By Phran Novelli
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Fields of purple verbena have filled my garden since early summer – intertwining with perennials, mingling in with the annuals. These hardy volunteers of the verbena plants I bought about 10 years ago -a variety known as ‘Homestead Purple’- reseed so easily I end up with thousands of them each year and I pinch them out where they grow so thickly, share them with friends and pop them in all over the place to fill in. It fills in so well because the verbena stems gently bend and nestle among other plants, creating a summer groundcover of sorts that keeps blooming until frost.
When I look at the rivers of verbena along my paths, I’m so grateful for how easily it self sows and grows. And then when I spy beautiful black swallowtails still stopping by all fall to feed on them, I’m happier than ever that I don’t use anything to keep seeds from germinating because if I had used weed preventer, I’d have stopped the verbena from growing too.