When Green MP Rod Donald bought his Christchurch home a few years back, he didn’t realise his garden was harbouring a fugitive bride.
Seeking advice from Department of Conservation experts Helen Braithwaite and Craig Alexander and with a little help from Woody Weed the Weedbusters mascot, Rod evicted the wicked weed, bridal creeper, from his garden.
Rod Donald is pleased to support Weedbusters and the weed work done by the Department of Conservation; “It’s really important for city people to appreciate that they can be harbouring plants that can be invasive and harm the environment,” he says.
Bridal creeper (Asparagus asparagiodes) is one of the country’s most ‘unwanted’ weeds. It has been declared an “unwanted organism” – this means you can keep it in your garden, but it is illegal to sell, propagate or distribute it further.
Most of our wicked weeds started as seemingly harmless garden plants. On average there are 14 garden plant species that escape each year and become naturalised in the wild. Nearly a quarter of these will become problem weeds.
This is why it is important that we all learn to recognise potential pest plants, and remove and dispose of them with care.
For help or information about which weeds are most wanted in your area, contact your local Department of Conservation or Regional Council, or check out these websites at www.doc.govt.nz and www.protectnz.org.nz.
Weedbusters, a new national weeds awareness and education programme, is about encouraging people to take personal responsibility in protecting the environment from weeds.
“Weeds are one of the greatest threats to the environment, but each of us can make a difference,” says Rod Donald.