Jilara (jilara) wrote,

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More jungle defoliation

This time, it was truly jungle. There is a space, only about 15 feet long and 5 feet wide, beside the house, between it and my neighbor's fence/driveway. This is where the Banksia rose and jasmine vines had wound into an impenetrable mass 10 feet high, occasionally ascending into the silk tree 30 feet away. Impenetrable is quite literal, and just initially getting into this thicket was a challenge. Chris and I really needed a machete, but managed with some heavy-duty loppers and bruit strength. It was challenging, but we finally took it all down to the ground. It had to go, because it's been trying to take the house apart for years, levering into the window edges, snaking under and through the tile on the edge of the roof, invading the louvers of the roof vents. I'm going to have to take a chainsaw to what's left of the Rosa banksiana trunk, as it's bigger than my arm. The sheer biomass that was in there was...impressive. It filled the entire street space in front of the house with its remains, piled 5 feet high. I had misgivings about the composters taking away so much, but it was gone at noon today, so I guess they managed it.

I found the struggling remains of the Green Rose that had originally been planted there, thin and anemic-looking, and tried to preserve its few spindly branches. It's amazing it survived the triffid thicket at all... Once the chainsaw carves up the trunk of the Banksia, I'll have to get a mattock and rip up the roots. I love the Banksia in bloom, a mass of yellow powder puffs, but I don't love the way it takes over the universe.

Pruning back the 6-foot canes of the noisette roses by the driveway was a picnic, after that struggle. Even if one of the thorny moss roses whipped around and speared my hand pretty well, as I was trying to tie it to the trellis. Silly me, I'd taken my gloves off to do the tying. Said hand swelled up to half again its normal size by nightfall, though I swear I got all the thorns out. Obviously, there was something on those thorns that my system didn't like. My forefinger is still slightly swollen today, but it's mostly back to normal, now. Revenge of the roses for my attacks, obviously.

It's a huge relief. I tossed out some poppy and sunflower seeds to fill the bare space for spring and summer. With luck, the critters won't eat the sunflower seeds.

Oh yes, and my rats... I have gone through huge amounts of "bio-friendly, humane" rat bait, and will soon have to buy more. The rats are now pooping out pale-colored droppings, so it must be doing something. At least they're not eating my trees (and my boxes---they've gone through several cups of the stuff, over where they were gnawing the boxes in the garage). There is rat poop everywhere. Maybe it also gives them the runs. I don't know. I really wonder if the silk tree can recover from the damage done before I began my rat-feeding project, though. It's pretty badly damaged, and I may end up just calling the tree service, sigh. Spring will tell...

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