Thursday, September 17, 2009

She Ain't Pretty, But She Smells Good!

If you aren't from the south, you may know Eleagnus as "Russian Olive," which is sold in the back of the magazines as a fast growing screen plant; in the photos, it's always pictured as a beautiful, thick, tall the south, you probably know it as "Ugly Agnes." The color is actually quite nice, a neutral silvery olive green. The plant itself, however, looks like Medusa herself just popped up out of a grave on your lawn!

I prune this via guerilla warfare....I believe there is nothing that can hurt this plant. I have tried hacksaw, pruning shears, loppers, and a pruning saw. Everything worked well, except the pruning shears, which broke. Regardless of the tool of choice, she is back in a matter of weeks, waving those wild branches about, taunting the gardener. You can almost hear this plant grow.....BOING! BOING! NEW BRANCHES! I planted a 1 gallon shrub three years ago; it is now safely 15 feet tall and 10 feet wide, and I cut on it regularly.

Just a few weeks ago, I considered tearing it out (although it has roots that go to China), and didn't get around to it. I am DELIGHTED that I didn't.

Atlanta is getting slammed with rain this week (3.5 inches since yesterday), so everything is wet and squishy. Sadie the Dog could only dance around the house for so long, attempting to keep her legs crossed the entire time. Each time I've picked up the leash, she has run to the bedroom to hide (she's not really big on anything outside, and definitely not anything wet).

As we went outside, my umbrella seems to have caught the fragrance from the eleagnus, which is so heavy it even travels through the rain, and is intoxicating! Eleagnus puts tea olive to shame, and is no more subtle about throwing its scent around than it is about sprouting branches. Even in the torrential rain, one is greeted with an exuberant, "Smell me! I'm here! It's autumn!"

How could I even consider removing this plant? It's obvious I just need to buy stronger shears!

1 comment:

  1. My yard was once home to an elderly gardening woman. Now that an old oak tree has come down, all sorts of things are coming to life thanks to the sun they're getting. One is an eleangus shrub. In just a couple weeks, the new growth shooting out of the top and sides of this shrub has reached well over 6 feet. That's on top of the already 6' tall shrub. I didn't know what it was at first. I can't wait for the flowers cause I think tea olives are divine.