Friday, November 21, 2008

Hedge Trimming and Jasmine Vines Out Of Control

This time of year our hedge in the front yard is showing its end of summer growth spurts and sending up long branches from the squared off hedge. It looks pretty silly and uneven. There is so much trimming to be done in this yard and the hedge certainly needed attention.

Last weekend my husband brought out the hedge trimmer and trimmed it up, producing plenty of trimmed branches. At least its less than the first year, the hedge had not been trimmed prior to us moving in and there was twice as much cuttings produced off the hedges. It is looking much better now and the hedge will be ready for new growth come spring.

While my husband was trimming the hedge I spent some time trimming back the runners produced by our numerous pink jasmine vines. The vines are fast growing and need trimming multiple times a year. The previous owner really loved these vines. Pink jasmine seems to be a much more rampant grower than regular jasmine. The vine sends out runners that can be as long a a foot or more from various parts of the plant. If you have them growing up a tall trellis this works fine, as is the case with the jasmine vines growing up the trellis at the end of the hot tub area. The previous owner also planted the jasmine vines surrounding the shorter porch areas in the front and the back of the house. This means there isn't a tall enough space for the vine to grow up on.

I like how the vines look but because of our coastal weather they don't bloom much. What you are left with is green vine mostly with a few white and pink tinged flowers.

I'm considering taking out the vines on the shorter part of the deck. If you look out the kitchen window the vines are so large you can't really see much of the yard from there. I hate to do it because the jasmine vines are growing so well but the cons outweigh the pros in this situation. Between the kiwi vines, the passionflower vines, the roses and the hedges the maintenance is pretty high for trimming. At this point we are leaning towards eliminating the deck jasmine vines.

I really don't like taking out a plant that is so happy where it is growing but visually and maintenance wise I think its time to find other plants to fill out the deck railing. Sweet peas would be pretty but azaleas would stay low and look great all year between evergreen leaves and flowering time. I'll need to think on this more before the final decision takes place.

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Friday, November 7, 2008

The Garden and the Rainy Season in Eureka

Its that time of year on the Eureka coast, its rainy season. Its not easy waiting for a clear day to garden when the rainy season starts. This is the time of year to look over bulb catalogs (I love bulbs!) and to work in my makeshift greenhouse. I have a passionflower vine rooted and ready to plant in the spring. Too bad I didn't get another one ready, I'd like to add a new plant to each of the trellis boxes that currently have the purple passionflower vines winding over the trellis in the front yard. Its really something to see the vines in full flower as you walk up to the house. The kiwi vine is absolutely full of kiwi fruit. I think we decided last year that December was the time closest to harvest the fruit. The fruit is still too hard to use but we plan on taking advantage of it during the holiday season. The heaths and heathers are looking good, a number of them are winter blooming or have beautiful winter colored foliage. Even when it rains it helps to look out the window and see my garden at rest.

If I can sneak out to the greenhouse to garden and venture out on clear weekend days during fall and winter I should be able to survive the rainy season. Good thing I love fall and winter and have the holiday festivities to keep me busy.

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