Sunday, March 27, 2011

My new best (gardening) friend

New weapon of choice
An invasive, fast-growing shrub has been winning the war for space and sunshine in our backyard. I think it may be Chinese privet, Ligustrum sinense, described in the online invasive plant atlas here.

Now there is hope, however. Regular visitors to this blog have probably already recognized that I am a sporadic gardener. Knowledge, skills, proper tools, regular care and maintenance . . . hunh?

I have waged previous battles against the ligustrum hordes with an occasional bow saw and, when I can successfully whine and moan enough, a chain-saw wielding husband. Mostly, though, I have used those lopper things. At battle’s end, I am aching and aggravated. The loppers are hard to get into position in all the closely packed trunks coming up. They are also just hard for me to manage when trunks are bigger than one-half inch diameter. And the trunks nearly always are bigger. Remember the word “sporadic”?

Thanks to the blogging world, I am armed and have already won a small skirmish. Several months ago, when I was in the non-gardening phase of sporadic, I read a blogger’s post on her new amazing folding razor tooth saw. Unfortunately, I did not bookmark it, but I filed that tidbit of information away. In late February, husband Walter turned me loose in the local Lowes for my birthday.

I know that sounds like he keeps me caged up the rest of the time. Not true. He lets me out on holidays, too. The Lowes birthday trip is another post I may eventually do.

Anyway, I didn’t find the same brand, but this one is amazing. It folds up for safety. The short blade and curve make it maneuverable in all those tight places. And the razor teeth . . . take that and that you nasty ligustrum!
My new weapon has teeth

Razor teeth at work

The teeth dripping with blood, uh, sawdust

Safely folded up
I did have difficulty figuring out how to open it and fold it up without losing fingers. Okay, I admit it. I am a total doofus when it comes to anything remotely mechanical. (Excuse me, I had to google “doofus.” My favorite definition was at urban dictionary here, at least until the part about personal hygiene. And then I noticed the synonyms at the top. Hey, watch your language Urban Dictionary!)

Oh, how I love Google!

That sounded in my head like a hymn we used to sing in church. That doesn’t mean I am no longer in church. It does mean now we are “contemporary.” We don’t sing hymns any more. We sing songs popular Christian artists record, songs that I can never figure out any rhythm to and when to shut up and when to start singing again. Of course, there are still some good ones that crop up, some that have choruses I can manage and some that make me cry . . . from happier emotions, not from frustration.

Okay, where was I. Google led me to the invasive atlas where I found this choice cutline under a photo attributed to James R. Allison, Georgia Department of Natural Resources. The photo pictures the clusters of black fruit produced by the prolific ligustrum. 

“Far from choice wildlife food, but eventually winter-hungry birds will eat the fruit and spread the plant like cancer, wherever land is disturbed.”

Well, our land is obviously disturbed. What land wouldn’t be disturbed and offended by ligustrum. I am disturbed by ligustrum. But I think James is wrong about the birds. The birds aren’t winter hungry. There is lots of stuff to eat around here in winter, including at our bird feeder. No, I think these are true birds of Mississippi, the most obese state in the union. Those birds like fast food and they are going to eat it, whether it is good for them or not!

I think I better stop now. Have a great week!


  1. O.K. you now have me worried! Visions of you struggling to open or close that thing and maybe lopping off finger or two!! Please be careful! Hey, you can get these gloves that have metal threads in them so you can't cut yourself, why don't you buy some??

  2. Evidently husband Walter shares your opinion. He just asked if the blade locks in place so when I'm sawing it doesn't close back on me. Guess I have some more homework to do: test if it locks and look into those gloves you mentioned!

  3. I loved how you segued from that nasty looking weapon to contemporary music in church. Our brains seem to work alike - random abstract thinking at its best! How funny.

  4. Those are awesome teeth. Good idea about the lock though. I have an over grown area that could use such a weapon.
    Really enjoyed this post.

  5. my list of loves for today in your post
    the post itself, made me smile
    the little saw, i am going to find one for hubby
    the I love google is my chant
    the humor and writing
    I love this post and will let you know when i find one.

  6. I loved the thought of sawdust like blood on the saws of the blade. Here's hoping you are winning the battle.