Neighbours talking over the garden gate has long been a tradition. They share gardening tips, complain about the weather and pests yet are ever eager to discuss their gardens. That is what I had in mind when creating this blog. So stop by my garden gate to find out the latest happenings in my garden.

Happy Gardening!

Garden Gnome
"All my life through, the new sights of Nature made me rejoice like a child." ~ Madame Marie Curie"

Thursday, July 17, 2008

White Nancy Lamiums

White Nancy Lamiums
(Lamium maculatum)
June 26, 2008

Moving into a home with mature landscaping has meant discovering a lot of new to me plants. We moved in late June so that meant we had no idea what spring plants there were. Part of the fun has been identifying the various plants as they emerged to decide if they were friend or foe. This means that I have had a wonderful opportunity to expand my gardening knowledge! I will be sharing some of my findings with you but first a valuable tip. If you have a plant you don't know whether it is a friend or foe, leave it be until you have identified. Take pictures and clipping to take to the nursery where they will more than likely be able to help. Quite often neighbours will say "oh that's such and such" more often using the common name.

I discovered a patch of lamiums in one bed although I didn't know that was what it was until I identified the plant. This bed has to be almost completely revamped so the question became whether this was a plant I wanted there and if not where if at all. The plant is quite pretty so I was hoping it was a friend.

Lamiums are a member of the nettle family (herbaceous) commonly called creeping lamiums. They are low growing, spreading ground cover about 6 - inches tall that blooms in late spring and early summer continuing through the fall. There are several cultivars with flowers ranging in colour from pink, dark pink, rose-red, purple, lavender along with variations in leaf colour from yellow and green to silver and green. Beacon Silver with bright lavender flowers and White Nancy (White Nancy dead nettle, spotted deadnettle) with white flowers. These two varieties with their silvery green leaves edged with a deeper green are the same except for flower colour. Lamiums do not like soggy soil conditions. They are are ideal ground cover for dry shady locations. It can be somewhat invasive but my experience so far is that it is not near as invasive as other ground covers. If planting for the first time, plant 16 - inches apart. Propagation is by division and they are self seeding.

I love the looks of this ground cover. As you know, I detest grass so am always looking for environmentally friendly ground covers. It is a little higher so could provide a habitat for rodents but I haven't seen any indication of this happening yet.

As you can see something has been after my lamiums. I suspect slugs but have not spotted them yet in the actual patch but I do know they are in that particular garden. I am treating with diatomaceous earth mainly because we do have an earwig and centipede problem. Diatomaceous earth is 100% organic made from finely ground diatom fossils. It kills off many crawling insects including earwigs and centipedes (thank-you!) and it can be used indoors or outdoors.

Warning: Use a dust mask whenever applying diatomaceous earth as it can cause respiratory problems during application. Wear gloves to prevent problems with skin absorption.

Happy Gardening!

Garden Gnome


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