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Garden journal entry


December 22, 2021. Sometime this spring, I walked out of a nursery with a small specimen of black-eyed Susan vine (Thunbergia alata), thinking it would be a nice way to cover the four-foot-high stump of the silver-dollar tree that had been killed by the freeze a few months earlier. Well, the vine didn't show much inclination to cover said stump – it cheerfully bloomed, but despite my coaxing and attempting to manually wind the vines around, they would just slump down and look elsewhere for support. Eventually I gave up, just watching every once in a while how Susan was conquering adjacent territory, removing her vines where they got in the way or endangered neighboring plants. Then, in the fall, I didn't get out to the backyard as much any more (or maybe I just blinked), and left my vine to her own devices. Yesterday, Christmas break having arrived, I strolled around the garden, and was struck by the vast expanse covered in an orange-yellow-tinged haze by the black-eyed damsel (aided, in a more limited fashion by her beau, the Mexican flame vine): the poor little magnolia right next to the pond is completely overtaken, while the Arizona cypress behind will soon face the same fate, if killing freezes don't arrive soon. As for that stump: you can see it in the middle of the picture, the upper half still uncovered. I'll have to come up with more effective management strategies next year, if Susan's roots survives those freezes.

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Last modified: September 09, 2009
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