In which questions are asked regarding the specific nature of plants

People plant the dangedest things in their yards and gardens here in the Swamplands.

I once had a neighbor who deliberately -- deliberately! -- planted bindweed, because she wanted morning glory flowers and didn't want to have to take care of them. Here's a clue: bindweed loves to grow amongst blackberries...and I think my views about blackberry vines are pretty well-known.

Then there's Haiku Farm. I don't know that the former owners planted Scotch Broom next to their blueberries and grapevines, but I do know that the plants I found had to be cut down with (I'm not exaggerating) the chainsaw. Fortunately, they don't appear to have spread to the pasture.
Now that Spring has sent a few postcards indicating imminent arrival, stuff is starting to grow in the front yard, and I'm not sure what a lot of it will be when it grows up. I'm asking for input from the Master Gardeners and other smart folks: what is this stuff?
I know that various organizations have their classifications for plants, but here is MY criteria:

: Class A Plant : produces fruit or flower that is beautiful, fragrant, edible and nutritious for humans, horses and chickens. Rabbits and deer won't touch it. Hardy perennial, starts actively sought by friends and neighbors.
:Class L Plant: lovely landscape item; drought-resistant, needs no pruning or shaping. Attractive to songbirds. Inexpensive and readily available at garden centers and grocery stores.

:Class K Plant: shrub or tree that even blatent neglect and abuse (like running it over with the lawnmower, repeatedly) will not kill. Is mostly not ugly.
:Class O Weed: sprouts and grows to maturity overnight, producing prickly and persistant seeds within 24 hours of being visible in the garden. Rapid spread. Satisfying to chop into small pieces until the vines shrivel and smoke.

:Class S Weed: Self-seeds freely in vegetable gardens and other cultivated spaces; strong unpleasant scent, which clings to skin and hair if touched. Dogs love to roll in it.

:Class X Weed: Noxious weed, crowds out native plants, gums up the lawnmower, smells bad and attracts rats.

So, here are the plants in my yard. Please tell me if I should be encouraging them...or instead be racing to use the Implements of Destruction on them!

Is this some kind of iris? I can't tell yet. Hosta in the background, though, right?

this looks like lavender, but it isn't--the smell is wrong.

not sure about this--the blue flowers are pretty, but it's all over...sure sign of a weed?

this thing looks like cattail to me, but the seed pods are weird. Also, it's growing in a spot near a fake pond (I will be taking that out--who needs more mosquito condos?) but the ground isn't wet.


no clue about this. It looks so healthy, I suspect it's a weed.


??? what is this??








Any red flags, O Gardeners of the World? Any "Class A" plants?


  1. Not a lot of time right now, but #5 is comfrey. It has its uses, but don't let it get out of control.

  2. #3 that's a keeper. Name escapes me right not..not monkeyflower, maybe penstemon but i need my flower book...
    #1 yup, iris of some sort.
    #7 that's a cinder block honey.

    get the to the LIBRARY for Weeds of the West. Lots of good pictures, who's who's and who's on the Most Wanted list.

    Also - your county extension agents should be able to help you. I bet somewhere on WSU extension's website has good images too.


  3. #1 is another Hosta I believe #2 IS a form of lavender. Much of the cement block plants are ground covers and sedums meant to grow in rockeries...leave them there..The others I'd have to see in the flesh...but everything looks deliberate, so unless it looks like it threatens your entire space, I'd leave it and watch it this year and then decide. Mom

  4. Most of those are keepers.
    1 is another hosta, it's going to be a big one.
    2. Looks like artemisia, an herb
    3. columbines
    4. Looks like some kind of pampas grass
    5. foxglove
    6. good question but keep it
    7. some sort of sempervivum (a succulent)
    8. looks like some sort of hellebore. The earliest bloomer in the garden
    9. hellebore
    10. let it get bigger and ask me again
    11. I know what it is but it won't come to my mind. keep it.
    12. some sort of bulb.
    13. Lambs earss?
    14. delphinium maybe
    15. looks like a lilac tree to me
    those two bushes at the end might be flowering, I'd keep them.

    Looks like you were left some great plants :)


  5. Upon second thought, that's not a columbine, but it might be the ancestral weedy forebear of it, lol. I'd pull them if they're where you don't want them, knowing another will surely come along, somewhere...


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