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Periwinkle is wonderful with spring bulbs planted under it, making a very neat and tidy cover for the ripening foliage. I've never had success with it in the sun here in Missouri, perhaps our summers are just too hot.
I really enjoyed your article - this one and the many others on which I, regrettably, failed to comment.
When I purchased my house it had a wide and neatly groomed border of variegated vinca around the foundation in the back of the house. I remember on my 1st visit to the house being quite impressed by the lovely patches of green and white with lavendar/blue flowers. Unfortunately, vinca grows too well in my area, so much so that it is on my states list of invasive plants. Despite many hours of garden maintenance and weekly edging, after a few years that vinca started to pop up in other beds and even in various parts of the lawn where it continues to exist despite frequent decapitation by the lawn mower. At 1st I ran to and fro pulling those unwelcome upstarts, but with time I lost the battle and caved. Now I have vinca all over the place.
On the plus side, I hasten to admit that this lovely plant is flourishing in soggy, heavy clay soil on the North side of my house where it rarely receives even a ray of sunlight. It gets virtually no TLC, yet it blooms heavily each summer. Even more to its credit is the frequency with which visitors to my backyard cottage garden are wowed by this plant (whether in bloom or not). My garden overflows with roses, iris, and pretty much everything you can image, yet it is this ground cover which causes neighbors, delivery men, realtors, and friends alike to stop in their tracks and ask "what is this?" and "can I have a piece?"
I just wanted to warn folks in my area that this beauty might get out of hand in time.
my mom has it in her yard, around the townhome. I finally picked a patch of it and put it in my front yard garden. The north west side of the house doesn't get much sun because of the huge silver maple tree. I am so pleased with it and hope it does spread all over. I know that the tulips and crocus should pop up in the spring. And that the huechera doesn't get taken over by it. Will this happen in time?
I found some free-roaming Vinca in the treed area next to our plot. It poked its noses into my garden and i was intrigued by its survival skills in rocky clay soil, so I decided to try some in my shady cedar forest, where i was battling the weeds. I stuck some pulled-out pieces quite randomly into the ground and trod them down in haste as I was being molested by the numerous bugs who rule the forest. After just one year, the area was a delightful mound of glossy green leaves and delightful blue flowers in the spring. I rarely find any weeds in there. But I'm starting to worry about the bed of ferns which I foolishly planted in front of the Vincas - i can see them massing for an invasion! Can fern coexist with vinca? I kind of doubt it it! In fact, can ferns get on with lily of the valley? I stuck some of those in there too. I can see that i will have to divide my forest garden up into Vinca-Zones and anything else, divided by gravel paths. That should (might?) give me a chance to keep the Vinca in its place. At least they don't travel underground like some of the REALLY invasive species.
Nice article. I also didn't know about the variegated species, perhaps I should try and mix some in for interest
We used to live in England and had very bad experiences with both Lily of the Valley and Periwinkle, both of which completely took over the beds they were planted in. I managed to eradicate the Lily of the Valley with a lot of hard work but the only way we got rid of the Periwinkle was to cover the whole bed with industrial grade Landscape Fabric as used for road building, cover that with pea gravel and then replant the garden through Xs cut through the fabric. This technique works on just about all weeds. Don't waste your time spraying Periwinkle: it's the plant that supplied the Roundup-resistant genes used in GM crops! It will run underground and through walls if given the chance. It looks great in a hanging basket but don't let it touch the ground!
Lets see how things pan out. My little fern colony is doing great this year and I would hate to shift it so lets see if the periwinkles will respect them as you say Cathy. And Jim, its too late to avoid the guys entirely - I planted lots in my 'wild forest' area . I should really not worry about that lot at all as its infested for most of the year, with mosquitoes from the big forest behind it! But I'm a bit of a manic gardener and couldn't leave it alone to the weeds (with lots of burrs fro the cats to bring home) - so if the periwinkle want to stick their noses into Mozzie-Land - let them I say!