Killer-The Final Chapter?

Many thanks to all who voted and/or commented on the fate of Killer, Alberic Barbier. The talley was close, with the choice of building him an arbor edging out digging him up. However, my vote was weighted. Killer was a bad boy during his last pruning and snagged my knuckle through leather gloves. My hand swelled up, reddened and hurt. The swelling has subsided but it is still tender to the touch. That swayed my vote against him.
Out came the tool of death.

Loaded with a long wood cutting blade, the reciprocating saw is ready to put an end to the terror of Killer. This is the best tool for those of us who are muscle challenged that have sawing to do. It is not as scary as the chainsaw, and I feel in control of its cutting. It was used to cut the entire fifty plus foot privet hedge to the ground before it was dug up.
Killer has a good size trunk to cut through.

The saw made short work of Killer, its wood was very soft. Much softer than the privet, which is so hard it should be used to build houses.

All that is left in the ground is the crossvine, bignonia ‘tangerine beauty’. Killer’s canes were left on the clothesline pole to provide structure for the vine to adhere to and give the birdies some cover.


This gourd was left hanging on the pole. It still contains nesting material from previous hatchings. We hope the builders of this home will return even though Killer will not grow new branches for bird hiding places.
Don’t cry for Killer, however. A small piece is slowly taking over a sloping compost heap in one of the offspring’s gardens. We may hear from him again.
Sigh,
Frances

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21 Responses to Killer-The Final Chapter?

  1. Layanee says:

    Frances: Don’t cry for killer! Birdhouse gourds are cool! You asked about faces in my garden and I couldn’t find an email address for you but I posted on 6-4-07 on some of my planters and then on 8-27-07 on a friends! Thanks!

  2. Frances says:

    layanee…Thanks. I will check those postings out. No tears are shed for old Killer though, but from now on, no more naming of the roses.

  3. jim/ArtofGardening says:

    I am not in favor of capital punishment, but in this instance it seems justified.

  4. Frances says:

    jim…yes, it was justified. Bad Killer.

  5. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Killer put up a good fight, you gotta say that for him. He will just have to florish in your mind.
    That way he can be a much more gentle soul. No tears here.

  6. Nan Ondra says:

    You did the right thing, Frances. I’ll be posting later this month on my own problems with an over-enthusiastic rose in my last garden. (Well, to be fair, it was my fault for choosing poorly, not the rose’s for doing what it was programmed to do.) But after that experience, and after following Killer’s story, it’s put me off growing roses on arbors for a while. Do you plan to pair anything new with the remaining vine, or is it on its own now?

  7. Frances says:

    Lisa…yes, there are no regrets to the demise of Killer. No arbor would have been able to contain him.

  8. Frances says:

    nan…I would like to plant something else to join the crossvine. Lady Banks roses have no thorns but are a gamble as to being hardy here. I saw some at a big box store and may give it a go.

  9. chickenpoet says:

    All’s well that ends well. I have to admit that my heart smiled a bit (as I tearlessly mourned the great beast) to know he is still around by means of offspring. If this second generation inherited the same mean qualities, he can come to my house to protect the birdies at my home on the hill. Much love.

  10. Frances says:

    chickenpoet…you know we like to keep our options open. We will see if a piece can be found for your hill.

  11. Phillip says:

    Ah, the deed is done! I know you have to feel some relief. I love my Lady Banks rose but it took me three tries to get one to survive. It is a big rambler too but there are no thorns so it is much easier to prune.

  12. Frances says:

    phillip…without those thorns, Killer would have been allowed to cover the yet to be built arbor. Lady Banks is the planned replacement as of right now.

  13. Mr. McGregor's Daughter says:

    Frances – you might want to also consider Zepherine Drouhin. It is also thornless & a terrific Rose. I think I’m going to have to get a reciprocating saw. I have an ugly Yew hedge (is that redundant?) to get rid of & I’ve been putting it off because my husband doesn’t trust me with the chainsaw. (I guess I am somewhat accident prone.)

  14. brokenbeat says:

    the saga of killer, the perfectly functioning and uncontrollable rose, should be turned into a children’s book or something. i have learned many life lessons simply from reading the posts you’ve put up and people’s comments. my emotions have been churning and mind firing. yup, definitely a children’s book. semi could be your animator.

  15. Frances says:

    MMD…thanks for the tip on Zepherine, she had been considered before, maybe Lady Banks AND Zepherine will be added. Build that arbor large size please mens. I cannot say enough good things about the recip. saw. When the house was remodeled one of the workmen let me use his to cut some privet, he said his mother had just gotten one and loved it! Get one, for sure!

  16. Frances says:

    brokenbeat…Killer’s story is thought provoking. It is my fault he had to go, not planting him in a large area where he would have room to be himself, like a great dane in an efficiency apartment.

  17. chuck b. says:

    The reciprocating saw is good for so many things. Do you have the digging attachment for it too? In my tiny garden, with rather manageable plants, I can’t justify the purchase of one. But I enjoyed using it in a landscape construction class I took.

    I voted to give Killer the unkind cut. And if you put up a poll on the replacement plant, I would probably vote against Lady Banks too. I enjoy a Lady B, but she only blooms for a few weeks and then it’s just green stuff.

  18. Frances says:

    chuck b…I don’t know about the digging attachment, it will have to be researched, but that would be great to have some POWER digging! Thanks for the good idea about a poll to choose a successor to Killer. The crossvine on the pole now blooms all season with an orangish hue. Several climbing plants can go in but I want at least one rose also.

  19. karen says:

    Well done giving killer the chop! I must say I don’t really find a Sawzall adequate for major demolition. I certainly wouldn’t tackle a yew with it. But the electric chain saw needs to be sharpened and oiled all the time and then the chain falls off.

    Is the crossvine on a pole in the middle of nowhere? I put one on a trellis next to the house and instead of covering the trellis, it shrinks into the corner near the house (away from the sun) and keeps me busy preventing it from taking off the siding. It’s just not the right thing for that location. Let’s have more advice on vines please, everyone.

  20. Frances says:

    karen…welcome. I don’t care for the finicky electric chainsaw, we do have one. The chain is a pain although it cuts much faster. About the crossvine, it is not against any structure like a house, it is on an old clothesline pole that has the large killer branches growing round and round it. When we build the new arbor there that will incorporate the pole, the crossvine will join the roses and whatever else gets planted on it. I’m not much of an expert on vines, roses, clematis and carolina jessamine are grown here. Morning glories in summer have self seeded everywhere. My favorite climbing rose that is grown here is Moonlight, very floriferous and fragrant.

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