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More problems after the flood.


I know you’ve seen this photo before, but it shows most of the area that the water reached when we were flooded last November.

What it doesn’t show is the water in the side garden as there aren’t any windows overlooking that part.

Why am I showing you this? Well, although the house has been refurbished and we’re delighted to be living downstairs again, there has been a real problem in the garden.

Do you know what this is? I hope you don’t…

It’s a Himalayan Balsam seedling, and the seeds must have been swept down the stream into my garden and onto the banks of the stream in the village.

This is what it looks like when it’s allowed to get to maturity.

It might look pretty, but this is what the RHS says about it.

Himalayan balsam (Impatiens glandulifera) is a relative of the busy Lizzie, but reaches well over head height, and is a major weed problem, especially on riverbanks and waste land, but can also invade gardens. It grows rapidly and spreads quickly, smothering other vegetation as it goes.

Would you want that in your garden? I can’t believe how many seedlings have been appearing.

They’re in the lawns, in every flower bed, in the cracks of the paths, under shrubs, on, in and around the Gunnera, just everywhere.

I’m spending most of my time at the moment on my hands and knees, pulling the little blighters out. I have to do a HB patrol every day to catch the new ones that pop up overnight, too.

You can laugh at this – I did. I had to clamber down onto the lower part of the stream bank, complete with wellies. I cleared flood debris to get at the carpet of seedlings, pulled out as many as I could, and stepped off into the water to wade back to the steps. Hmmm…the water was deeper than I expected and I ended up with wellies full of water!

It’s a huge task to deal with, and I still have a very large area to cope with. The wretched things are growing fast and are now past the cotyledon stage. Oh well – it keeps me busy I suppose!

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I know they are supposed to be invasive, but I had these one year, silly me I know, but I just loved the way they popped their seed pods and spread their seeds, very clever. I had to do the same and clear them out no sign of them now though, so hope you have the same outcome. They are an amazing survivor.

17 Apr, 2013


While taking a break with our friends in Morayshire, we were walking in the country and became fascinated with the popping sounds from this pretty plant, so we collected some seed and took it back to her garden! I'm scared to go back there now as it was some months later that I found out about this plant's true nature. Barbara, I was sitting here reading this with cries of 'Oh No!, oh no!' But you'll get on top of it I'm sure...keep pulling em up! You perhaps need an army of friends to help!

17 Apr, 2013


Oh dear, sounds like a lot of hard work for you. Hope you manage to eradicate them all, you sound very determined so I'm sure you will!

17 Apr, 2013


Oh dear, u have lots of hard work there! As u say, the flowers are so pretty but don't want to let them get a hold in your garden!

17 Apr, 2013


oh dear me! that is not good ~ if its not one thing its another ~ pity they cant find some good those plants could do and make them into something useful like a medicine!

17 Apr, 2013


I hate to think of you on your knees doing all that weeding. Can you not just hoe the tops off as many as possible.

17 Apr, 2013


No, because they're hidden from view, or else amongst other plants. It's not a difficult chore, just tedious and I know I've got to get them ALL out. You know already that I'm stubborn - I'll do it!

17 Apr, 2013


I have seen items on this weed on TV when they are trying to clear large areas of river bank. At least you are aware of it and lets hope you catch them as they come through. Just when there are so many other things to do in the garden, wish you well with it.

17 Apr, 2013


Oh Spritz!

What a nuisance for you after such a trouble
Have you told the neighbours or theirs will be blowing over
to you :0(

17 Apr, 2013


As if you haven't had enough to deal with already! I hadn't even thought of this after-effect of the floods, it just goes to show what long-lasting damage the floods can cause. Glad you could laugh at your booty though :)))

17 Apr, 2013


How about having the local Scout Troop in for an hour's weeding to raise money for their funds, plus free supper ?

17 Apr, 2013


i seem to do most of my weeding on hands and knees, hoeing doesnt seem to work here but i havent got these little monsters to contend with.

shall we all come and bring a fork/hoe spritz?

17 Apr, 2013


Thanks for the thought, Diane, but we haven't got a scout group anywhere near here - we're very rural.

Yes please Sticki - but all you need to bring is your selves and your hands - they pull out easily.

I HAVE to laugh, or I'd cry about it, so onwards and upwards! OH cut the grass in the lowest part of the garden yesterday and decapitated trillions of the little blighters. :-D))))))

18 Apr, 2013


I tried to cultivate these as the stem strucutre is a wonderful source of plant tissue [needed for work] but after 3 yrs they stopped seeding. the second yr inundated but the girls enjoyed pulling them up. easy to do as you say but not what you want for your garden.

18 Apr, 2013


be careful what you wish for spritz ~ one of these days we might all descend on you!!

18 Apr, 2013


Oh no! I thought for one moment you were going to say Japanese knotweed....hope you get to clear it all out. What a nuisance.

18 Apr, 2013


I'd be more than happy to see you all - I might even bake a cake! :-))

Lulu - I was beginning to struggle, I admit, as they seemed to be popping up faster than I was pulling them out, but my girl came to do her two hours yesterday and I (gratefully) got her to deal with the worst area. There will be more seedlings. I find more every day in places where I've already weeded, but I WILL win!

19 Apr, 2013


one of these days spritz!! the cake sounds very tempting!

anyone got a coach and can drive it?

19 Apr, 2013



19 Apr, 2013



19 Apr, 2013


The &*%£!* things are still appearing, so hurry up with that coach, Sticki!

20 Apr, 2013


so glad i have seen this pamg sent me over to read it , i found lots of clumps of this around the garden ... in funny places as tho they were planted .. so put a q. on here .. just sent the other half out to dig em all up .. thank god for ur photo ... hope its getting better for you .

24 Apr, 2013


Hi Cristina! They really are a pain. I'm still find finding more each day, but not as many. Try to get rid of every single one, because if any get to flower, you'll get lots of seedlings...

25 Apr, 2013


I'm pleased you can live downstairs now. It must be a relief for you.
I'm sorry to hear about the Himalayan balsam. I hope something can be done to rid the place of it.
I heard on the television last night that in Wales they're thinking of re-introducing beavers, in the hope they will help get rid of it.
Don't know if it will work. I hope it will.

30 Apr, 2013


Oh gosh Spritz and thats being polite, during all the time during and since the flood it never once occurred to me that you'd get nasty beasties taking root after being washed into your garden, I was concerned about you losing not gaining, pleased you are getting rid and not letting it upset you unduly, I know you'll win, determination is a good strength in our nature.....

30 Apr, 2013


I have to win - I clambered down onto the bank again yesterday and there were even more there! Just as I think I've pulled them all out, another lot germinate. Imagine what the garden would look like next year if I just ignored them! I can't spray them as they're amongst other plants, so pulling them out individually is the only way.

Our stream is too small for beavers, unfortunately.

30 Apr, 2013

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