Sunday, April 22, 2012

Earth Day

For those of you who are interested, you probably already know this:  Today is Earth Day.

I am not even close to being a 'tree-hugger' or 'global-warming Chicken Little'.  I do love my garden though. 

On the first page of the Earth Day website they site the climate changes happening.  Really?  I live in an area formed by the last Ice Age.  If the planet hadn't thawed, I wouldn't be sitting here blogging, but I digress from what I intend to write about.

Yesterday a bunch of volunteers headed to Belle Isle in Detroit to cut down honeysuckle bushes.  The bushes were then treated with an herbicide to kill the plant.  Honeysuckle are invasive and do not allow other trees to sprout in a forest, though they provide pretty pink blooms in the garden and the birds love the berries in the fall.

In my yard they can be messy and can get very 'twiggy' if not pruned.  Several years ago I had a horrible infestation of aphids on the shrubs.  I had six of them at the time.  I even asked the township not to approve planting them in wetland restorations.  My son and I cut them down, not realizing that poison ivy was growing along with them.  We both ended up with bad infections.

I now have three at the back of my lot.  Last fall we cut down the other three to the ground and applied an herbicide.  They are now dead.  In their places I put a climbing 'Blaze' rosebush, a Rose of Sharon, and a doublefile virbunum. 

About twenty years ago I got rid of the honeysuckle vines that were growing in the back corner.  What a job that was!  Then the buckthorn invaded the area and I think I've finally gotten rid of it (though the next door neighbor has it all over his yard, so I am constantly pulling up seedlings.)

The neighbor's front with buckthorn taking over

Last year they were killing buckthorn along the Rouge River.  Buckthorn will kill off other plants if allowed to survive.

I know that there are people who think killing anything 'green' should not be done.  I am obviously not in that group.  I am no fan of willows, cottonwoods, buckthorn and box elder, all of which I can see from my yard.  I think people plant these because they grow fast.  IMHO, they are junk. 

I'll stick with my viburnums (the Korean Spice is blooming and is exquisite right now), lindens and birches.  And if the other three honeysuckles don't behave, they too will be replaced.

Fading blossoms on Korean Spice Viburnum

Snowdrift Crabapple

My first bleeding heart plant to survive a Michigan winter (that we didn't have)

Happy Earth Day.  Go plant something.

1 comment:

  1. Enjoyed your post. I can't make much of anything grow, but appreciate all the work that others do for the flowers I love. Thanks!


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