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Greenburgh Public Library Blog

Quiet Environmentalism: Space Invaders

by Cristina Ramos-Payne on 2021-05-28T10:00:00-04:00 in Environment, Home & Garden | Comments

I spent a large part of my weekend trying to pull out invasive vines and plants from my front yard. A big problem is that the area I weeded is under a large rambling rosebush, so weed pulling is like playing Twister with cacti. Add in the poison ivy (because there is always poison ivy) and you get a fun game that is guaranteed to leave a lasting impression. 

Invasives are plants that are not native to an area and compete with native species for resources.  A weed might be a flower growing in the wrong place, but invasives are weeds that want to take over the whole place. My rosebush was struggling under winter creeper vines and Japanese knotweed. It's a real workout to try to pull out them out with the right amount of force so the roots don't break.  The knotweed grows right in the middle of the bush, so my only choice is to use long handled loppers to cut it back and hope it eventually gets the message that I don't want it there. I avoid using chemical treatments like Round-Up. These herbicides are not good for pollinator or human health. I prefer picking my weeds by hand and keeping my yard organic. 

There is something therapeutic about weeding for me. I can spend an hour on the grass with my weed pulling tool plucking out plantains and other weeds. It's my quiet time, a time to stop and listen to the birds, to breathe, and to let my mind wander. But not when I'm weeding under the rosebush. That's when I need to be present to what I'm doing.

Learn more about taking care of our pollinators and switching to native plants by borrowing one of the books below. Most of these titles are also available in ebook format on Libby and Hoopla.

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