Thursday, October 21, 2010

Confronting the Vines

Another result of our rain-soaked summer became clear to me this weekend as I sought to clear out some vines that were threatening to overtake our two cute silver palms in the front yard, a job that took about 4 hours.

I try to keep an open mind. Plants do what they need to do to survive. An oak tree will shade out and kill a whole village of its neighboring plants once it gets big--I won't hold any ill will toward it. But let a skinny, pipsqueak vine attack one of these giants and I am outraged.

The picture above was taken midway in the process, after I had pulled the vines from the palm but before I went after the heavily-laden Cherry Laurel tree on the right. These vines (there are about 4 varieties of them) pop up in so many places that I can imagine the vast underground net of roots, as dense as a seine.

I punish them and cuss them. I pull up their roots. I taunt them and embarrass them and belittle them. But they don't care. They have no real defenses at all. They have a vicious grip on their host plant--some of them grow to the very top of the oak trees--and yet they are as easy to cut as a stem of asparagus. There's a lesson here somewhere...

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