Here is my adorable thistle, in what is supposed to be my lavender hedge. I hate wearing gardening gloves, and by the time I got to this thistle, when it was a seedling, it was too spiky to be tackled with bare hands. So, I left it. And left it. And left it. Yesterday evening I finally strapped on my gloves and dealt with it. If it had been in the borders, I think I would have left it: it's so splendidly vicious.
My real gardening nightmare though, is bindweed, and here it is, winding its way around the Fantin Latour:
It wasn't a problem until we had to have an epic amount of garden wall re-built. It took so long to a. argue with the insurers b. find the money when they argued more successfully than we did c. find someone who could actually do the job, that by that time a bit of bindweed had rooted in the bed next to the wall. I knew it was there. I had it in my sights, but of course was busy putting off doing anything about it. The builders were one of those excellent firms who clear up after themselves, and they kindly dug the bed in front of the wall for me. Alas, they dug the bindweed in at the same time, shattered in bits, and I've never been free of it since.
Some of my gardening friends look at me in a still and steely manner when I whinge about my bindweed. "Canes and glyphosate, that's what you need," they say. Yes, I know, I know. I even HAVE the glyphosate, and the canes, but I have never, ever managed to get the two together, let alone slip out there, armed with my rubber gloves, to rub glyphosate over the bindweed, when it has wound its way up the canes. I was bred in the gutter, and the very thought makes me giggle. Just can't take it seriously.
So, the bindweed survives, and every now and then I plunge into the bed and disentangle it from things. But not very often.