Right now, if you listen closely, you can hear the sounds of experienced gardeners cocking guns and grabbing implements of torture. They are saying “Hanna, them’s fightin’ words.”
This is because Bishop’s Weed (also known as Goutweed) is one of the most insidious plants that a gardener can plant in their garden. But before you string me up from the nearest tree, let me explain the virtues of this much hated plant.
But first the disclaimer…
DISCLAIMER: If you are ever offered this plant, run, do not walk, run quickly from the area before you are talked into taking some home.
Bishop’s Weed is an avid gardener’s worst nightmare. Worse yet, it is sold in garden centers and big box stores with no warning label. Really, before they are allowed to take this stuff home, people should be required to sign iron-clad contracts that requires them never to pass this plant along.
So why do garden centers and big box stores still sell it. Well, because people buy it and those places are all about making a buck. But beyond that, Bishop’s Weed does serve a purpose in the landscape world.
This is where the virtues of Bishop’s Weed comes in. Bishop’s Weed should only be used in areas where there will not be someone to garden. For example, my current guerrilla gardening project, the woman who takes care of the place told me that she purposely planted Bishop’s Weed because she hoped that it would keep down the weeds while still looking nice. Where the Bishop’s Weed is growing, it does just that.
If you have a Great Aunt Helga who just can’t get out in the yard, Bishop’s Weed is a great solution. It will choke out anything including weeds and yet does not seem to grow into the lawn turf. It also grows relatively low to the ground so does not need to be cut.
Basically, Bishop’s Weed is ideal for locations that need to be kept neat but where no one will have the time to weed and maintain. Public locations, elderly or infirmed peoples’ gardens or hard to get to locations.