Sunday, January 31, 2010

Plants Inherited

The previous owner actually rented my house out for the 5 years, which explains to a large degree the state of the gardens (and the house). College kids are not known for their neat and appreciative style of living. I am still cleaning up the college compost of cigarette butts and bottle caps all over the place, after nearly 4 months! That said, some things are indeed alive and well despite absolutely no care.

In October, while moving in, my green thumb Mom looked on in horror when she saw one of the vines living on the back fence (and trees, and into the lirope, up the light pole etc). Passion flower! It too is very invasive here, which was somewhat self evident, BUT the flowers, which I had never seen before that I could remember, were so pretty and purple and well, pretty and purple. I did end up ripping all of it out I could find with a heavy heart.

One day I was making up the guest bedroom and I looked out of the window towards the back garden at one of the evergreen trees which I don't know the name of, and what did I see? A canopy of purple flowers intermixed with the dense leaves! It was stunning!
So I am keeping it. Every time I walk out to the car, I rip any of it down that I see has overstepped its bounds (the tree), as it has climbed back down onto the fence and into the lirope and can do so overnight even in the dead of winter, but I love it just the same. I know the lantana is jealous. It helps that it doesn't smell like cat pee.


  1. Wow, those flowers are so beautiful and different. I would totally keep them too!

  2. Thanks! Everyone keeps saying I'm going to regret this :)

  3. Purple passion-vine can get invasive here too. But it sure is pretty!
    Love the name of your blog, btw :D

  4. I ignored a few invasive things in my garden back when I didn't care too much about gardening. Now I want the soil back, and it's a hell of a struggle to clear it. Action now will be worth it in the long run!

  5. Kyna - thanks! I was feeling kinda clever when it popped in my head :)

    Idiot Gardener - hmmmm. do you think if I keep at it, and just leave it in the tree that will be enough?

  6. I was so amused by your comment in Jodi's 'to pick you up'. I am sure the famous bloggers whose traffic is high will pick your SOS! lol. I don't have much followers yet too, but Autumn Belle of My Nice Garden already adopted me even before Jodi post the idea.

    I can relate to your experience with your old house. The passionfruit vine is really invasive but i saw a resort here which was able to train that vine nicely with its trellis like a roof. Then it served as a beautiful shade to wooden chairs underneath, while guests are having coffee in the morning.

  7. Your passionflower deserves to stay, at least some of it. When the weather warms, it is the host plant for Gulf Fritillary butterfly caterpillars and the beautiful Zebra Longwing. The larvae will help you keep it in bounds by eating it. The adult butterflies will love your lantana.