You can also see the real life of plants, far from the dreams and fantasies you harbor at the nursery, far from the lovely images of well-tended gardens in designer books and magazines.
You get to see what happens to plants that are not taken care of.
A case in point is Equisetum, the delightful California native commonly called horsetail (pictured above in two SoCal yards). It’s characterized by slender, hollow, leafless reeds with ringed joints. It looks exotic, hardy and Zen-like.
You can imagine an innocent soul at the nursery, taken in by this plant’s allure, handing over a few bucks in a moment that could well become a long battle for control of the yard.
This plant has a creeping root system that can, as you see from the photo on the right, invade places you never wanted it to go. And its aggressive nature can choke out everything else in sight.
On the Garden Web forum, comments like this should be fair warning:
Giant horsetails, the thugs, on steroids? Be mighty careful where and how you plant them, & let us know if your house disappears (LOL)
I’m no garden expert, but I’ve heard this advice on horsetail enough times to repeat it here: Confine this beast to a pot. Or else, prepare for battle.