Rhymes With Fuchsia

Friday, June 13, 2008

Friday Flowers: Green in Tooth and Claw

The other day I read an article online (I don't remember where, but these days it could have been anywhere) about how the mortgage crisis was no longer confined to subprime loans: seeing a nice house in a nice neighborhood with an untidy, obviously untended lawn, you'd have proof that even a conventional mortgage could go bad, and foreclosure was just around the corner.

This morning at the bus stop I was chatting with the next-door neighbors, Mike and Karen; since the bus stop is officially across the street but in practice in our driveway, we all had a full view of our spectacularly unkempt lawn. "We're not in foreclosure, really," I said, after mentioning the article, "the lawn just got away from us and it's now too much for our friendly local teenagers to deal with, so we had to find someone with a heavy-duty riding mower, and he's coming tomorrow."

"Drat," said Mike, "we were just about to vandalize."

The lawn doesn't need mowing so much as haying at this point, and the truth is that I still find splendor in tall waving grass. (I may feel differently later, depending on how many ticks I discover have become attached to me.) Realizing that its time was short, I made sure to take my camera out back earlier.

If there were a way to play soccer in it and keep the ticks away, I'd leave it like this.

At the back of the lawn a battle royal is in progress. In this corner...

Rosa multiflora, multiflora, baby, or rambler rose. Originally imported from Asia and planted to prevent erosion and attract wildlife, according to Wikipedia it's now often considered a noxious weed, a judgment with which I fully concur.

And in this corner...

Allium schoenoprasum, or common chives.

Truth to tell, while chives are extremely hardy, especially when they have plenty of sun — when we bought our previous house from my parents we inherited their garden, complete with chive plants, which grew and throve and never seemed to get any smaller, even though I would often divide a clump and give half to a friend — they are no match for the multiflora roses, which in a state of nature would long ago have rerooted themselves and smothered any innocent chive plant growing nearby. I am on the chives' side, however, and periodically eradicate the violators of their personal space. (We also have invasive Japanese bittersweet; the battle between it and multiflora seems to be a draw.)

It's a jungle out there.

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  • We have SO MANY of those damn roses, although I have found the thing that will strangle that them ... a grapevine. I am, however, extremely reluctant to dive into the Rose Hedge of Death to pull the grapevine out.

    By Blogger Ruth, at 11:37 PM  

  • A jungle, maybe, but it's pretty.

    By Anonymous Chris, at 12:04 AM  

  • (sings). . . from the fields there comes a breath of new-mown hay. Through the sycamores, the candle light is gleaming - on the banks of the Wabash far away.

    By Blogger Roxie, at 11:06 AM  

  • What a nice chunk of yard you have! Mowed or unmowed. I'm never quite sure if I'm happy or sad about my lack of yard. Yards are nice ... but then you have to mow them. It's a toss up.

    By Anonymous emma, at 8:50 PM  

  • At least your lawn weeds have pretty flowers. Ours are just ugly.

    By Blogger Danielle, at 12:23 PM  

  • Don't get me started on bittersweet. Once I am convinced that Audrey the wisteria is really and truly dead, I might get to work on the bittersweet next.

    And it's hard to imagine that anything in the rose family could be noxious, but I'll take your word for it.

    By Anonymous Beth S., at 11:08 AM  

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