The funny thing about invasive plants is that at some point they probably seemed like a good idea. Mid "native seed shopping" in the Riveredge shop, my eye was drawn to a glossy poster identifying beautiful flowers and I got closer to read what they were. You can imagine how disheartened I was when I realized the colorful flower photos were for identification of invasive species.
Culinary herb Garlic Mustard and magenta-flowered Purple Loosestrife probably received compliments on their ease and drought resistance before spreading throughout the county. They grew, they prospered, they took over!
But those flowers, those beautiful troublesome flowers are my downfall. There is something perverse about plucking a gorgeously petaled stem and tossing it into a trash can (note: not the compost). I am not alone in my sympathies, however! Years ago, a friend transplanted a thorny tree to the front of her yard to admire the pretty blossoms each spring. She couldn't believe her good luck that such a plant would "appear" in her yard until her inspiration was crushed by a horticulturist who identified the plant as a Buckthorn.
Until a anti-invasives support group is established to help myself and my fellow flower lovers, I've devised the following process to soften the ordeal.
Step 1: Observe your beautiful (insert flowery invasive plant here-mine is Dame's Rocket)
Step 2: Inhale the perfumed petals you'd willingly spend money for if you saw them at the florists
Step 3: Remember to bend and lift with your knees
Step 4: Then...RIP THEM OUT BY THE ROOT!
Step 5: Arrange in a vase for the biggest bouquet of your lifetime.
Step 6: Recover from shock with native wildflower retail therapy. With natives, you can forget the fertilizer, constant watering, and subconscious fear that in a few decades you'll discover your garden was a contributor of the next invasive crisis. Johnson's Nursery Menomonee Falls is having a (locally grown) native plant sale to benefit Wild Ones. Those not needing retail therapy are also invited. June 11, 8-6 and June 12, 10-6. I'll see you there!