ASK THE GARDENERS. Questions & Answers.
Q Early this year your column suggested Aegopodium Podagraria variegata as a variegated ground cover. This is a terrible plant to get rid of when it quickly spreads to other areas. It is impossible to kill off without injuring the plants it has become entangled with. Seeds also carry the planting everywhere. My mother (upon advice of the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station) has been using Roundup weed killer for three years to eradicate it. I would suggest variegated lamium as a more suitable choice. P. D. Mill Valley, Calif. Your comments are valid. With favorable growing conditions, including good soil and ample moisture, Aegopodium can be aggressive. We should have given a stronger warning to this effect.
The very qualities which make a plant a pernicious pest in one area, however, can make it a valued plant in another.
At our former home Aegopodium tolerated almost impossible growing conditions and beautified an otherwise ugly area between driveway and house foundation. It does equally well in sun or shade. Present owners continue to extol its virtues and hundreds of plants have been given to admirers. But beware, it can overrun other plants.
A way to get rid of Aegopodium and other unwanted plants is to mow closely, then lay black plastic over the area, pinning the plastic down if necessary. A good hot summer and fall will burn out plants underneath. To make the plastic more tolerable, put a layer of bark chips over the top. Lamium maculatum is an attractive groundcover. It does best in semi-shade but growth can be quite inhibited in poor, dry soil. Q A while ago you mentioned a book, ``Wild Foods Cookbook and Field Guide,'' by Billy Joe Tatum, published by Workman Publishing Company with an address on East 51st Street in New York City. I could not secure a phone number so I wrote a letter. It was returned to me marked: ``Forwarding order expired.'' I would be happy to get the correct address, and perhaps others would, also. V. N. G. West Hempstead, N. Y.
Workman Publishing has moved to 1 West 39th Street, New York, N.Y. 10018. It is probably easier (and more certain) to order a copy of any book through a bookstore. They should have current listings of book publishers. If there is not a bookstore in your area, the nearest public library or school library should have a directory of publishers and their current addresses.
If you have a question about your garden, inside or out, send it to the Garden Page, The Christian Science Monitor, One Norway Street, Boston, Mass. 02115. Doc and Katy Abraham are nationally known horticulturists.