Warning to new and enthusiastic gardeners:
Watch out for those things that the catalogs describe as “vigorous growers” and “quick to establish.”
These are the things we are eager to hear. What they usually fail to mention is that such plants may well overrun the better-behaved perennials, most shrubs, many small trees, and even the lawn.
Falling for this line in a big way, years ago I bought a clutch of ajuga (A. pyramidalis). Blooming with a lovely sapphire blue spire in May and June, the catalog pronounced it practically indestructible. They were correct. I have been fighting a large patch of it in the lawn where it has choked out the grass and spread for several years now. Even the heat and drought (and some weed killer) of this summer have not discouraged it. In the right place, it would be an invaluable plant.
Some of the plants to look out for: gooseneck loosestrife, variegated goutweed, and assorted bamboos. The first year is just fine, but, in the second or third year, these plants have taken over, sending roots and seeds in all directions and choking out everything in their path.
Some gardeners are happy for these robust plants to take over and make for a natural, unruly scene. Insisting on room for other plants we love, these robust and gigantic plants have to be kept in check (and, in some instances, not given admittance in the first place).