Today I have been out trying to get rid of Blackberry from my garden. Again.
Most of the day was spent mentally going ‘Aaaaaarrrrrggghhhh!’ And more than once I verbally went “AARRRRGGGGGHHHHH!” I did that particularly loudly when I got one long strappy cane wrapped around one ankle and it lashed viciously against the other ankle when I started hopping around trying to pull it off.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t mind fresh blackberries or a nice blackberry jam on scones with cream (although raspberries win hands down over any other berry in my books). I just don’t want blackberries in my Garden. Ever.
In many countries I understand blackberries and welcome if slightly invasive. In temperate Australia blackberry has settled in so well that it’s gone beyond popping over for a cup of sugar and a chat to moving in and taking over.
European blackberry (Rubus fruticosus aggregate) is one of the most important environmental weeds of southern Australia and is listed as one of the twenty Australian Weeds of National Significance (WONS).
The amount of times I’ve thought I’ve finally seen the last of blackberry twining up inside my roses or creeping out from under the May bush does not bear counting. It just takes that horrible snap of the root I almost had out, or the sight of a root wrapped firmly around the roots of one of my roses for me to know I’m beat.
I’m not keen on poison and try to limit using it to absolute desperate times. I have gone past that point with blackberry and have resorted to painting on some herbicide – to little avail. It looks sickly for a bit, then redoubles its efforts (yes I am starting to take this personally).
I know the saying that ‘When life hands you lemons make lemonade’, but I really don’t like blackberry jam all that much. And on a more serious note, it is not a weed I should be encouraging or allowing to escape from my garden.
Does anyone out there have any tips for getting rid of my unwanted guest without having to pull out an entire garden bed plants and all?