Buckthorn, garlic mustard, and dandelions

Getting greener near the neighborhood pond, but water level is still highSuburbs–among many of my good friends and professional colleagues, they are homogenized enclaves for people who want to get away from the problems of urban communities and the taxes that come with them.

Maybe they should read Yale University professor, Robert A.M. Stern. In 1981, he organized a Cooper-Hewitt Museum exhibition called “Suburbs.” The exhibition, according to Witold Rybczynski, “made an important polemical point: suburbs are an integral part of American urbanism. Stern said, “The single-family house is the glory of the suburban tradition. It offers its inhabitants a comprehensible image of independence and privacy while also accepting the responsibilities of community,” (quoted in Rybczynski’s book in chapter 2).

Does this mean I have to spray for dandelions?

No one has told me that we do, and ours is not the only lawn in the neighborhood with the bright yellow buttons popping up every mid-morning. But we dandelion tolerators are clearly in the minority.

We have been told to remove both the buckthorn in the community areas around our homes and there’s a “no garlic mustard” campaign going on in the neighboring village.

So in the interest of “accepting my responsibilities to the community,” I offer you a photo of buckthorn and of garlic mustard. Both are in the “common areas” of our neighborhood, and the garlic mustard is not next to anyone’s property. Who will pull it up?

WARNING ABOUT GARLIC MUSTARD. Here’s what the signs down south of me left off: garlic mustard juice burns like crazy. Use gloves, wear long pants and sleeves, don’t use a week wacker. They come up very easily, so it’s not hard to pull them.

And as for buckthorn removal, good luck. We’re getting started after school ends and I’ll update you on our success. In the meantime, the Minnesota DNRWatch out for garlic mustard--the plant, when broken, can burn you. has alot of information here about this invasive species.

Here\'s a young buckthorn plant, but beyond the point where we can just tug it out of the ground.

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