Thursday, October 31, 2013

I'm Getting Too Old For This S**T

DO YOU REMEMBER THIS line? It was made famous (or infamous) by Danny Glover in the Lethal Weapon movies. I shamelessly admit that it is used with regular frequency around our house. Especially by my husband and me. This past weekend, I uttered it under my breath more times than I can recall. I'll tell you why in a minute. But first, fall colors! 

Acer palmatum 'Seiryu'

I really, really love this lacy Japanese Maple. Liberated from its pot, it is happily rewarding us here in the loamy soil of our revamped patio bed.  

One more little show-off, if I may before we get to the serious stuff. We had some work done on our Sweet Gum trees in the front yard. There are lots of stumps to contend with. When I laid eyes on this one, I knew it was a keeper. 

Check it out now! 

Cool, huh? 
Okay, time to get down to business. 

A few years ago, my neighbors planted bamboo. Running bamboo! 

Isn't it pretty, with an evening sky behind it? 

It grows (or should I say runs) on the other side of the fence. 
But because running bamboo doesn't know the first thing about neighborly etiquette, 
it found its way to my garden. 
No surprise really. I should have known. I should have been out there
digging a trench, putting down a barrier the moment 
my neighbor planted it. But no. 

Here is the largest of the interlopers, a four-foot long monstrosity!
There were several shorter ones that had slithered in unbeknownst to me.  
I'm getting way too old for this shit!

The barrier is down and I filled the gaps with some of the leftover gravel from
the patio paving project. 

I've got one more section of fence, (to the left of the photo) to tackle this weekend. 

My biggest fear despite hours of digging and sweating and cussing
is that I didn't dig deep enough. That somehow those evil monsters will find a way to
breach their barrier and take my garden hostage. 
So henceforth, I'm required to watch this area like a hawk and keep it relatively
free of plants so if it does invade, I can dig it out without killing any plants.
Of course the banana can stay. Isn't it cool? 
 So there you have it. My continuing gardening saga. Sometimes that admonition to "Love thy neighbor" is much more difficult than it needs to be. How 'bout you? Are your neighbors treating you well? 


  1. My neighbors have never planted anything invasive that has made its way into my garden. What a PITA that running bamboo is, and will probably continue to be! Nigel and I say that line from the Lethal Weapon movies too, all the time. I love what you did with that hollow stump! It's so convenient that it was already covered in moss and lichen.

  2. Love love love that Acer! Too gorgeous for words and how nice that it has a forever home now. Running bamboo will try even the best of neighborly feelings...wish folks understood the ramifications and consider the more refined clumping varieties. Sigh....

  3. That maple is to die for. Love it! I am glad that you got that great stump to plant! Envious!
    How old is that banana?
    I must say when I see bamboo not properly reigned in, I shudder a bit. It's sort of like someone deciding to use ivy these days.

  4. The planted stump and maples are wonderful. The bamboo - not! Frankly, your neighbor should have taken the initiative to set barriers on his/her side without leaving you to defend your property.

  5. Neighborsa generally fit into that "can't live with em, can't live without em" category.

  6. I could write a novel about my neighbor sagas. And the wrath I must contain.

    On a happy note, your maples are GORGEOUS!!!!!

  7. Seiryu is one of my favs, shame about the bamboo though!

  8. Hi there Gracie girl : )
    I am in love with my Japanese maples this time of year (and in the Spring too!) when they are such a beautiful RED/Scarlet? .. how could anyone not be? LOL ... I love your banana tree too .. I only wish I could have one here as well!
    My bamboo is clumping .. and still so short it drives me to distraction. I think I have to dig some up and put it closer to the water feature .. make it more Zen ?
    Sorry you had so much work to contend with .. and having to be on the alert for it sneaking back into your garden on top of it all!
    Good luck with that girl .. hope the barrier works !
    Joy : )

  9. I agree with your sentiment about getting to old. I seem to wonder from project to project without getting any one of them accomplished. he he. I getting too old for this shit. he he. It feels good to say that! Its a good pain reliever.

  10. I have a friend who planted bamboo, told her not to but she wanted something fast with coverage. It sounds like you have a remedy, good luck.


  11. Ha. We planted running bamboo also. It lived quite a few years, then died off. Never ran enough for us. Must be the climate differences.
    As to neighbors, ours is now a renter of what was once a very pretty garden and house. She hires a "landscape" company to care for it. They chop EVERYTHING off and use leaf blowers once a week. It's disgusting.

  12. My neighbors' inherited wild rose is always sending runners into my garden. They'd be easy to pull up if it weren't for the thorns. Maybe I'll try a barrier like yours!

  13. We removed the running bamboo we planted (WITH a barrier) because we got scared of how robust it was. Now we have clumping bamboo. How long before IT becomes a problem, hmmm?

    Your maples are, quite simply, stunning!

  14. I had the same problem with the neighbor's sea buckthorn, Grace.
    It had very long roots that have sprouted far apart throughout the garden.
    The young sprouts went from these roots: on a bed of carrots,red currant bushes, on the lawn
    Finally neighbors transplanted buckthorn elsewhere and I pulled its long roots everywhere.

  15. Yes, I've uttered that phrase under my breath at times, too. Thanks for the chuckles! Sorry you've had to deal with all the sneaky Bamboo--hopefully your treatment will work. I love, love, love your Japanese Maples!

  16. I assure you many words that rhyme with ship, truck, ham, and bass are uttered on a rather frequent basis at my house. Does your neighbor have a pond you can stick an invasive snakehead fish into? Love that stump.

  17. A gorgeous maple. You get the beautiful fall color. I would drag a chair out and sit with that maple and stare at it all day. The color is distilled summer.

    My neighbors planted large trees right on the property line so they are my problem as well as theirs. Stupid and rude, in my opinion. I use some of the words that rhyme with the words Casa Mariposa mentioned on a regular basis. Bamboo seems like a better option.

    But I adore your maple!

  18. Hi Grace,
    Yes, that tree is a beauty! I love your stump, too! I hope your barrier keeps the bamboo out.

    Our neighbors have some kind of weed that gets into my vegetable garden. We put some cement blocks along the fence, but that has not stopped it from coming over. I have to hoe it out on a regular basis. Each summer, I see it get farther into the garden.

  19. Oh, that stump is to die for.....only a fellow gardener would think that is a logical response to a tree stump......I'm with Cate.....horrified that your neighbors plant bamboo! Why not plant Kudzu! Ugh!

  20. I love that acer and I have trunks I plan to make as planters too :)

    My neighbor likes chemicals although I did not see him use them this year. My neighbors grass grows through the fence and is a nightmare to keep down.

    I'm getting too old as well...

  21. I'm laughing at you because I know you are never going to get too old to garden. It's a habit/addiction that true gardeners never grow too old for...not until they can't get out of bed any more.

    In the middle of my seventh decade I don't rush out there as fast as I used to... but I'm still there almost every day in spite of the occasional aches and pains because I still love to reap the harvest...if only in photographs like you do. Yours are great as usual! :)

  22. Love the Sweetgum stump! Great use of the remaining stump.
    What kind of person plants a bamboo? Seriously. Good thinking on putting in a barrier. Hope it works.

  23. Grace! We just planted that Acer Palmatum, Seiryu and so I'm thrilled to see it in its glorious color. We lost a favorite tree to verticilium wilt and decided to tree again, with a slightly different approach. Our arborist took hours walking the properties to find a Seiryu that had the characteristics of the tree we lost; what he called a speciman tree. Of course, it's only 12 feet tall and that sure changes the back yard, but they say you plant trees for the children who will play in its shade. That gives me some comfort although I had to leave when the tree was coming down. She even had a name: Pearl. Yes, bamboo is so invasive, you should cut the stalks and toss them over the fence.


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