Wednesday, September 17, 2008

kudzu believe it?

After the slaughter of the hideous ivy monster perpetrated back in March it was tempting to sit back and not pay much attention to the garden over the summer. So that's what we did.

However, having had a quick scout round the back of the kitchen a few days ago I was alarmed to see that the little area behind the wooden trellis that we exposed by removing the ivy had been largely engulfed in bindweed, which had grown right through and over the rather attractive shrub that's out there (I think it's a camellia of some sort).

I was put in mind of the extraordinary pictures you sometimes see of houses, trees, farm machinery etc. in the south-eastern states of the USA which have been completely engulfed by the kudzu vine, which was introduced into the USA from its native Japan into the 1870s. Here's a few more good examples.

There's something slightly freaky about this sort of blind unstoppable fecundity, a slightly less purposeless version of which (in addition to shameless stealings from a variety of sources, most notably The Thing From Another World) formed the basis of the Doctor Who serial The Seeds Of Doom, which I remember watching when I was 6 years old and being completely terrified by, particularly the bit where the Keeler character gradually turns into a sort of giant cabbage.

Obviously our infestation was on a somewhat smaller and less scary scale and a bit of frenzied shearing and yanking out of roots did the job, for the moment at least.

Kudzu also features on the cover of REM's classic 1983 debut album Murmur. If you haven't got it, do yourself a favour and spend £4.98 at Amazon today.

No comments: