No, not this. This is the native Eryngium yuccifolium, Button Eryngo that I bought and added to my section of the sunny utility meadow. It is doing quite well, well enough to be setting seed and making baby Button Eryngoes. Now in its third year, it obviously has potential as a member of the tall flower meadow.
It is while I am weeding that I find out what is going on, who is here and how what I have planted in the past is fairing. This year I have managed to put a hurting on a large swath of the unwanted. It is June and I can see some bare ground. Bare ground is an invitation to germination though. It is a double edged sword.
It was while I was weeding a while back that I discovered an unknown and discovered I had stepped on it, crushing its little stem. It has managed to hang on and has managed to bloom despite the stem looking almost completely brown and practically severed. Yes it is an orchid and yes it is the Green Fringed Orchid, Platanthera lacera.
I should know by now that there is never just one of anything in the Lush. There is always more. I found three more of the Green Fringed Orchids in the same general spot, another of which I had stepped on and crushed its little stem. One I missed and one is just a leaf, no bloom. I never would have known they were here if I had not weeded out the must taller New England Aster and Elderberry and the smothering Clematis virginiana.
This brutal, damaging kind of weeding will go on for a few more years while I eliminate the thugs. As long as the roots, bulbs and rhizomes of the good stuff stay put, they will return fresh and new next season. I really need some mulch though. It would make things so much easier by slowing seed germination dramatically.
I plant. I weed. I really need a full load of wood chips.
My weeding may be able to change the inhabitants of the Lush, but that is the best I can hope for. The Lush is here to stay without more drastic measures.