coming up everywhere. No worries. I’m hoping they’ll out compete the Bishop’s Weed which was inherited from the previous owner.  That grassy clump on the right is Deschampsia cespitosa ‘Northern Lights.’



A terrace planted with erythronium which has started to colonize.  This will be up for much of the month and then it will simply melt away until next spring. I have scattered these around various parts of the garden as they are such a welcome sight in spring, plus they mix in with other native and non-native plants so well. Erythronium comes in other colors, mostly pink or white. I hope you will want to try some in your garden.

Here’s hoping some are able to get out and spend some time gardens on this blustery day. Next week: Hortlandia!  I’ll be at the Reference desk. Stop by and say hello!


9 thoughts on “March of the Walking Dead…nettle that is

  1. Alyson, I have been wondering what a plant is that is in my yard, and you have it in the top photo of this post! I am curious what the plant is with the purplish flower in the very center of that photo. When I look at mine, they seem to have leaves like clover under those purple flowers. What is this plant? BTW, thank you for this great blog!


  2. So you must wonder what I thought a dead nettle was! I imagined it would have stickers, so you were talking about the plant on the left. So those purple things are dead nettles?


  3. I planted six purple Fritillaria meleagris on Tuesday and now only have bare stems. Rabbits! My dog ate some of the blossoms before I planted them, but I have to blame the bunnies for the rest. Hope they recover!


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