A desperate couple have told of their desperate five year battle to rid their garden of Japanese knotweed.
Christopher and Marie Moore have seen their 70ft garden taken over by the rare weed, which can grow up to 20cm a day since the couple first found it in their Birmingham house five years ago.
And despite their best efforts their garden is now overrun by the Japanese invader, and the exasperated couple don’t now what to do.
The council house tenants have also pleaded to Birmingham City Council to help, but so far the knotweed keeps growing.
“I just thought it was a normal weed to start with so I kept cutting it down. I didn’t realise this was making it worse,” said Christopher.
“From there it just multiplied and even grew through the concrete. It’s a plague.”
Despite numerous attempts to tackle the rapidly growing weed, the couple have been left stumped on how to eliminate it and neighbours are now starting to complain about the seven foot high jungle.
As well as cutting it back, they have used weedkiller and salt,but nothing has worked.
In desperation, Christopher even poured bleach on the plants’ roots – but nothing saw it off.
The weed is so notorious that the government website warns that gardeners can face a PRISON sentence or a £5,000 fine if the weed spreads to the wild.
After informing the council of their ordeal last August, the couple claim they were told that it was down them to get rid of the Knotweed.
Christopher, who is unemployed, said: “We first noticed how bad it was getting a few years ago but the council have just told us we need to solve it ourselves.
“When they came round they told us to burn it but a rule made by the council means we can’t not have garden fires in council properties. We don’t want to risk being evicted.
“We are so frustrated as it should be down to the landlords, the council, to fix this.
“Neighbours have come round to our house to say we need to do something but I have told them we have tried everything. We are at our wits’ end.’
Birmingham City Council said: “Mr Moore was visited by housing officers in August last year and was correctly advised at the time that it was his responsibility as a tenant to deal with the treatment and removal of the Japanese Knotweed, as well as being provided with further advice and guidance on how to do so.
“However, it was agreed last month that Japanese Knotweed in council tenants’ gardens will now be dealt with by the council to ensure a consistent approach in tackling the issue across the city.
“We will be in contact with Mr Moore to arrange an appointment.”