A bit like squabbling heirs, jostling for the crown in a succession (or regicide), I spent a good deal of effort deposing the ivy from the patio wall to expose the beautiful stone underneath. This ivy had completely taken over and was king, smothering any other plant that dared to get in its way. It stretched right along the length of the wall and its reign was supreme. It knew no boundaries.
When it went, it finally revealed the lovely stone work previously hidden underneath. The summer sun and rain finished the job of alternately washing and bleaching to restore the original bright finish.
In the usual case of solving one problem and creating another, the dethroning of the ivy left a power vacuum and there’s another contender for the throne that has seized the opportunity: the Ivy-Leaved Toadflax or Cymbalaria Muralis has made a bid for the crown.
This section of wall was completely cleared in late Summer but now the creeping tendrils of this plant are covering the space the ivy used to enjoy and I haven’t decided what to do with it yet. It has spread rather quickly and once again, covered the stone that I worked hard to uncover. I had visions of rare and delicate alpines studding this wall like jewels, but at the moment all I have is a rampant “wildflower”.
The propagation method for this plant is fascinating:
The flower stalk is initially positively phototropic and moves towards the light – after fertilisation, it becomes negatively phototropic and moves away from the light. This results in seed being pushed into dark crevices of rock walls, where it is more likely to germinate and where it prefers to grow – Wikipedia
How does a plant learn to do that? Really? I mean, just how? The mind boggles. No-matter, the result is that it’s making a successful bid for supremacy of the wall. This plant is coming on to my radar and it had better hope that it doesn’t come under the full glare of my attention or it will end up going the same way as the ivy did. If that does happen, I wonder what plant then, will make a bid for the kingdom of the wall? Let the Game of Thrones commence!