Sunday, May 2, 2010

Blood & Sweat But No Tears


The old phrase says "Blood, Sweat, and Tears" but I'm smiling!
My backyard has presented many challenges over the years. Three extremely invasive plants had taken over a lot of my yard when I puchased the property about twelve years ago: Bamboo, Ivy, and Wisteria.
A Bamboo forest that spanned about thirty feet in length by ten feet deep was a kind of towering border on the right. Ivy claimed the left edge of the yard as a border gone wild. And the Wisteria...well, if you know Wisteria, it grew wherever it wanted. Since the previous owners had rented the property, no one bothered to tame these beasts, other than cutting the areas of grass that were trying to hold their ground.
Over the years, much blood, sweat, and tears have been shed in my attempts at taming my backyard. So, you see, when I post pictures of flowers, it's not just a nice picture; it's a Triumph of Spirit!
This Spring is finding me in my backyard once again...
A Wisteria vine was growing up through a Camellia shrub into my large Magnolia tree. My Magnolia tree was in danger, so on April 27th, I decided to do something about it.
(Click on images to enlarge.)
BEFORE:

AFTER:

DETAIL:

The Camellia's hemlines were raised, so I could get to the Wisteria's mother vines to cut off the supply to the vines in my Magnolia. There were briars and other sprouting unlovables that were making the Camellia their support system also. It took a bow saw, a pair of loppers, and a pair of hand-snips to cut through everything there. That long vine in the front is just one of the Wisteria vines that I disconnected, but can't remove without damaging my Magnolia tree.
But, I'm a patient person.

Friends, you know you're "in the zone" when you bleed from a cut on your finger, but the sweat washes it from your hands before you finish working and call it a night.
Opening up the bottom of the Camellia has opened up my backyard space, and inspired me to do more landscaping this Spring. I also love the sculptural look of the exposed branches.
I'll try to post a pic of the cleaned-up version when I clear out more around the shrub.
Right now, I'm too busy tending my wounds and smiling.
Hope you're getting to spend some time just smelling the roses.
Love & Laughter,
DJ

14 comments:

ArtPropelled said...

Guess who's going to sleep well tonight! Well done DJ!

Joan Sandford-Cook said...

What a lot of hardwork has gone into taming your lovely garden. .. but in a way inheriting a mature garden is wonderful to have so much to use as a backdrop for brighter border plants.

wetoilpaint said...

I know wisteria. It's the devil's vine and next door cousin of kudzu. I had wisteria vine at one house and every summer it was the same chasing those crazy 1000 foot vines it seemed, across the yard and ripping them out to no avail. While wisteria smells sweet and has a passing beauty, I hate it!

As far as bamboo, it's not ever gonna die so you have to find some way to keep it mowed down or learn to eat it. You can buy bamboo in cans ready to eat. (My daughter loves eating bamboo) Yuck! Canning maybe in your future. ;)Or making fishing poles!

Manon Doyle said...

Your backyard is gorgeous! I don't know much about plants but I sure do appreciate them. Maybe I should get out and smell the roses a little more often...lol!

Odd Chick said...

This is awesome. You tamed those buggers and made yourself a lovely live sculpture out of those camillias. All the plants you named won't grow in my yard (we have too many hard freezes) so I longingly tried to understand you need to cut down such things as wisteria (we have some but it's not wild and crazy, most people can barely keep it alive) and bamboo.

Janet said...

What an improvement! It looks great. You really put in some hard work and it shows.

Martha Lever said...

WOW you did a great job! I know that was hard work! But well worth it! So you are 45 minutes away from Greenville? I just love that area. I went to college in Spartanburg. Loved it!

Martha Lever said...

Hi DJ!! AHHH Sparkle City!! I went to Converse and my husband went to Wofford!

Martha Lever said...

WOW, DJ we are alumni together!! I graduated in 1975 and stayed there all 4 years.

LeeAnn@Encouragement Is Contagious said...

Isn't it something how when we get rid of the old things (in life too) it makes room for new, fresh and beautiful things!

Hope you are having a wonderful day today DJ.

Lee Ann

~Babs said...

Gosh, what a labor of love. I'm sure it's all been worth the hard work,,,,,your flowers are gorgeous!

Werna Gail said...

Our camellia bush is about the size of yours but I never thought about cutting it from the bottom like that, I might try it. Your post kind of concerned me as all three things you mentioned we have been trying to encourage, maybe we should rethink it all? We have three acers and I want to move the bamboo to the outer edge as a buffer between us and the neighbor.

Martha Marshall said...

Wow, great job! The magnolia looks beautiful now that it's been freed.

Wisteria is beautiful, but I have no plans to have any!

I'm with wetoilpaint -- you need to find a commercial use for the bamboo!

Celeste Bergin said...

now that is a garden!