Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The uprooted garlic mustard gets thrown on a big compost pile on the other side of the path. Note the forest of GM growing in the background (outside of my territory). Today I finished clearing it from around the entrance and headed back to the main patch near the pond. I also did a quick scan of Marnie's Point, just to be sure it was as clear as I'd thought, and found only a few plants to remove. Once again I'm feeling optimistic about removing all the GM from the site, but that may change. (Removing all the flowering stuff, I mean: there are millions of tiny plants that will gather their strength this year in preparation for flowering and seeding next year. I can't begin to get all those, but I'll be ready for 'em next spring. I'm bound to break this thing's spirit sooner or later.)

It's actually very rewarding to remove garlic mustard; in the right conditions the long root will come up without much effort, and even in hard-packed or stony ground a little spade-work will quickly loosen it. The biggest clumps are the most satisfying, and fill up my garbage bag quickly, so if I'm getting tired of pulling small, single stalks, I treat myself to some of the bigger stuff for a while. One thing never fails: I can clear a particular area, scan it carefully and find no more white flowers, go off and dump my bag onto the pile ... and come back to find a metre-high clump of GM right in the middle of where I was just working. I'm sure it sneaks around behind my back.

While I'm making such great progress with the garlic mustard I'm eyeing the Japanese knotweed nervously, and surveying the dog-strangling vine with dismay. There's a lot of both, and they're much harder to eradicate. Ah well, as a friend who does similar work in North Carolina (where privet is the flora non grata) says, "As to the invasive plants, never never never do it thinking you will win. Just do it for the joy of killing evil things, making small islands of botanical purity and correctness." Exactly!

Oh great, look who's come back to the equipment box this year:

Exquisite fungus:

Grapevine sending out leaves and wee grapes:

1 comment:

Boud said...

Welcome back to the blogosphere Marnie. I loved your blog and now I'm very glad it's in business again, and still working on the garlic mustard.

I'm glad yo stayed with the same location, too, since it continues to need you.

I thought of you the other day when I saw some GM and couldn't remember its name. Good to come in here and find it.