Day 76: ground elder

Daily details from the garden to bring you inspiration throughout the year

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The emerging leaves of this humble relative of the carrot are enough to strike fear into the heart of many a gardener. Ground elder, or goutweed (Aegopodium podagraria) has a reputation as a tricky, invasive customer, and it’s true that it has the ability to regenerate from the tiniest broken section of its far-reaching root system. In my experience, it’s not as fearsome as you might think, and most patches are under control within a season or two. Hand weeding – tricky, but possible on heavy soils – is the answer – though on large communities I’ve even taken to regularly strimming it to weaken its reserves. As a last resort, you can always eat it – perhaps if we grew it as veg, as the Romans did, we’d be grateful for its persistence.


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Hello! I’m Andrew, gardener, writer, photographer, and owner of a too-loud laugh, and I’m so pleased you’ve found your way to Gardens, weeds & words. You can read a more in-depth profile of me on the About page, or by clicking this image.

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