Free the Tree (a mini Weed Wrangle)

“Smothered and Covered” works great for hashbrowns at Waffle House, but not for trees in your yard.
When invasive vines smother and cover trunks and branches, the tree—eventually—is toast.

Look around. It’s winter. Are shade trees casting shade from twigs that should be bare?
Are elms and hackberries magically green from soil to sky?

Continue reading “Free the Tree (a mini Weed Wrangle)”

DIY Invasive Plant Decor

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Last week, my family hosted a simcha—a festive life-cycle event—and fed 160 well-wishers inside a Social Hall not known for its beauty.

“You’ll need something on the tables,” warned a friend the week before.
“Where are the centerpieces?” asked the man who arranged the tables. Continue reading “DIY Invasive Plant Decor”

Star of Bethlehem: Thug of my Yard

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Star of Bethlehem

Once upon a time, a new grass appeared in the yard. At first, I thought the narrow leaves were wild onion, but they didn’t taste oniony. They didn’t look oniony, either, not on closer inspection: each wore a silvery line down the middle of the green.

Later, when these mystery leaves began to yellow, a flower stalk emerged. It was staggered with green and white striped buds. Exquisite! Then, the buds bloomed into white, six-petaled flowers even more exquisite.
It was Ornithogalum umbellatum L.: Star of Bethlehem.

I hate it.

Continue reading “Star of Bethlehem: Thug of my Yard”

If You Like Wisteria

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Wisteria floribunda at 2400 21st Ave. South

If you like wisteria,

If you can momentarily forget this is the exotic wisteria classed as invasive here,

If you need to lie on a blanket and see sky through cascades of blue-violet racemes,

and if allergies permit fragrance in Surround Sound,

go to the front lawn of the old Catholic Diocese on 21st Avenue South. Evening air intensifies the scent.

* Continue reading “If You Like Wisteria”