The Ties That Bind

Aug 24, 2013 | 0 comments

Regatta Day 2012

Regatta Day 2012

The village is gearing up for the 19th Annual Oysterville Regatta, Modern Version – some of us as spectators and some as participants.  Nyel and I, not being sailors, are among the former group.  Also in ‘our party’ will be our long-time friend Dick-from-Bainbridge and his lady friend, Judie.

As I was preparing for their arrival, I spent a quick hour or two in the garden.  My thought was to tidy things up a bit – dead-head daisies and dahlias and pull some of the dandelions that have sprouted up to two feet high almost overnight.  But….no!  I hardly accomplished a thing because I immediately became distracted by bindweed.

Morning Glory

Bindweed Blossom

Bindweed twining up the tiger lilies.  Bindweed wrapped around the rose bushes.  Bindweed smothering the daisies and dahlias and climbing far up into the camellia and creeping through the hydrangeas.  In every flower bed there is the scourge of bindweed.

Where did it come from, anyway?  Three years ago we saw the first tentative tentacles take hold in the garden bed beneath our library windows. By last summer, it had spread over to the west fence and was creeping out through the pickets onto the rhododendrons.  Now… everywhere!  Not even its attractive morning-glory-look-alike flower can persuade me to think kindly of this pest, and though it is related to traditional, old fashioned variety, there is no glory at with respect to this “field morning glory” variety.

Dick Hawes

Dick Hawes,September 2012

The research I’ve done regarding eradication is discouraging, to say the least.  First of all, I read that the greatest enemy of bindweed is dry soil.  I skipped that part.  In an environment of 80 to 100 inches of rain a year… no way is that a possibility.  Then I read things like:   Effective control requires prevention of seed production, reduction of stored carbohydrates by deep tillage of the root system, competition for light from other plants, and constant vigilance in removing top growth. I skipped that part, too.  What am I… an agronomist?

So far, I’m continuing my system of yank, pull, and swear.  When Dick arrived yesterday, I put him to work dead-heading daisies.  Our friendship goes back almost 50 years and the ties that bind us can stand a little gardening duty.  And maybe, just maybe, he’ll have a practical answer to the bindweed problem.  At the very least, thought I, we might finish the dead-heading before Judie gets here.

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