Tuesday, January 18, 2011

When green isn't good

Green is a color that really stands out in the winter garden, since there's not much of it, and it can be a beautiful sight. Snow on conifers? Lovely.  

Red osier dogwood with bamboo. Photo by Rachel Shaw
But in my yard there's a fair amount of winter green that is not good. Some of the most invasive plants I battle are evergreen, in particular English ivy and bamboo. It took two years to kill the thick vines of ivy that had bullied their way almost to the canopy of our two largest shade trees. Ripping out the normal sized vines as they sneak across the ground is ongoing. I've wrestled up to the surface the bamboo rhizomes that embed their gnarly fingers underground, sending up little flags of green shoots at unexpected locations.

The visibility of this unwelcome green in winter is an opportunity, I've realized. In the summer these plants can hide in the lushness of all the other green growing things. Not so in winter. Time to put on the boots and gloves, get the pruners, and attack while I can see the enemy clearly!

1 comment:

  1. That's a great point about the winter being an ideal time to spot stray bamboo. We've been working to eradicate it in my father-in-law's garden for a few years now and it is an overwhelming task. When the bamboo is actively growing it is amazing to see where it pops up. We've seen it travel under a stone terrace, about 30' wide and pop up on the other side! Godd luck with your removal.