Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Purge the Surge

Butter and Eggs

Cushion Spurge

Purge the Spurge

Cushion Spurge (Euphorbia polychrome) is a nice ground cover. However, it can be invasive, but is easy to control with weeding or clipping back. I really enjoy it in the spring as it is one of the first perennials to appear. It was given to me by one of my Master Garden friends and I never refuse a plant.I think if I had put it in a proper place, one where it could have covered the ground and appeared with spring bulbs it would have been lovely. However, I put it along the walkway to the Gazebo which was already a mess with a collection of odd plants. That was several years ago and now I am spending many hours digging and cursing free plant gifts!

My wish is to have an outdoor kitchen encompassing the back porch, gazebo, and the surrounding gardens. A very wise Landscape Designer told me that she felt I needed a space to enjoy that would not make me feel like I needed to get up and work. I really think she was taken back by the number of plants I had in each garden, so I have since then been trying hard to purge the gardens of easy multipliers. My first attack was on the “Road Lilies” they were crunching over the “Finer Lilies”. I actually like the old “Road Lilies” but not in a garden I am trying to control.

Gloves on, I began the Purge on the Surge. Beware! Cushion Spurge has a white sap that can irrate the skin. I started out digging the individual clumps and then after a short while just started pulling! The ground was soft enough that they came right up. I found a new spot just for the Spurge and also found a buried treasure! Under all the Spurge was the wildflower Butter and Eggs,( Linaria vulgaris) it had been given to me my Grandma Goldie many years ago. Butter and Eggs has many other common names, like toadflax and figwort. It is also very invasive and I probably should have just let it be smothered out,but this treasure had been given to me in love, from my kid’s great grandmother. It had to have a place and so I found the perfect spot. Now my walkway is neatly lined with Lady’s Mantle and Hydrangeas, well at least until some other friend or relative tempts me with a plant!


  1. Great post! Surge is actually quite pretty, I think.

  2. Thanks. Come see me and I will give you all you
    want. I have been tempted to put plants outside the gate and put a sign that says "Free to anyone who will take good care of this plant."

  3. It's so easy to be wise afterwards! I planted mint in one of my herb gardens with the very determined intention to keep it contained. I have spent the last few months trying to remove this evil plant - just when I think its all gone another one pops up. I'll certainly be planting the replacement in a pot! Also, thank you for visiting Brabourne Farm and leaving a comment. Leigh



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