Here's a view of a particular spot in the backyard - the house-end of the raised beds. Only you can't see the raised beds - you just see this mass of growth covered in yellow flowers (and this picture is now about a week or so old - trust me, there's LOTS more yellow flowers now!)

And here's the side view, looking towards the yellow/orange/red themed bed (which also has an Asian pear, the grapes, a redbud, and the red maple Brett's folks got us).

So even though you might be thinking all those yellow mini-sunflower-like flowers are pretty, there's a problem.

The stuff is BIG!

These pictures were taken a few weeks back - before they really started blooming. I measured them at the time and the tallest stalk was honestly 10 ft tall when pointed straight up!! (They have a tendency to tip over, as you can see, so it's hard to tell how tall they actually are) This is me in front of it, and the white blooms you see in the picture are the hydrangea trees (still in pots) that I ended out planting at the back end of the raised beds.

And here's dunno. Showing the height of the plants while being uncertain if Brett was taking to picture, and I had an itch?

Anyhow - you get the idea. These things are MONSTERS! I don't know what they are - and yet I planted them from seed spring of 2008. Did I get the seeds from Pine Tree? Not sure - maybe. Thing is - they're pretty, and the birds LOVE them when they go to seed, but in the meantime they're COVERED in yellow jackets and bees, and I'm nervous about walking through them, but I have to pretty much part them like walking through heavy drapes to get to the front end of the raised beds... (And sometimes I get tangled up in the plants doing so). And who knows how much shade they're throwing on my veggies!?

Like I said - I started 'em from seed, and this spring I kept trying to tear out what I thought were weeds coming up, and then I finally gave in and let them go, figuring I'd see what they became. Sure enough - they returned. I think they formed slender white rhizomes under ground, because I remember pulling up a lot of white "roots" this spring...obviously I missed some.

My intention is to dig these beasts up before too long (maybe once they've died back a bit?), and give 'em away. Julie here at work wants some, and I'm sure the Melissa Majora gardens need some. Maybe Mary wants some? Anyone else? I figure I can give away two big clumps (one from each of the two small end-beds), or I can divide 'em up - the stuff's super hardy.

I think in their place, once these beasts are out and I've sorted all the spring bulbs out of their roots, I'll be planting the three Angel Cheeks peonies I got for a real steal a short while back - down from $20 to $3 each! Those shouldn't get too tall, and will be much easier to manage, but I think it'll look nice when they're in bloom (give 'em a few years - I understand peonies are picky).

So - any takers?


2 Responses so far.

  1. This is Maximilian sunflower. I grew it several years ago. Goldfinches love the seeds. It has a tendency to want to take over.......

  2. Jeph says:

    You're right - the goldfinches DID love it the last two years. Unfortunately, when I planted it from seed a couple years ago (just after we moved in and got the yard started), I had no idea it could become invasive.

    I've dug the two clumps out and given them to coworkers, WARNING them the stuff wants to take over... In it's place I've put some innocent peonies. I'll make sure the gold finches are well fed between the bird feeders, intentionally grown plants, and the weeds of course! ;-)