A Nurse with a Gun

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Pruning Time

Several years back, I delved into gardening. I did not have much of a green thumb, I killed a lot of plants trucked into the local Lowes. Click to enlargeI learned fairly quickly that tropical plants thrive in Louisiana's heat and humidity. I built a greenhouse to care for some of them through our short winter month. After one trip to Baton Rouge, we rode back home with the Jeep so filled with tropical plants that we had to brush huge leaves back to see the roadway. Bougainvillea, Bananas, Palms, Birds of Paradise, Cane, Heliconias, Canas, and Hibiscus. I grew them all. I also planted Wisteria and Pyrostegia venusta vines to "tie things together, and to provide a canopy of greenery on a pergola over our den's huge bay window in the summer.

Over the past couple of years, the tropical garden has been largely ignored, left to it's own devices. The huge live oak in the back yard is again providing shade that will eventually kill off the lush growth. When I paid tree surgeons to remove the oak limbs from above the house, and to take the grand old tree down to the ground, my wife cried. Click to enlargeI relented, turning it into a "poodle tree" instead. Now, like a bad penny, it's back.

I learned later that tropical plants are incredibly invasive. The Wisteria and Orange Trumpet vines not only covered the pergola, but also the rear of the house. Today, I cut the vines back to within a foot of the ground. They were overtaking the house, and getting to the point that I could not keep up with them, separating clapboards and lifting shingles. Hopefully, the roots will not send up shoots. My wife-mate may be pissed, but sometimes you just have to take the law into your own hands.

While I was out back performing my thuggish pruning, I noticed the wild violet lilies blooming. Maybe if I cut back that oak.......Click to enlarge

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Blogger Breda said...

bananas! How cool! Do you get fruit?

7:14 AM  
Blogger BobG said...

Nice photo of the Dutch iris.

11:59 AM  
Blogger leazwell said...

I do love wisteria but, yes, it must be kept in its place, down right insolent, aggressive stuff.

1:56 PM  
Anonymous Mikee said...

The wisteria will, will, will send up shoots, often about 100 feet from the original plant. You have your work cut out for the future (sorry for pun).

12:40 PM  
Blogger Nate said...

Orange trumpet vines- I hate em! The BSU planted 2 the first year we lived here and I have hated them, cursed them and cut them back every year. I told her that if she should die, the day after the funeral I was digging them out! This year, she dug them out herself and I cut them up and threw them away! Hurray!

10:54 PM  

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