Taming Virginia Creeper

‘Would you like to go to town and see the Swing Dance Festival?’

‘No thanks, I’d rather attack the brambles on the lawn bank.’

Yep. That is how sad I am.

And even worse: I gave up after an hour of battling and retreated. Defeated.

There are so many brambles here lurking under the grasses. And a nettle patch. I thought I had removed them a few years ago. But I need to attend to them better this autumn.

One of them is growing right up underneath one of my new cypresses which is distressing. For both the plant and the gardener.

So I spent a bit of time watering the trees that are hiding under the grasses and went to attack something much more satisfying.

Part one. The creeper on the main house.

I didn’t plant this. And the roots are hidden deep underneath the wood pile on the little lean to shed tacked on to the end of the stone building.

Here it is in winter. (I had to go all the way back to 2012 to even find a shot. It’s not a gardeny sort of place.)

And now.

Well yes, a tad exuberant. At the very bottom are some California lilacs – Ceanothus. Then a layer of that lovely winter flowering jasmine. Then the jungle.

And of course creepers creep. We like it to clothe the east wall of the huge house. (Sorry about the satellite dish – eyesore, but at least it doesn’t get struck my lightning like the old metal aerial on the roof.)

It saved us a fortune in repointing that part of the building.  And one can have a surfeit of stark stone.

But it has a downside. The plant has more expansionist plans.

All over our newly repointed house.

I can’t believe I didn’t snap a shot before I went up the ladder.  It’s a devil to tame. If you have Virginia creeper you know this. And with a house as tall as ours it’s never going to be cleared off with just a ladder, a good head for heights and a pair of secateurs.

But I had a good go. And so much more satisfying than bramble lacerating work. Especially when you grab a good long tendril and the ripping sound brings down about twenty feet of plant.

Note to self. Keep a more careful eye out on the plant in spring.

Next time, Virginia creeper in the right place (a smaller building).