Sitting in an Oakleaf Hydrangea

While you likely were celebrating the July 4th holiday this past weekend, I was observing the Invasive Rose Eradication holiday weekend. You’ve not heard of it? Strange.

Amongst the billions of plants I have on my property, I am blessed with a few varieties of invasive rose species. Charming creatures. The beauty of invasive species is that they adapt in specialized ways to spread their love or resist being cruelly ripped from this earth.

One rose species has highly adapted to removal prevention. It grows spikes and thorns EVERYWHERE….not just on its stem but also on its flower pods.

Luckily for me, it’s not the brightest bulb in the flower world and it forgot its root system. The root system is quite shallow making it quite easy to yank out (if you can find somewhere to pull).

The second species, however, is a far more clever creature. At first glance, it looks tamer…


This rose has fewer thorns, although they are much sturdier. Those thorns will shred both cloth and flesh alike if given a chance. Its plan of attack lies in its root system and its spreading method. This rose plant has a deep root system and it grows both up and out. It snakes along the ground, twisting and winding far away from the base, making it difficult to determine where it actually starts.

In order to rid yourself of these pests, you have to pull out the root systems…no easy feat for the rose demons growing in my yard.* Thank goodness for my trusty maddock and strong back and leg muscles. It was a good workout for sure.


This is how I found myself sitting in an oakleaf hydrangea. One of the rose plants had eststablished itself inside the hydrangea. Contorting myself to swing the maddock at the root system while avoiding the hydrangea and the stone wall required several rest sessions. It was just easier to sit myself down inside the hydrangea. A normal way to spend a holiday weekend.

I had several rose plants scattered throughout the property, but the main invasion was alongside the garage by the barn. Here’s the before and after.


Next up is dealing with the weed trees and the ivy. In some spots, the ivy was so thick, I had to dig down almost a foot to get to the base of the rose plant. Never mind that the rose “vines” and the ivy were intertwined as well. What a mess.

I feel like I’ve done battle with the enemy. Maybe I’ve won, but I’ll have to patrol the area to see if I got all of the roots up. Never let your guard down!

*When we bought the house, the previous owners said the tenant (who had lived there a year) was responsible for the general overgrowness of the yard. Ha! I’m going on record to say that this yard has been overgrown for a lot longer than a year.


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