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Tony Grist

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Bindweed Memories [May. 18th, 2019|10:33 am]
Tony Grist
Whenever I see bindweed I'm reminded of the time when I was living- actually more like camping out- in the old rectory of All Saints, Cambridge. The garden was full of it and my wife was trying to grow vegetables and so I devoted myself to clearing it away- and in the process discovered just how mighty its root system is and how deep it goes.

All Saints Cambridge is one of the great tractarian churches. It was built by G.F. Bodley and decorated very thoroughly by William Morris and his crew. When we moved in it had been redundant for a year or two- and left to decay- and for a while I received a small stipend from the relevant archdeacon to keep the little garden in order and the aisles free of flakes of Morris-stencilled plaster. I can't say I particularly liked the building but it seemed to me it was a great pity it was being allowed to fall apart. It was historically important and imposing- and its 175 foot spire- full of dead pigeons- was one of the ornaments of the city skyline. After our time there was talk of pulling it down- which we'd now be very sorry about if it had been allowed to happen. Eventually it fell into the hands of the Churches Conservation Trust (of which I am a member) and they have restored it and lavished it with the love it once lacked. During term time my old College- Westcott House- use it as their chapel. One of these days- if I ever have reason to visit Cambridge- I must go and take a look.

So, we have bindweed- not as much as we had at All Saints but quite enough to be going on with. Wherever and whenever I notice it I take action- but I only pull, I don't dig. I know from that earlier experience that you can't hope to expunge it, only discourage it from showing its face.

[User Picture]From: pondhopper
2019-05-18 02:42 pm (UTC)
Bindweed is a universal garden scourge. The problem is that it grows from rhizomes which are impossible to uproot...you leave even a tiny bit of a rhizome in the ground and it grows again. We have loads of it around here as well.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2019-05-18 02:46 pm (UTC)
One has to admire its persistence and hardihood.
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[User Picture]From: halfmoon_mollie
2019-05-18 03:08 pm (UTC)
Kind of like cockroaches - it will be here when there is no longer any population on the earth.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2019-05-18 06:54 pm (UTC)
I suppose so. It seems to be unkillable.
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[User Picture]From: idahoswede
2019-05-18 05:45 pm (UTC)
We have ground elder here that has an unbelievable root system. It is like unzipping a zip fastener.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2019-05-18 06:59 pm (UTC)
Apparently it's edible. I suppose most things are. The website I just consulted talks about "eating it into submission."
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