I want to make apruning confession–I am NOT a green thumb. Never have been. I cannot grow anything to save my life, try as I may. The unfortunate thing about this fact is that the home my husband and I bought several years ago has a lot of beautiful landscaping we struggle to maintain due to my unskilled gardening tactics and lack of know-how. It has certainly been a learning experience. The proverbial trial-by-fire. The type of maintenance our yard requires is a torturous endeavor, especially considering I don’t find this sort of labor enjoyable–not in the least.

Anyway, a number of years ago, I noticed a bunch of weird looking plants had begun to appear in the strangest of places. They were low-lying to the ground at first, but then began to take the shape of what I thought looked like a young tree–eventually sprouting little berries. Because we were still pretty new to the home then, and I naive in the ways of nature’s plants, I wasn’t sure if it was something the previous owners had planted and were supposed to be there or if it was a weed of some sort. I waited and watched, until one day I decided that I just didn’t like them. They were kind of menacing and seemed to take over everything! I began to pull them, making sure to be very careful with those auspicious-looking berries.

After the hard-fought excavation, I had not seen the “tree plant” (as we called it then) for quite some time. A few years later it popped up again. I wondered if, perhaps, it was a type of plant that only grows every couple of years. And then, I opened our city’s Newsletter.

Apparently, our troublesome plant has a name and it’s called Buckthorn. Okay, I’ll wait until the laughter has subsided. Yes, I had been growing Buckthorn and never knew it. And now it seems to be everywhere! Sigh. It is a never-ending battle. According to the Newsletter, the berries can essentially lay dormant, but remain viable, in the soil for approximately…can you guess? Six years!

I may have won the first battle, but the war is still not over.

Buckthorn 9-24-13



About Jan Rain

See the About page. View all posts by Jan Rain

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