Saturday, March 26, 2011

General Springiness

Despite today's cold temperatures, and the general "not niceness" of my Spring Break weather, spring is trying to burst forth. The Stella d'Oro are popping up in Stella's memorial garden. Last year I put in three plants and they were beautiful, despite the "moon flower debacle".

What was the "moon flower debacle" you ask? I planted 4-6 seeds of moon flowers on the side of the house with two lovely cast iron trellises for them to climb. Before the summer ended, the moon flowers completely took over the side of the house, grew up under the siding and came out at the top of the house, inundated the central air conditioner and shut it down, requiring a service call, attempted to enter the garage, and choked out basically everything in its path! My mom puts in a few moon flower seeds every year and they climb singly or in pairs up her trellis and bring forth flowers in the evening. Our plants were like a science experiment gone horribly awry. Plant craziness. I had to cut them back every week so that they wouldn't consume the Stellas. In this picture, you can't even see the trellises anymore, they are so buried in depths of moon flower vines! Mom's moon flowers not only don't take over the trellis, but they don't creep along the ground and form ground cover. These vines were wrapping around themselves, 6 vines strongs.

They were a welcome sight to the neighborhood, as people I had never met approached me and complimented the lush greenness of this side of the house. Our house is at the bottom of a bit of a hill and apparently the people who owned the house prior to us kept construction materials propped against this side of the house, which was not a lovely sight when coming down the hill. (can you see the little Stella getting choked out?)

Don't get me wrong, the moon flowers were gorgeous and it was great fun to go out at dusk and watch the buds open, but there was a creepiness to the overwhelming way in which they grew and took over. Call me creepy, but I'm honestly considering planting them again this year!
Isn't that a fabulous flower:

See this little beauty? I bought two of these dwarf viburnum bushes last spring and planted them in the back yard. I anticipated color change in the fall, and red berries in the winter. I forgot about the berries, only to remember when the plants were completely drifted over in the blizzard. This week while I was touring my landscape, I noticed that the viburnum, both of them, were completely pruned. Now, I know I did not prune them because not only was a I looking forward to the winter berries, but also because they were not to be pruned the first few years. Terry did not prune them either. They are definitely pruned, these are clean, pruning cuts, not animal chewing or snapping from winter precipitation. After discussion with several people about this puzzler, we have come to the conclusion that someone entered the yard and pruned them for the winter berries, which are lovely and in high demand for winter floral arrangements. Can you believe that? Who would enter someone's yard and cut their bushes? We are hoping that the viburnum are not damaged and that they actually produce flowers this spring. Next fall when I return to work, I will be placing a sign and a camera to ward off evil-doers. We might even cage them. I am absolutely stunned that anyone would have the nerve to do that! Wow.

I'll keep you posted as to how they do.

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