Thursday, August 06, 2009

In which I fight bindweed.

A visit to a splendid garden is always an inspiring thing. One stands in front of borders and vistas and, stroking a metaphorical beard, thinks '....Yerss, give me a fastigiate this and a horizontalis that, a chainsaw, spade and a team of willing slaves and I too could have a slice of paradise....'

Bodnant and a walk with Bodnant's Head Gardener was just that. Inspiring. Covetous. The scale of the place is fantastic - deep borders and neat expansive terraces fall away to a tamed wilderness where trees - great soaring monsters - are the thing. Here water gushes and roars in lush green gullies - where above, in the formal garden a delicate tinkling trickle refreshes and compliments the painterly planting. Sigh.

Such a visit can be chastening too.....there is not a thing out of place. Even the miniscule amount of blackspot has its days numbered. Rabbit proofing - neat circlets of galvanised chicken wire in the borders are almost aspirational. Sigh again.

Back home I undertake a comparative survey; where Bodnant is a haven of order, a model of correct gardening technique, my garden seems to be making a bid for freedom. Chaos reigns. It's a jungle out there, a jungle where the twining stems of bindweed have coiled themselves ever more anti-clockwise into wiry ropes through anything and everything in their path. The shoots' relentless sun-ward growth binds binds all in a thick green blanket with, oh such pretty virginial flowers which belie such a tenacious nasty brutish plant.

Bindweed? How did it come to this:
It's fairly obvious I'm not proud of that. I've spent the morning untwining, pulling, snipping and hauling in an attempt to be rid of the stuff. A bit of a fruitless task because I think without getting rid of the roots, it will like Arnie, be back. I can tell you that it is horrid, sappy green and sticky.

So pretty amongst the clematis though....

PS My brother reminded me of this a few weeks ago. Check it out. Snigger if you must.


Wipso said...

We have the same problem in our back garden. If you find a way of getting rid of it for good do let me know. Like you we just keep pulling at it.

Pondside said...

About twice a year The Great Dane makes a valient effort to pull it all up and then he feeds it to the appreciative goats. I have a hard time getting upset about it, as til now the deer have eaten everything but the weeds, and at least this weed has a decent looking flower!

elizabethm said...

I have it all over the place here too. There is always a moment in late April when I think I am beating it and another in mid July when I acknowledge it has won again.
I think about four full time gardeners and no more than eight volunteers should do for me, perhaps Bodnant could spare a few.

Preseli Mags said...

I moved house and left the bindweed behind. I now fight with Japanese knotweed, couch grass and gone-wild crocosmia and strawberries. As Pondside says, at least bindweed as a pretty flower!
PS: Your trip to Bodnant sounds wonderful.

Frances said...

Mountaineer, that trip to Bodant sounds truly inspirational.

Your reports of you own garden's battles with bindweed go to show what is real

I am not sure that bindweed is something that gardeners here in the states have to deal with. Perhaps a reader from this side of the pond will come forward with her/his own tales of bindweed skirmishes.

What I do hope is that you won't mind when I say that I would so trade a morning/afternoon vs. the bindweed as a trade for what I see everyday on the platforms while I wait for the next subway train to arrive.