Sticky Willow

Having spent the afternoon wrestling with the sticky willow (also known as Goose Grass) in my garden, I have found new levels of respect and of hatred for this cunning weed. I swear there was none to been seen this time last week…yet today as I strolled around in the sun enjoying the newly opened flowers I suddenly spotted some. Once I had spotted it growing through one plant, I cast my eye about…and guess what it was doing a take over bid.

I’m not sure what Sticky Willow gets called in other countries…or in other parts of Britain….let me know…:-)…but this week seems to have been its week here in Edinburgh!

Having filled a whole tub with its clawing grasping stems, I retreated, battle-scared with red whip-lash lines crisscrossing my arms and legs…only to discover that my hair and my top were liberally coated in the tiny green jagged pearls it calls seeds…arrggh!!

There is something very grounding about wrestling with nature…and somehow she always wins, or comes out on top 🙂 It always leaves me feeling acutely aware of my smallness, and my impermanence. I’m not sure I would make such a strong come back as this little green devil does year after year …….So I wrote a poem to reflect my mixed admiration and hatred…..

In Admiration and Hatred of Sticky Willow

Long, lean, green limbs,

Arching and reaching through the planned plants structures.

Small green sticky pearls,

Waiting to catch or hook a ride on passing coats.

Climbing higher, and higher on borrowed strength, towards the elusive sun.


Sticky, scratchy, pesky weed

Cunningly weaving and ruining the planned plants structures.

Binding claws cling stubbornly,

While spindly hidden  roots slink anonymous in shade.

Scrabbling higher and higher on the backs of all, towards stolen light.


I surrender to your greater might,

My soft pink skin, no match for your barbed structure.

Fierce red lash lines,

Send me running seeking salvation for my poor wounded flesh

Reaching higher and higher on the wooden stool, towards the soothing gel.

About greenmackenzie

Hi, I'm Seonaid, and I share my home on the shores of Loch Ness deep in the Scottish Highlands with my husband, my son and a couple of dogs. I love art which is here now and gone food and nature...but also have a passion for vintage and the ancient past! Nature is my favourite muse, with her wild ever shifting seasons. I have been using and teaching mindfulness and relaxation for over 12 years, and have yet to become any sort of expert :-) I'm a Psychotherapist and Cancer Support Specialist in Maggies Highlands
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5 Responses to Sticky Willow

  1. Geoffrey richardson says:

    I have just come back from cornwall i did clear a lot from my garden when i left last monday thorght i had got rid of it but no still got the sticky willow so pulling out agained its a broody nighmere geoff

  2. Pingback: Gratitude Sunday: Magic and Weeds | Sassy Kas

  3. poppytump says:

    what a PEST lolol
    I have a constant struggle with this stuff which winds it’s way sneakily round my plants and it’s so prolific its untrue Grrrrrrr !
    Love your poem 🙂

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