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* - galaxy

i am a salad

Posted on 2007.05.22 at 16:38
another intense day of working outside.  it got up around 90 degrees again, it was great - i'm not in perfect shape for it, and my black t-shirt really absorbed the sun, but i'm getting a lot accomplished.  mostly cleaning up the back yard - weeds, refuse, and garbage i hid away at the side of our house, from when i would clean the lot next door.  still might go out there and bag stuff so i can put it out for trash tonight.

despite the constant influx of urban weeds, mainly invasive species, i am pretty proud of some of the things i've done back there in the past, mainly the trees i've planted.  trees and bushes are a great defense against weeds.  for example, i planted two honeysuckles at the side of the garage, and now they're full grown, and they block out all the garlic mustard and Ailanthus trees coming in from next door.  plus they smelled terrific this year - which was actually my plan - i wanted to tame the next door neighbours with sweetness, so the jackass who lived there would stop shooting his gun off in the middle of the night.  they've moved though.  i guess they couldn't stand the sweetness.

the stupid city - (continuing rant) - only INVITED weeds into the dark little tree alcove in my lot next door, when they chopped down all the trees.  now garlic mustard is going to have a field day back there.  garlic mustard, which actually tastes like garlic and mustard, came in from china, and it has been taking over vast tracks of land - urban AND wilderness.  it is a MAJOR environmental problem.  hundreds pop up at a time - in the first year they are a carpet of nice little plants, in the next year they spring up about two feet tall, and each plant produces A THOUSAND TINY SEEDS!  such invaders make gardening in the city a complete exasperation, and mayors should go on anti-invasive-species campaigns instead of a bulldozing campaign - it would be far more effective.

i try to plant trees and bushes that help native birds, squirrels and bees.  however, the honeysuckles i planted were kind of a mistake, since it turns out that they are ALSO an invasive species in wilderness areas themselves.  i've seen it first-hand.  plus, they don't provide native birds safe nesting, as our NATIVE honeysuckles do, so their invasion continues to cause declines in bird populations, giving the edge to feral cats.  unfortunately, there is virtually no one who sells native honeysuckle rather than the invasive ones that gardeners have been buying for decades.  live and learn.

every year Ailanthus trees try to overtake my garden - especially my little area at the BACK of the garage.  Ailanthus are an invasive tree weed from china that sprout up like the devil's business - which is weird because they are called the "tree of heaven".  they stink like hell!  their little branches just fall off and then send roots into the ground and instantly - more devil trees!  so it's a pain in the ass trying to clear these out twice a year, along with the garlic mustard and some stinging weed.  then having the city breath down your neck because THEY don't address the problems.  weeds are not eradicated by simply cutting them down!

my arms were all red from pulling the weeds - mostly some aggressive stinging tiny-leaf weed that trails in huge batches and pull out extremely easily, but without the roots - DOES ANYONE KNOW WHAT THIS WEED IS?  (It puts out tiny yellow flowers which bear tiny green tomato-cucumber-like fruit, and it smells tomatoey).  Plus there was some poison ivy around - which i am extremely sensitive to.  I used tea tree oil to treat my arms and that seemed to work well.

anyway - the little area behind my garage - i planted a turkish trazel tree, which is finally looking really cute.  it will give off hazel-nuts, but they won't work as seeds.  win-win.  there is also a wild looking little red cedar back there.  and a beautiful purple-red bush-tree (plum) which i created from the stump of a tree i had to cut down.  and the area is now coated with day lilies and some wild grass.  a really nice little wild area.

also proud of my almond tree, wild cherry, washington hawthorn, emerald green arborvitae, firethorns/roses, etc.  and there were some big yellow irises which i found in a natural area, and now they are spreading really well - very nice flowers.  i later learnt that they are from europe, but they're pretty tame.  my redbud and eastern wahoo trees are coming along well in the shade of my house.  i planted the almond tree banking on global warming to help it survive.  it's very happy.



Ailanthus - "tree of heaven"



Garlic Mustard - actually the flowers don't look so prominent, and the plant is taller and thin looking.  But in the FIRST year it looks totally different, a low ground cover plant almost looking like violet leaves.  THAT'S the time to attack it with "Round-Up".  But in the second year, pull it up before the flowers or seeds occur.

Comments:


★  Ashlee ★
umbreons_shadow at 2007-05-23 00:44 (UTC) (Lien)
Hmm, we different "weeds" here. Mostly European plants, you know. Black Berries and fire weed are horrible weeds. There are heap of nasty ones here!
where hypotheses come to die
madman101 at 2007-05-23 01:31 (UTC) (Lien)
i don't know fireweed - but i might have heard about it once regarding australia

i love blackberries! - i loved to pick them as a kid. blackberry yogurt rocks, and so does blackberry pie! as a plant, they make terrific hedges and feed the birds. but you are absolutely right - they are a plague here too, and so they shouldn't be planted, and birds should eat other stuff. i've tried to walk through blackberry thickets and it is basically impossible - even the new plants are a pain in the leg. however, i would still say planting seedless varieties might be a good idea.

another problem we have here is buckthorn - you prolly have it too in more temperate areas. i think it's from europe, displacing our native buckthorn, and growing everywhere, cuz the damn birds eat it up. however, buckthorn bark is a helpful natural medicine. i made my own syrup once.
★  Ashlee ★
umbreons_shadow at 2007-05-23 01:43 (UTC) (Lien)
Fireweed can kill sheep and cattle if they eat enough of it. It spreads very easily in our climate conditions.

Not so much on the West coast - But, the east coast, black berries are a big problem, especially because, of rabbits and birds. You have to poison and then burn them to get rid of them.

hmm, I haven't heard of "buckthorn" before. Hmm... The Europeans were naive when they got here....They pretty started the whole destruction of Australia. Hence, starting Global warming. Let's blame them. :P
where hypotheses come to die
madman101 at 2007-05-23 01:54 (UTC) (Lien)
yeah - euro-man be the devil. but i take the good with the bad. what can ya say, we didn't have science til a couple of days ago, and pretty much everything anybody did was a likely fuck up of some sort. you know that thing "the bible"? how come it didn't give us instructions about all this hmmm? pretty worthless in that respect.

yes - europe and it's rabbits and dogs and etc. really did australia in.

however - let's not forget those firebreathing aboriginies who hunted away australia's big reptiles by setting fire to everything. the whole issue of which came first in australia, climate change or man's own desertification, is one i wish i could study more.

now that you mention it - fireweed sounds familiar.

i knew blackberries were really tough to get rid of - but i didn't realise it was THAT bad.
★  Ashlee ★
umbreons_shadow at 2007-05-23 11:40 (UTC) (Lien)
LOL - The bible isn't an instruction manual for rules of DO NOT destroy the precious earth. Pity, it focuses on human "rules"...and teachings.

The aborigines, were very smart people. They knew how to look after the land, if they didn't set it alight many Australian plants wouldn't reproduce...some need fire to reproduce and to make better regrowth. They didn't over hunt either. They ate things seasonally...They had it all planned out.

Black berries are just damn nasty. Same with willows, along with major erosion problems, they've destroyed the river systems here. fireweed is also hard to get rid of, you have to destroyed the flowers of it will seed...of course.
★  Ashlee ★
umbreons_shadow at 2007-05-23 11:42 (UTC) (Lien)
Actually, a sad thing is here: Here at school, we learn ALL AUSTRALIAN history, mostly. Not much American. In fact, I know shit all about your history, just about. Unless, you study past the normal history class. They don't teach anything else Haha.
where hypotheses come to die
madman101 at 2007-05-23 19:26 (UTC) (Lien)
actually that's sweet - i read this cool aussie hostory book when i was a kid - it was an old one - mostly talked about the euro adventurers and such - but i was into that - but it made me feel like yes - aussies do really study their own history - and that makes me proud

surprising though - a bit - that such an ally would not study U.S. history, since the U;S. is suposedly the center of the universe... that also makes me proud

and i'm now glad to see australia is waking up to doing some serious shit about it's water probs - it is such a leader in environmental progress - so it's about time - (damned labour gov't!)

the whole olympics thing in sydney was totally awe-inspiring!
where hypotheses come to die
madman101 at 2007-05-23 19:22 (UTC) (Lien)
yes - i agree the abs learnt to live like peaceful native american indians

but i'm not so sure about when they first moved into australia - what? 30,000 - 60,000 years ago? them and their dingos - which about put the tasmanian devil out of business, and ended the tasmanian tiger - both of which were common in the continent - however - people other than the abs moved in too, and prolly the euro's did the worst damage - simply because they knew how to populate through technology

the abs really interest me due to their somewhat unique appearance or bone structure - it really makes me think about what was going on with the species thousands of years ago. although the abs have been discriminated against in australia - i do like how many australians have honoured them, maybe a little more than americans have honoured their natives

i like willows - but they can clog up waterways - i'm sure the prob must be so much worse in more arid australia - where most waterways are almost an afterthought of nature

hey babe - could you tell me if you had any prob viewing the second link in my "bad decisions" post? and if not, do you get yahoo (mail etc.?)?

thanks - you know i'm really glad i met you - you are the first aussie LJ friend w/ whom i could talk about these things
★  Ashlee ★
umbreons_shadow at 2007-05-24 00:20 (UTC) (Lien)
I wuv you too!
The best part is: I wont throw random things at you or try to eat you.

They got the numbers wrong for whent he aboriginals first came here...the abs still don't get a fair go in society here. Some of them are really messed up and some are really nice people!

I like willows as well, but, they are a pest. :P

I'm using the windows mail client through gmail. Hmmm, I'm not sure if I got the link. There's too many comments. Roflt.
Your the only one who comments on my comments anymore...other then, mystar23, but, he loves me, so it's different. I mean, he literally loves me. It's kinda cute. But, I'm scared too. :x
moonjaguar at 2007-05-23 01:25 (UTC) (Lien)
I never saw nor heard of garlic mustard until I moved to Rockford. My cat ate the first-year plants and woke me up with his stanky breath. There was recipes in the RRTimes using garlic mustard and garlic-garlic mustard conversion formulae. I kept fearing that I'd accidentally bring it into the Chicago area whenever I visited.

It's all over the place out here by the Mississippi. That nasty stuff grows up to my hips in no time.
where hypotheses come to die
madman101 at 2007-05-23 01:37 (UTC) (Lien)
wow - it seems logical that rockford would have recipes for an invasive weed. it do be stanky. thanks for showing that it's a huge problem here, and it's sad that it's all over the mississippi. i wonder why it's not so bad in chicago (yet?) people here just don't care. if i asked a neighbour if i could clear his garlic mustard or Ailanthus trees, he would just look at me like i was crazy. like, "why do you worry about petty things? are you homosexual?"
moonjaguar at 2007-05-23 01:46 (UTC) (Lien)
The backyard where I was living in RFD was a serious jungle. Nobody gave a rat's behind, the landlord was out-of-state absentee, had a management company running the place into the ground and the house was on the market so nobody gave a rat's ass how the house or yard looked. I'd think people would want to keep a house for sale looking as good as possible but silly me, I forgot I wasn't in Elgin anymore. Then when it was sold, the owners and their kids just went to town clearing the yard, digging up those sour-smelling Trees of Hell, uprooting the pest maples etc etc, emptying out the basement and scrubbing it down, blah blah.

I have no idea what the neighbors thought because the block I lived on was mostly warehouses and what few people lived on that stretch didn't notice. There was a number of empty houses there.

I dunno why the garlic mustard never took hold east of Harmony. Maybe the pollution or Epidemic Subdivision Syndrome made for poor habitat.
where hypotheses come to die
madman101 at 2007-05-23 02:01 (UTC) (Lien)
wow - that sounds so totally typical! praise the family for fixing things up! i'm trying to keep this place in shpae for being sold too - but the way the city acts here in cracktown makes it not so easy to feel motivated about it

yes - you might be right - a whole swath of petrochemical lawns is the first defense for chicago, then all that concrete! those poor little chinese garlic mustards! they just can't cut the mustard when it comes to facing our overpowering megalopolises! empire rules!
MacPhellimey
superduckywho at 2007-05-23 09:09 (UTC) (Lien)
That first picture looks kinda like sumac... one of my favorites... though I don't think it is cause I wiki'd it and it looks slightly more malevolent. Sumac grows really quick though if you're in need of primary growth like around our house where all our elms keep dying... but also sucks if you're trying to get something that won't go overboard and have 20 little babies a year. Also have to watch out cause some species are poisonous. Sure is pretty though...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhus_typhina

I wish trees didn't take so long to grow. Catalpa ftw!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catalpa
where hypotheses come to die
madman101 at 2007-05-23 19:50 (UTC) (Lien)
me too - i am totally INSANE FOR SUMAC! - it's soooo beautiful in the fall - in fact - i tried to get as close as i could to that colour when i was painting my car - (see user page) - didn't get too close but it worked for me

i have been aching to plant sumac all along the back wall of our property - but damn it needs sun - and the guy behind us has a white oak growing up big and shady - plus i need to fix the wall first - but i absolutely love sumac - it feeds the birds! - and it is native! - but i tried several times to transplant young plants from the wild and it never workded - :(( - i shall prevail in this, i'm telling you!

you know what - i even use sumac herb when i cook - it has a nice sour taste - and it makes my dog-food a lot "meatier" - i guess it is used a lot in the middle east - my dog doesn't react badly to it - although it's related to poisonous species

yes - the Ailnthus does look a bit like sumac. except it is way taller, and it's leaves are wimpier, stankier, and a paler green. no autumn red. sumac leaves have more teeth and are strong and healthy.

do you know that your love of sumac was one of the reasons i decided to add you?! - anyone who loves sumac is a friend of mine!!

i'm sorry the elms are dying around you. rockford was named the forest city because of it's magnificent elms which canopied the streets like great cathedrals. then dutch elm disease killed most of them off. they now have a dutch elm resistant strain now, so - i am waiting for the right mayor to replant our elms. instead, we have a lot of box elders which, even though they are native, are as bad as weeds. i want to invent a disease for them - ha ha

and catalpa - i really love the floppy-leafed catalpa and it's incredible flowers! almost none grow here, but i did find one out by the rr tracks. it would be nice to plant one, i know they'll start doing well here due to global warming.

yes - sumac will overgrow in the right conditions - but the other side of the coin is they don't love urban conditions. i will only plant them where they can be contained. i've been on the lookout for poisonous sumac, but we don't seem to have many here.





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