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Godzillavilla sits in the most beautiful of landscapes. With pear and fig, a bounty of delightful wild irises, and a billowing cloud of cherry blossom in the spring, it’s hard to believe that evil lurks in their very midst. I could be talking about the biancaspine (black locust). I will actually talk about them another time.

But no, this form of evil is such a good actress, the first time I saw it as a small vine I thought, my how delicate and pretty that is. Such innocence.

It sports a wee white flower in spring, to add to the deception.

It was very hard to imagine, when I first laid eyes on this sweet thing, that it bore any relation to the Tarzan-sized vines that dripped from all the trees, right to their crests, the stalks the width of my arm. But, like Rosemary’s baby, these young mites grow into true horrors.

All grown up and taking over the valley.

This weed, which the locals call glycine (wisteria) but which looks more like a clematis with super powers, had plenty of time to take over the property before we bought the place and began our machete war against its tyranny. My mother, who was a master of the quaint phrase, would no doubt refer to our feeble efforts as ‘farting against thunder’.

None-the-less, we hack away every year with the intention that it at least won’t get any further. Despite the obvious futility, it feels noble.

Creeping its way towards villa domination.

This used to be an open orchard.

Waves of evil: what looks like ground cover is actually the vines that have formed a canopy over the entire orchard, killing everything underneath.

Ain’t nature grand? That willingness of the land to produce the lush growth we prize for our loveable plants turns out to be completely without bias; it nurtures the nasty just as vigorously as the lovely. Some day we’ll pay someone who has the proper equipment – full vegetation hazmat suit with face screen, and a diesel-powered weed-whacker with a deadly steel blade – to get rid of it totally. Until then, we grab our machetes and think noble thoughts.