Friday, October 3, 2008


After it has flowered. These are four words that my husband just hates to hear. I usually am uttering them when he tells me that it is really time for a plant to move on. It has become rather unruly and the garden would look better without it. The trouble is that all I can think about is its next big flowering several months away. Such is the case with the cross vine on the greenhouse. I don't even know where this vine came from but it has given a good deal of pleasure with its mass flowering every spring and it has served a function; shading the greenhouse from the blasting summer sun. Unfortunately, it has greedy roots and sucks every drop of moisture from the soil. This is the spot where I grow cucumbers up the trellis. It is definitely coming out after it flowers next spring. 

This week I finally relented and agreed to removal of the vitex from the bed that runs along side the garage. Also the three Texas sage and the Southern wax myrtle. All had finished flowering for the year. All had become unruly in their growth and were overshadowing the dry creek bed. Not to mention the leaves that were a constant clean up problem among the rocks. The wax myrtle was damaged in a fierce storm that passed through our neighborhood in the spring. One of the main branches was broken and left a gaping hole in the center. 

First to go was the vitex. Removal of the branches was the easy bit but the stump was another matter. After releasing the visible roots with the chain saw it was time for some real horsepower. Unfortunately that didn't work- the rope snapped, so there was nothing for it but 2 more hours of work getting that stump out by hand. What a player.

Next the wax myrtle.
 Down to the bare trunks, more chain saw work. This tree took 4 hours of work to remove. It is hard to believe that those roots could take so much time to get out. A job well done by my husband. Now I am left with a new area to plant and this time I am going to try to choose plants which don't grow so big, if that is possible for Texas. The truck contains a yard of Hill country garden soil from the Natural Gardener and I making plans for the new bed. Deciduous trees are not on the list. Agaves and cactus are.


  1. That crossvine is so pretty when it flowers. Are you sure you want to take it out after it flowers again? I'll be waiting to see if you really do it, or if you find another place for cucumbers!

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  2. It looks like the Vitex and Wax myrtle liked your garden so much they didn't want to leave, Jenny!

    Good luck with finding something that won't be quite so happy in that spot. Will Dwarf Greek Myrtle grow for you? Or is it too formal? I think it tops out at 4 or 5 feet and has such small pretty leaves.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  3. Thanks for the suggestion. I love the dwarf myrtle and have it in my herb garden. It isn't quite so dwarf is it? I think it may be a little too formal for the front and I wouldn't be too sure that the deer wouldn't eat it. It is a bit of a problem area in that it gets no sun in the winter so everything likes to lean forward from the house.