Once upon a time I bought a sweet little hardy geranium. A pretty thing in a tiny pot. It did look cute planted in the sunny border at the front of the house alongside some furry Stachys and under the white Iris which grows so well there. I was a bit worried that it might be overwhelmed by both but no, it's held its own and as you can see the three plants are a pleasant combination in early summer.
I haven't a clue what its name is - the label disappeared long ago*. Unfortunate this, as the same label might have given me a clue about its ultimate size and habit. Three years after planting it I conclude that ruthlessness must be part of its genetic make-up. Titchy it may be but its size belies its audacity and aggressiveness. This geranium takes no prisoners, engulfing all before it. I am thinking it is the botanic equivalent of Hitler or Napoleon.
The pretty froth of delicate purple flowers atop a mound of mid-green leaves gives way to seed heads balanced on lanky straggling stems. The minute seeds scatter with the slightest movement and wherever they fall they germinate. There are now geraniums spreading far across the garden. It is without doubt a successful plant - except when a plant is where you don't want it to be it becomes a weed.
I summoned up my own ruthless gene. I would hack back, cut down, pull up, cull and otherwise beat it into submission.....but when I looked out of the window Mr and Mrs Bullfinch (rare visitors in these parts) and their 4 newly fledged chicks were feasting on the seeds, hunkered down amongst those same straggly stems having the best picnic of their lives.
Can I take food out of the beaks of baby birds? Can I heck.
*PS If anyone knows its name I'd love to know.