Monday, 14 May 2018

Mares tails!

Yes - sadly my garden has one section governed by Marestail - and I use the word 'governed' advisedly.   Last week my gardener was rather pleased with himself when he said he had removed every piece.   I went into the garden this morning and removed at least a hundred 'tails' which had appeared since then - and that is just in the bit I can manage to weed.

It is actually a rather pretty weed (I believe one of the professional gardeners on the radio called it a 'prehistoric weed, impossible to eradicate'), so I am learning to live with it and embrace it.   I keep telling myself that it is no worse than ground elder or couch grass - but not sure I believe it.

It is possible to clear the area and get a licensed gardener to spray the  spot with glyphosphate (you need a licence to use it) but it comes back again the next year - it is indestructible.

Other than that my garden is coming along nicely.  My gardener planted half a dozen evergreen shrubs for me last week and a friend left a bucket load of bits from her garden yesterday.   At present they are sitting in the shade, waiting for my gardener to call.   Most need to go in at the top of the plot, where I dare not venture:   I am not sure-footed enough.

Beautiful wall to wall sunshine here today and warm with it.   Washing dry on the line outside - next job is to iron it. (Yes I am one of those ancients who still knows how to wield an iron).

20 comments:

donna baker said...

Pat, I know not what Mares Tail is, but I LOVE the smell of line dried laundry and ironed? What a treat. So glad you have a beautiful day.

Librarian said...

I remember the previous discussion here on your blog about Mares Tail and I think it is the wisest thing to simply embrace it, as you say (not literally!).
After a summery spell, we are finally getting some badly needed rain today. I could almost hear the trees and gardens sigh with relief under the gentle shower when I walked home from the station just now. It was my first day back at work and I am having a coffee break before I'll do another one or two hours.
I am one of those who iron their bedsheets, too - there is a clothes horse with them waiting to dry and then be ironed right behind my chair as we speak!

Minigranny said...

So glad that you have some lovely sunshine! It's beautiful here today and on a drive into Ilminster I enjoyed seeing swathes of wild flowers mixed with gorgeous frothy cow parsley.We walked up to the Arts Centre and the scents from gardens was all around. Have you thought of Wisteria for your garden or is it too far north?

Derek Faulkner said...

Since I first met my partner six years ago and begun getting her garden ship-shape, I have managed by continual hoeing, to reduce the mare's tail by about 50% but like you say, it is basically a life-time exercise.
Ironing always seems like one of those jobs that you do when you have too much time on your hands and are bored and even then there is normally something more useful to do, like mowing the lawn or baking a cake. Before I retired I used to iron five work shirts once a week and that was it.

Sue said...

I call it horsetail, I think it's the same thing. We have it popping up all over the courtyard, I just pull it out as I wander around.

jinxxxygirl said...

I always love the idea of friends and neighbors sharing their garden ... reminds me of days past when we knew our neighbors.. Your garden is going to be spectacular Pat Mare's Tails and all.. You know there is a cloud formation called that too.. :) Hugs! deb

angryparsnip said...

I must look up what mares tail is but your garden sounds like it is growing nicely.

cheers, parsnip

Marion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

I got so good at ironing while caring for my mother that now I feel I don't need any more practice.

Heather said...

My garden thug was a little white allium which I probably bought in an assortment of spring bulbs. It spread like wildfire and I began to find it all over the place. I would dig out every tiny white bulb I could find, going down 8 or 10 inches but it would still reappear. Hopefully the more plants you put in, the less the mares tail will bother you.

Sarah Head said...

I appreciate the frustration with mares/horsetail, couch grass (we call it squitch!) and other perennial weeds. If you're looking to strengthen your kidneys and your fingernails then a tea made with horsetail fronds cooked for ten minutes with a spoonful of sugar makes a palatable tea. Cough grass roots also make a very tasty tea and can be turned into a tincture for gentlemen who are prone to urethral infections because of prostate issues. The uses of dandelions are too numerous to mention, coffee, syrup, tea, bitters, liver and kidney strengtheners. TV adverts for weed killers have me and my apprentices shouting at the screen. I make an immune boosting green powder from my nettles and ground elder, so nothing goes to waste. I'm afraid I'm in the "cherish your weeds" camp, apart from buttercups, which are poisonous and are only good for dating ancient meadows.

Cro Magnon said...

I recently noticed that a small patch of Marestail has appeared on the edge of our biggest lawn. I keep mowing it.

Susan Heather said...

I googles Marestail but got so many different plants that I am none the wiser.

thelma said...

Well you could always cover it for a year, cardboard then that black stuff you get from the garden centres. Not pretty, but pots of flowers on top? I have never hated horsetail because of one magical memory ;) which was wandering along a valley on the Lansdown and finding the spot where the deer lay down at night. Think it was brought over by the Romans, for food? the young shoots of ground elder are supposed to be like spinach this time of the year as well.

Beachcomber said...

Coincidentally I was thinking about your problem with Mare's Tail when I was walking yesterday!
I passed a huge patch which had seeded on to a lane from the nearby field.
I suppose yours comes from the field behind you.
Is your garden needing much watering at the moment?
We had a day of rain on Friday much to my relief though in general I don't water once plants are established.
Sue

gz said...

Mare's tail, Horsetail...even Cat's Tail in some places, otherwise Equisetum equisetum.
I had two allotments riddled with it,plus bindweed, docks,thistles and Bishops Weed (Ground Elder)
The thistles I did not compost, as the spikes remain..but everything else I composted separately with the light firmly excluded. In three years the only things remaining were the bindweed roots.

With all of them its just steady removal, and for quicker results soak them for a liquid manure or incinerate them for the ash

From A Worcestershire Hill said...

Enjoy the weather in your little market town. Your garden sounds as if it is filling up very well with plants and will look a picture. Regarding the marestail, a plotholder at the allotment said he brushed the marestail on his plot with a brush to remove the outer membrane and then sprayed the plants. He used either SPK or Roundup - I am not sure which. He was pleased with the result. I ironed the sheets yesterday, jeans to be done today. I hope to be visiting Leyburn sometime during the summer/autumn, it is about three years wince I was last there and I have still got family by marriage in Middleham and many happy memories of the times spent at East Witton.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Martina sent me a copy of a way to get rid of Marestail - takes 5 years but works.
Definitely do not put a cover of black plastic over it - the roots will have a field day multiplying under it and be all ready to spring up again.
I shall just try to ignore it where I can.
Thanks everyone.

Countryside Tales said...

We get it here too. It’s ancient stuff and really beautiful when you look closely, but not when it takes over your flowers! Perfectly lovely beside hedges in fields.

Gwil W said...

A weed is a flower in the wrong place. Rhubarb and roses rub shoulders with lilies, herbs, nettles and dandelions. It's all mixed up. When Mrs G brings a plant home I just cram it into the crowd. They seem to enjoy themselves. I'd never dream of spraying them.