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One step ahead of the garden police

One step ahead of the garden police

I never liked Japanese barberry shrubs anyway. They do not have pretty flowers. They smell bad, as in, cat urine bad. They have vicious thorns that really hurt whenever I tried to prune them or to weed in their vicinity. I never could understand why folks planted them. So last year, armed with thick gloves and determination, I did my best to hack to death the two Japanese barberry shrubs that were growing in my yard. I succeeded with one of them, but this remaining one, above, is still putting out a few suckers.

Bwaahahaha…I’ll get you yet, my not-so-pretty!

These are not shrubs that I  planted. We inherited them when we bought this house seven years ago. I am guessing that they were part of the original developer’s basic landscape package, because I see them in all of my neighbors’ yards.

And that’s too bad because as it turns out, they are about to become illegal to possess. Seriously. According to a recent story in the Albany (NY) Times Union, it would be illegal for New Yorkers to possess any of more than 120 invasive species under proposed state rules disclosed Tuesday [October 29, 2013]. Japanese barberry is on the list of soon-to-be-banned species.

However, the story goes on to explain that the state is going to delay the ban on selling and possessing Japanese barberry for another year because the Department of Environmental Conservation wants to give the 9,000 licensed nursery growers in New York State time to “sell their existing stocks.”

Whaaaa?? These shrubs are so bad for the environment that we’re gonna ban them, but not until the dealers get a chance to dump thousands more of them into the yards of unsuspecting homeowners.

Good grief. Well, at least our landscaping will be in compliance, once I manage to finish off that last thorny, smelly, ugly, evil barberry bush.
(Insert mental image of me ghoulishly sharpening my pruning shears here.)

Posted by

Barbara Conner

on November 11, 2013 at 8:10 am, in the category Guest Rants, Taking Your Gardening Dollar.

One Comment

    • Antonia
    • 1st January 1970

    I couldn’t agree with you more! Down with them all!

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