I am continually amazed by the unending persistence of nature. I love it. And I hate it.
This time of year 100 percent of my hatred is directed to ever-spreading, startlingly hardy and prolific bindweed, named for its propensity for climbing up and twisting itself around anything in its vicinity. When its little pink and white blooms emerge across my property, silly as it is, I feel as if I have lost a battle.
I know quite a bit about bindweed by now. I know that more you pull it, (which is easy and kind of fun) the more vigorously it will return. I know that it adores the moisture held in the ground by a heavy layer of wood mulch. If I’d only been less lazy and a bit smarter, I would have placed a layer of plastic or newspapers on the ground before I unloaded a four-inch layer of mulch all over my yard. But no.
I’ve become obsessed with pulling out the stuff, untwisting it from around my squash, carrots, raspberries, strawberries and various bushes, hedges and flowers. I know it is useless, but I can’t stop. I have attacked an especially prolific area by covering it with a tarp, weighted down on all four corners, hoping maybe denying it light and moisture will kill it. Somehow, I have a feeling it will survive.
As I pull the weeds, I sometimes envision a team of grandkids spending, say, 30 minutes having some fun pulling long strings of bindweed from my garden. But somehow it never happens. It’s just not as appealing as I imagine it. I was thinking that they might like to compete with each other for creating the biggest pile of bindweed in a limited time. I guess that was faulty thinking.
There are times when I want to get hold of at least a gallon of Round Up and spray it all over the place with abandon, but I know how damaging and also how temporary that solution would be. I’ve been told that it is possible to kill a plant by painting each leaf with a Round Up solution, maybe so, but that would take a lifetime.
Solution? Learn to live with the stuff. I’m trying.
I’m working toward resigning myself to the fact that until the cold weather arrives, my yard will be choking.