Spent some time in the garden. Yesterday was a heavy-duty pruning day--Kevin and I went out and chopped down all the invasive autumn olive, and I did some selective pruning in the Bed of Evil. The Bed of Evil is overrun with--not bindweed, but, to my dismay, non-flowering Japanese honeysuckle, which is unkillable, merciless, and strangling everything in sight.* There's a bed of dayliles under there somewhere. I saw it briefly in spring. I tore it off my holly two weeks ago, at the cost of significant poison ivy expenditure, and every few weeks I go rip out great masses of it, just to keep a few inches clear around my indigo.
A plant biologist friend of mine came out last weekend to do an invasive species survey of the yard as a favor, and gazed into the Bed of Evil for several minutes, with the air of a nuclear physicist gazing into the shattered core of Chernobyl and trying to find something positive to say.
"Well?" I said hopefully. "What do you recommend?"
"Agent Orange." She considered. "Maybe fire."
Apparently the woods around our yard is what biologists try to PREVENT from happening. (She was very nice about it, but it is what it is...the place is overrun. Not our fault--developers disturb the earth and put in houses, and the opportunists are invasives.) My commitment to organic gardening crushed under the implacable leafy foe, I went and got three gallons of the herbicide she recommended as least likely to poison the watershed and everything ELSE in the yard, and I'm waiting for a forecast of a couple of rain-free days to go through and unleash chemical death.
Even that won't STOP it. All it'll do is buy me a little space. If I can keep it fought back into the woods (It's now the primary understory plant) I can go about my gardening in relative peace. Controlled and multi-year burning might actually kill it, but we'd take the woods down with it, and probably the neighbors, who would be understandably upset.
"At least it's not kudzu," I said, in an attempt at cheer.
"Um. Heh. Actually, kudzu's much easier to kill than Japanese honeysuckle."
So I pruned and I hacked and I bathed in DEET and I got the black-eyed susans in the ground, and I tore out the pink scabiosa that died suddenly and inexplicably last week and replaced it with a nice coreopsis. (The blue scabiosa next to it? Happy as a clam. No clue.)
I have so much energy when I've just finished a book. I think I'm trying to prevent guilt at not working by working like a fiend on other stuff. When Digger finally ends, I'll probably walk to the Moon and back.
Also fooled briefly with a technical experiment this afternoon. Have to keep at it...I don't quite know what I want yet, as is my usual MO, but maybe I'll know once I get there.
Not Quite A Lion
And now I think I'm going to celebrate all those calories I burned this afternoon by eating some potato chips.
*I beg of you, do not start in on "but honeysuckle is so pretty and smells so nice!" This is sort of like going on about how sexy the mugger looked while he was taking my purse. This stuff is not pretty, it is not nice, it is not a charming Southern institution, it's a goddamn vegetable sociopath.