The Devil’s Plant


After taking advantage of a relatively warm and definitely sunny afternoon (whoohoo!) to sit briefly on the renovated bench near the stream after lunch I decided to tackle the scrubby area I mentioned in a post a few day ago, figuring that if I dug the scrubby vegetation out I could then contemplate the cleared space and perhaps trigger the necessary inspiration. Little did I know that I was tackling the Devil’s Plant……. It suckers, it roots, it climbs – it sends its devious shoots out to all four corners of the earth – and it soon became personal! I had begun to dig out the numerous rooted plants in the area of the photograph but quickly hatched a plan to annihilate all the Devil’s influence from that bed, prompted in part by an unexpected job which had arisen.


While I was digging and cursing (D****’* P****!), the Golfer had been removing the pump from the trough to the left of this area, where ‘Harry’, Arum marmoratum and the recently replanted primroses are, outside the kitchen window, as the pump was blocked. He felt the tank the pump is in needed to be strengthened which will mean dismantling all my carefully placed rocks – so why not clear the Devil’s Plant right up to this feature and devise a scheme for the whole area? My initial concern had been exposing the edge of the wall I had built behind the trough, as it was only a section of wall, the edge disguised on one side by the D****’* P****, but a scheme for the whole area could include a continuation of the wall or at least a proper stopping up of the edge.

The challenge was now to remove every accessible scrap of D****’* P**** and I roped in the Golfer to remove the biggest and toughest of the roots, leaving us with a clear area perhaps about 5 feet by 10 feet. The soil isn’t as dry and  poor as I expected, perhaps having been undisturbed and nourished by  a couple of hundred years of leaf fall from the hedge and rotting holly and hawthorn trunks. My initial thoughts as I dug, apart from the D****’* P**** expletives, were to plant some acceptable shrubs to fill the gaps in the hedge to obviate our neighbour’s need to plug them with his assorted rubbish, still leaving me with space to play with in front of them – but at least the Devil’s Plant is gone! Hurrah!


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18 Responses to The Devil’s Plant

  1. Great job! Well done for perseverance! I see you have a neighbour like I do – bits and bobs fashioned together as a makeshift fence. Thank goodness for plants to hide them.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Angie – he means well as it is to stop his dogs coming through, but we could do without old asbestos roof sheets and fridge shelves! Fortunately most of the hedge is still pretty thick.

  2. Amber says:

    What a nasty plant! One of the neighbors behind us has 2 ramshackle, falling down cinderblock sheds on the fenceline, and the 10×10 square between them is thickly planted with nothing but cockleburr plants. I almost wish I had something that thick to cover the fence on that corner of our yard 🙂

    • Cathy says:

      I shall have to look up the UK equivalent of cockleburr, Amber – I presume it also has connections with the Devil?! It’s a shame not everyone loves their gardens the way that we do. Thanks for visiting my blog

      • Amber says:

        I’m not too sure about connections to the devil, but their seeds are like a natural version of the hook side of Velcro, and it clings to fur, fabric, and skin. The seeds get everywhere that way.

        • Cathy says:

          I coined the ‘Devil’s Plant’ name for my thug, Amber – I think it is a snowberry really 😉 Your plant sounds like what as children we called ‘Stickie Willie’ – I don’t know it’s proper name without looking it up

  3. Holleygarden says:

    I know that was a lot of work. I have some plants like that that need to be removed, but hate to even think about starting that job. Congrats on getting your devil’s plant out of there – and now you can find something fun to put in its place!

    • Cathy says:

      The smaller roots were OK, but there were some real thugs in there – Heaven knows where it originated from! Thanks for the encouragement!

  4. Three cheers for a job well done. We like to see the results instantly but gardens are really about the incremental changes we make over time. Congrats on a great step on this road.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Charlie – I will walk past it several times daily until I get the inspiration I need. Unfortunately it’s just out of view from the kitchen as it is near the corner of the house, so I can’t ponder from the windows 😉

  5. Reminds me of myself a while back, digging up a shrub I wanted to move…it took me several hours, sweating, cursing etc….suddenly I noticed I wasn’t alone anymore, a chap had come into our garden to talk to me. So he stared at me in disbelief (his mouth wide open) and said: can I help you? I said I’m beyond help but thank you 🙂 …later when I went into the house I got a shock passing the mirror: full of mud, sweat, my hairs standing up. Couldn’t stop laughing…haha, gardening can be full of fun!

    • Cathy says:

      Tee hee!! Great that we can laugh at ourselves, Annette 😉 I realised I had gone out with green paint on my face last week after painting the gate in the lychgate structure (not quite sure how it got on my face, actually, thinking back!).

  6. Hannah says:

    Congratulations, that space you cleared was huge!

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