They live!

Apparently nearly-ninety degree temps are what my garden was waiting for. It looks like half the plants grew an inch yesterday. The buttonbush broke dormancy and is getting buds, the tiny painted buckeye seedling is roaring along, and the wild quinine shot up so fast that I wonder if it’s overheard the local mosquitoes plotting something malarial.

Several great rediscoveries. The wild indigo, which I chucked in the Deathbed and had given up on, was suddenly very much alive and accounted for. I spent a few minutes freeing it from the grasp of the honeysuckle. The Jacob’s ladder I dropped into a shady bit of the drainage ditch, which I was pretty sure had died off in summer, returned, and is actually going to flower.

And to my great and enduring delight–the butterfly weed I planted last year is alive! I was poking the calamint, which is coming back dutifully, if not enthusiastically, and there it was–two tiny green nubbins. It may actually like it there! (It didn’t flower last year. Maybe this year…)

Once I had finished doing the happy dance for my new arrivals, I headed into the backyard and spent most of an hour tearing out honeysuckle, which handily crushed any joy I might be feeling. Oy.

What you’re seeing there is a very small chunk of the backyard. Most of the green you see in the image–other than the sporadic grass in the foreground–is Japanese honeysuckle. The tree trunk in the background is attached to a tree that is quite dead. The sapling bowed over under the weight of vines is still alive, barely, but so badly girdled that it may not survive. (I think it’s a sweet gum, so I don’t much care.)

At a conservative estimate, this photo represents perhaps 1/50th of the total honeysuckle problem on the property.

On the bright side, I freed another chunk of hearts a-bursting, and finished slicing the stems for the big mat engulfing the chain link fence. The fence I did last week is already withering. Unfortunately, since it’s worked all the way through, I have no idea how I’m going to get it OFF the fence…I may pull as much as I can, and leave the dead bits for the native honeysuckle to cover up.

But it was a productive morning anyhow. And now, to work on Batbreath…


  • Sara says:

    Yay, I’m glad you started a garden blog. It’s very interesting to hear about the conditions where you live. I’m in california, and while we don’t have the humidity, we have the heat and oh the clay in my little garden… (yeah, my dad’s a pottery enthusiast and used to dig clay straight out of the backyard).

    good luck with the honeysuckle!

  • abb3w says:

    Just playing with the comments to see if they work.