Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Ah, those things we don't invite into our gardens. I deal with the weeds in a meditative way. I just park myself in an area and work my way through. It's soothing when I'm not in a hurry.

Vines are another story all together. They're tough, they're stubborn, they take a lot of energy to remove them, and they attack with their vicious thorns. Vines grow rampant around here.

I have a weird relationship with the poison ivy. It's everywhere, and it's not going away any time soon. I tried to get rid of it, and it won the battle. I'm not sensitive to the leaves, but I am to the roots. I learned this the hard way. We have an understanding now. It can have a few pine trees, but may not be in my flower beds. The birds eat its berries, and the squirrels build their nests in its branches. 

The poison ivy doesn't bother the trees, but there are other vines that do. Below is an example of what these vines do to my trees.

Smilax tries to destroy the trees by smothering them. It shoots to the tops of them and then covers them with masses of leaves. During a mild winter it will keep growing. It has nasty thorns on it so thick gloves are essential.

The wild grapevine is just coming out of its dormancy. It develops a thick woody trunk and actually pulls entire trees to the ground and gradually destroys them.

Its tendrils become hard, so attempting to pull the vine out of a tree can break the tree branches.

On a cheerful note, the daffodils are doing well.


Ami said...

huh, I won't want to touch those thorny vines! Your daffodils looks really pretty!

The Rainforest Gardener said...

I guess that my passionflowers are technically weeds but I love them anyways! I also have wild grapes and smilax, but in the swamp they never take over the bald cypresses, hollies and swamp bay trees.

Floridagirl said...

Oh, what emotions your post dredges up! That wrapped tendril conjures up such thoughts! I abhor the grapevines! You cannot know how much. Your words are quite true...they can smother any size tree, as well as fallen logs, shrubs, and the earth below. One you didn't mention that also irritates me is Virginia creeper. I have a huge problem with it in my garden, and always will because my garden is one for the birds.

I agree with RFG...There is one weed I tolerate and appreciate. In my garden, it's the corkystem passionvine. A must have for butterflies!

Darla said...

It took me years and a couple of steriod injections to rid my gardens of the dreaded poison ivy vine....hate the sticker vines too!

Deborah said...

Sometimes those thorny vines make me look like I've been in a fight with some cats.

I have passion vines. They are weedy, but pretty enough to make up for that. Mine too was full of butterflies last summer.

Virginia creeper drives me nuts too. I once had one work its way through my siding and into my kitchen.

I wound up in the ER myself from contact with poison ivy roots. I'm not allergic to the leaves, but the roots are something else. I've learned not to wipe my face when I'm dealing with those dreadful vines.