Sunday, October 5, 2008

Weight Loss Secret Revealed!

Warning: The following contains material that may be unsettling or too graphic for some viewers. Full Frontal Plant Nudity depicted, as well as instances of horticultural abuse.

Yes, folks, in the space of one morning, Big Mama shed those excess pounds! Thanks to the Head Gardener's judicious use of pruners, limb loppers and pruning saw, Big Mama said goodbye to the dead weight that had been dragging her down since Ike paid a visit to her corner of Katy. The Head Gardener is most appreciative of the support and encouragement she received from readers. It was your input that gave her the wherewithal she needed to help Big Mama, who shall henceforth be known as Little Mama.

The newly svelte Little Mama strikes a provocative pose,
unashamedly flaunting her lack of foliage.

Since we chose not to dig out the concrete footings of the old posts, the new trellis is positioned several inches farther out from the site of the old one. That change of siting, together with the drastic reduction in size of the Angel Wing Jasmine vine, not only increased the size of the bed on the back side of the trellis, but the sun exposure. I've already had to move a few ferns and the Forever & Ever hydrangea (a $2.00 bargain plant from Lowe's that has gone into a slow decline since purchase ... I refuse to give up on it yet). I'm cogitating over what to plant there that will work with the jasmine when it has regrown and is once again lush and fragrant. It occurred to methat I could plant sweet peas against the trellis to fill in while the vine grows. That would be a great temporary fix and it's the right time of year for us to plant them. I also have a Rangoon Creeper (Quisqalis indica) that is begging to be liberated from its whiskey barrel and allowed to grow free and unfettered in the ground.

This is what happens in my garden when I come across a plant that I absolutely adore and simply must have, only to bring it home and find myself unable to decide where to plant it. So I plop it into a container and then leave it there for an unspecified period of time (please don't ask, there's only so much self-revelation I can offer in one post). There it becomes root bound and languishes underfed, underwatered and underwhelming. But what if ... WHAT IF ... I planted it against that trellis, where it would have room for its roots to spread and it could ramble up and over? Wouldn't that be splendiferous? I am convinced that it would be and that the RC and AWJ could co-exist quite happily together. Here is where you say to yourself, "well, what's stopping her? Just do it already." Well, that leads me to another of the many dilemmas (real or imagined) which I face every day in my garden, to wit: I am unconvinced that the Rangoon Creeper would look splendiferous blooming in tandem with the Vitex tree that causes passersby to stop and ask its name when it's in full and glorious bloom. I suspect they will not be seriously unharmonious, just enough so that it will bug me when I see them together. On the other hand, it's possible that their bloom cycles will not coincide and it will be a non-issue. Have I mentioned before that I overthink these things? A lot?

This is one of the things I love about Plurk. Sure, it's way too easy to get caught up in trying to up your karma so you can get more emoticons to use, and it's also way too easy to spend more time than you should there. BUT when you're fretting about how to deal with one area of the garden or another, and not sure how to proceed, it really does help to have access to other gardeners who can give you a different perspective on the problem, or even just commiserate about similar difficulties in their own gardens. It's especially helpful when those others are also sitting at their computers and in the mood to chat! This morning was one such time. In the process of Plurking with Mary Ann of Idahogardener, Elizabeth of Gardening While Intoxicated, Carol of May Dreams Gardens and Barbara of Mr. McGregor's Daughter, I ended up heading outside with my camera to shoot a pictorial tour of my gardens. They've heard me talk about the fact that I have a large corner lot but taking the tour gave them a much better idea of the extent of the gardens here at Wit's End. While their growing conditions and their experiences as gardeners may be very different from mine, we all share a passion for gardening as a process, and an appreciation of a garden as a living work of art. It was a great way to spend a lazy Sunday morning: enjoyable, entertaining and educational. Thanks, Plurkettes!

ADDENDUM 6:59 PM: I ran outside with my camera and took a picture of my neighbor's Rangoon Creeper and a closeup of its blooms. THIS is what it can do if it's in the ground and happy.

15 comments:

Gail said...

Fantastic garden, Cindy...I love your design sense...Do you hire out! Did I miss what you decided to do with the plants...I was so excited to see the slide show I might have skipped over the conclusion! Is the shot of the courtyard...the concrete patio you plurked about a few weeks ago? RE Plurk! I arrive too early or too late to Plurk with you guys, my points are dwindling as I type! I need a Plurk alert! Perhaps I need to Twitter to get an alert!

Gail

Carol said...

Little Mama, formerly known as Big Mama looks wonderful. What a weight off your shoulders to have that job behind you! Now yes, plant that other plant and give it some root room.

Carol, May Dreams Gardens
(Gail, Sunday evenings are often good for Plurking...)

Katie said...

I love her new look!

I love your garden too. Thanks for sharing pictures with all of us.

EAL said...

Excellent decision! That vine looks perfect and ready to start a newly reinvigorated life!

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

You should just plant the Rangoon Creeper & see what happens. If you don't like them together, then move the creeper. It won't be less happy being moved than being left to long in a too-small container. Yes, this is what I call the Nike philosophy of gardening.
Little Mama looks good on her new trellis. What a lot of work Ike left for you, but also, what a lot of opportunities to try new things.

ginger said...

Cindy: She looks good naked. The same can't be said for all!

Layanee said...

Cindy: Sometimes I am Ginger!

Annie in Austin said...

Thanks for the slideshow, Cindy - no wonder you had to make one to show the whole garden! You have so much scope!

As to your screen, since the flower forms have variety, could your hesitation on planting the creeper come from the similarity in leaves between the Creeper, Jasmine and Vitex? Each shape seems fairly large and compound/pinnate. Or is it that R/W/B is so overused in commercial plantings? You'd have Red-blooming Rangoon creeper, Blue-flowering Vitex and white Angelwing Jasmine with little difference in foliage color or texture in the grouping.

Something's making you hesitate - I'm just trying to guess what it is. If I'm out-of-bounds, let me know.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Anna said...

Gosh, you sure have done alot lately. I really like your fence and the beauty it adds while the vine grows.

With your energy and love of gardening, I bet next season will be grand. You may even like it better.

Cindy, MCOK said...

Gail, thanks for the kudos, although I'm not sure it's my design sense so much as happy accidents that make the garden appealing! The concrete patios are in the back garden; I didn't include pictures of them. I'll try to do a post sometime to solicit ideas!

Carol, the Rangoon Creeper remains unplanted. I'm still thinking on where it should go. It is a relief to be done with the jasmine. I'm glad I took everyone's advice to just whack it back and let it regrow.

Thanks, Katie! Little Mama looks very streamlined, doesn't she?

EAL, I need to put some Microlife fertilizer down to help her get going. I've had a 40 lb. bag sitting in the garage since before the storm!

MMD, if the Rangoon Creeper's root system weren't so big, I'd be more inclined to plant it knowing I might move it eventually. The thought of having to do the digging and planting more than once is daunting!

Layanee, thanks for clarifying ... I did wonder who Ginger was, LOL. Your alter ego, hmmm?

Annie, you're definitely not out of bounds, this is the kind of advice/input I really appreciate. Other gardeners see things that I don't: you've made me think about the planting scheme in a different way. Whether it's the similar leaf forms, the red/white/blue color combo, or another thing entirely, something is putting me off. That's a good reason to hold off on planting the RC there!

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