Orangeville, ON (James Doan) This bed has been around a long time and has undergone a lot of reworking over the years.

Originally planted with ground cover and an assortment of pollinators, it languished for a few years after Mom and Dad were no longer tending it. My brother and I had “Black Thumbs”.

A few years back we gave a drastic purge and intended to start all over. But, in the spring, we noticed a few shoots coming up near the fence. They turned out to be Lily of the Valley. We thought we would let them go to see how far they would spread. They are designated as an invasive plant. Not surprisingly, they thrived and started moving north.

We then noticed a couple of ferns had miraculously come back. Mother had several areas growing, but they all declined over time and ultimately disappeared. Each year a few more have returned.

It now looks to be a race between the Lily of the Valley and the ferns to see who will conquer the bed.