Day 217: bindweed

Daily details from the garden to bring you inspiration throughout the year


Perhaps it’s cruel of me to expect you to start your Monday morning with a weed, but I figured if we could come to terms with bindweed over breakfast, we’d be nicely set up for the week. Because, as pretty as its flowers might be (large and white on hedge bindweed Calystegia sepium, smaller and pink on the slighter, but no less infuriating field bindweed Convolvulus arvensis), few of our gardens escape its clutches and, for those of us who eschew spraying noxious chemicals about the place, it occurs to me that some kind of inner zen-like calm needs to be found when faced with its inevitable summer rampage through our beds and borders.

My top tip? Tempting as it might be, try not to yank it out from above unless you’re not particularly bothered about taking half of whatever it’s clambering through with it. Instead, look for where it vanishes into the soil and snap the stem at ground level – this releases the pressure within the binding tendrils which deflate slightly, making the whole mass of top growth easier to remove. Of course, this doesn’t deal with the root system, but you know how deep that goes, don’t you? This is summer garden triage, which shouldn’t be knocked.

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Hello! I’m Andrew, gardener, writer, photographer, and owner of a too-loud laugh, and I’m so pleased you’ve found your way to Gardens, weeds & words. You can read a more in-depth profile of me on the About page, or by clicking this image.