Is this Japanese Knotwood? Number 1

You have to understand that I am going to be a 65 year old horticultural virgin in a week’s time.

My first memory of a garden was in Singapore where we all lounged as others laboured. Back to Caledonia (stern and wild) in due course. I remember a Rowan tree and lots of grass but I have no recollection of other growing stuff requiring cultivation. I was still too young for conscription into Mum’s garden task force.

Dad’s next posting was to Salisbury and into newly-built married quarters. The earth was a mass of flints which I dutifully picked up and piled under maternal supervision. By the time we moved on again, Mum had worked wonders but I was only ever an unskilled  labourer toiling in her stony field.

Our next house in Perth had a substantial and mature garden with lots of green grass and flowers and bushes and big brown woody sort of things but I was still not inducted into the mysteries by my mother. Essentially, she took her text from Matthew Chapter 8 verse 9 when it came to gardening – “For I too am a person subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come here,’ and he comes; and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

So, I went and came and did this and that to help her garden grow without any grasp of what it was all about. At age 17, I moved to Embra to go to Uni. From then until next week, I have lived an urban existence with no need to trouble myself about nurturing Mother Nature.

In a few short days, Mrs M and I take possession of a detached bungalow. I drive past every so often to check that it is still there. It is becoming clear that the front and rear gardens have thrown off the sloth of winter and are seriously burgeoning at an alarming rate. And I don’t know which parts of this rampant growth are weeds or flowers or fruit or vegetables or triffids.

More to the point, the Home Report said that  there was no evidence of Japanese Knotweed but that they could not guarantee that it was not lurking. If it is, this is not, apparently, a good thing.

So, I intend to enlist my fellow Charioteers as an Early Warning Japanese Knotweed Defence System with the hope that they can also point me in the right direction in any Weed v Flower debate. Let’s start with this one. We seem to have a lot of it at both front and back.

Garden 1

I am fairly certain that this is not JK but would be grateful if anybody could tell me what it is and whether we want to have it.

9 thoughts on “Is this Japanese Knotwood? Number 1”

  1. If this is flowering now, about 3″ high and hairless it is probably common dog violet or perhaps marsh or northern violet. Rather hard to see from the photo, need some closer photos really with a ruler to get scale.
    These are wild flowers. You may care to remove some if they have become rampant but they io have the advantage of keeping rank weeds away.

    The horror weed is japanese knotweed not wood. It is 4′ high. suggest you familiarise yourself with it and check your neighbou’rs gardens. If you ever see it it must be chemically killed immediately, never try to dig it up. Will go through tarmac, concrete foundations god knows what! It is not up yet at this time of year. You will be advised that it is a professional job, but you can kill it yourself, I know how, so just be on the lookout for it. Suggest you ask some good gardening neigbour whether it is in the area.

  2. It does look like a miniature campanula too, but too early to flower now, should be June.
    Need better photos to confirm.

  3. Welcome to the ranks of the folk on gardening-leave, JM! Sorry I can’t help with JK identification or even your pictured wild stuff. Being somewhat remote here we usually fight with nettles and docks. The rest class as ‘wild flowers’ to be encouraged and even transplanted!

  4. Mrs O,
    My , or rather my neighbours campanula is also in flower now, as is my Rosemary and Ceanothus which has just kept on flowering since last summer. Anyway, I agree, Knotweed it ain’t.
    Bad luck with the frost. I can imagine the internal seething although several large G&T’s should have the required calming effect. 😉

  5. Thanks for the help and sorry about the quality of the photos. It is an Executry sale and the house and gardens are, therefore, empty and untended just now.

    We were permitted a visit to allow tradesmen to prepare estimates but it was on a strict ,Look but don’t touch anything’ basis. I used my tablet to take a few photos including this one. We get our hands on the place next Friday so better photos will follow shortly.

  6. When we moved into our house 25+ years ago the back garden had according to be builders, been turfed. Where they got the turf from I have no idea but it came complete with every variety of weed incl. nettles and, I think, a thistle or two. Like JM my gardening skills were (are) extremely limited and for eerily similar reasons.

    Anyway the situation called for the standard Jazz radical solution. I got a 6′ 6″ high wall built round the garden ( v expensive although I bought the bricks from London Brick for cash) and once that was done zapped the whole place with lots of sodium chlorate in solution which turned it into a mini desert. Six months later I barrowed in 6 tons of sharp sand and a load of peat. Rotovated the lot, rolled it and planted some Scots variety of grass Pentland something or other.

    At the time I’d never heard of Japanese Knotweed.

  7. When we moved into our house 25+ years ago the back garden had according to be builders

    Would some kind person edit the ‘be’ to a ‘the’ ?

  8. JL Cornwall never fails to amaze me! However JM is in Edinburgh, I’m pretty sure it would not be campanula in Feb up there. But, have to admit one never knows with the weather of late!!

    We always have a foul winter here every 5 years or so. Kills off the more delicate shrubs, I have lost ceanothus twice now damn it. Finally refuse to plant the more delicate stuff, just keeping the garden centres going. If you can’t plant it in Alaska, sod it!

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