Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Bird Tangle Is Gone!

When nandinas grew to 7 feet tall, ancient spireas grew even taller, wisteria and catbrier (Smilax) covered the whole thing. Rather than deal with it, I called it 'The Bird Tangle' and it did have a few birds, mostly sitting in the dogwood tree above.

For a brief period each March, the Bird Tangle had a claim to fame: white wisteria hung over nandinas. Eventually catbrier covered everything.
This is the same view as in my recent post on Dogwood, where everybody was kind enough to ignore the 'Bird Tangle' in front of the dogwood in bloom:

Today it disappeared. The nandinas and spirea were cut down forever. We dug the roots of those, wisteria roots and huge catbrier tubers. It opened the view, looking toward the road and took away a screen behind which intruders could hide. All that is left is the ancient dogwood tree that wisteria and smilax continuously tried to climb.

Once upon a time, MIL tried to disguise the gas tank with Nandina and Spirea. The Propane tank was long ago moved to the back out of sight, where it should have been all the time. The bird tangle was a remanant of her efforts to disguise everything, usually futile. The only thing left of the shrubs that were intended to hide the cattle pen by planting them as closely as possible to the building is a single variegated euonymous that I kept for sentiment in the yellow rose bed. I don't hide anything, I plant in lines of sight so there's something to look at before you reach the offending structure. There's nothing to the south beyond the newly opened site except a grove of pecan trees in a former cattle pen, not unattractive in my view.

I haven't talked to anybody about it yet, but I'm hopeful of putting in a white crape myrtle in the line of sight where an old catalpa stump stands behind the fence.

Oh! Don't worry about the birds. They have plenty of other tangles all around with tastier food than this one provided.


  1. I looked at the first photo a couple of times before I noticed your cute dog sitting under the white wisteria. Digging out the roots was probably the hardest part of making the Bird Tangle disappear forever.

  2. Do you mean the wisteria is all gone now? :-( I 'hate' cat briar, what a 'pain' it is. I don't know where ours came from and I try to dig up the tubers, but it seems like some always comes back.

    Your place is lovely as always.


  3. Thank you for admiring cute dog, Donna, she's a year old now and looks very different.

    Flower, the wisteria is gone from this spot, but we still have plenty I can hack at. Cat Brier is a real pain, we dug the tubers and wisteria roots with machinery. The parts that come back will get mowed. And mowed. And mowed.

  4. Ahhh! Machinery is good.

    I think a white crepe myrtle (Natchez?) would be great.

  5. I understand about having to cull the anonymous comments. What a pain.
    Removing very established plants is hard, I am sure it was well worth it!

  6. Hi Nell Jean,

    Wisteria is hopefully gone in our garden. It was so beautiful but then finally strangled one of the posts of our pergola and invaded every flower bed around it with its underground tentacles. ;) We are still trying to remove pieces of it. I have read that the root system goes deep into the ground.

    Beautiful Dogwood and puppy.

  7. I love your cute dog sitting under the Bird tangle....I am not sure if he liked it either!!

    I love Wisteria.....and white is my favourite colour in the garden. I have a lilac Wisteria that grows over arches at the side of the house.....they can be rampant....mine is pruned twice a year to keep it in check.....

  8. shame about the Wisteria, but I find lots of "bird tangles" in gardens, they've grown up because no-one know what else to do with them, it's a brave step, but I bet the view is good and that dogwood looks great is it Cornus Kousa?

  9. Your've been quite busy I see. I'm sure your plans for this area will be lovely. :)

  10. What a gorgeous new view you have! I did not know Nandinas could grow so tall. They do not grow more then 4 - 5 ft. tall in the desert.


I look forward to comments and questions and lively discussion of gardening and related ideas.

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