Only as I was taking the Master Gardener course in the late 1990s did I learn that the real bad boy of the roadsides was ragweed. Poor goldenrod was falsely accused just because it blooms at the same time. And ragweed is …well, it’s not a very pretty plant, or even a noticeable one.
Most of the late-summer wildflowers that grow in
Eradicating ragweed is not easy, because it will regrow readily if mowed. Hand-pulling is best, especially if you compost the seed heads at high temperatures to kill them. The key is to do it right away, because after the flowers bloom, seed sets very quickly. Today’s downpour should make for easy pulling of the entire root system. And while you are at it, it’s a great time to pull crabgrass, too!
But to get back to goldenrod: besides making a bold statement in the garden with its statuesque stalks and colorful flowers, goldenrod is a terrific cut flower. A bouquet of goldenrod, black-eyed Susan, Queen Anne’s lace, a dash of blue – maybe a stalk of lobelia – and a few stems of one of those purplish fountain grasses (Pennisetum alopecuroides is one hardy type) is about as easy as pie, and really inexpensive!If you feel like spending a couple of dollars, a bunch of Alstroemeria from the supermarket will add a big punch of color.
It looks as if we’re in for a patch of rain, and however much we need it, a bountiful wildflower bouquet might cheer things up while you’re house-bound.