I sometimes wonder what an alien would think of a gardener’s efforts. One always seems to spend a great deal of time cutting down the vigorous plants so that the other, not-so-vigorous plants can grow.

In this case, giving the bedstraw a good scare.*  A pernicious invader of hayfields, pastures, and garden beds, bedstraw may smell nice when dry and may have pretty, frothy sprays of tiny white flowers; but it is simply not needed.  It will choke even the most vigorous of plants (such as daylilies), because the long, sprawling stems catch and weigh down other plants. Furthermore, if there is enough in a bale of hay, horses won’t eat it.  The 100 odd feet of daylily fence is very prone to invasion by bedstraw: as the field, if given half a chance, would become bedstraw city.  It, however, is regularly mowed** so the bedstraw naturally tries to move under the fence and into the daylilies, which can’t be mowed.

I didn’t realize that the bedstraw would be such a problem at first, so it got a jump of a year or two on us. I should have, of course, it was there; but our mowing was such that it wasn’t quite So evident.  With the change in how that section of lawn is mowed and the creation of an entirely unmowable section (the daylilies) it blossomed, quite literally.  This year I intend to go to war with it.

*Smooth Bedstraw or gallium mollugo

**my horse will not eat long grass, go figure.