Monday, September 1, 2008

Sweet Autumn

Sitting at the kitchen table, sipping my morning latte, I glance out the large un-craftsman style picture window that views across the back yard and beyond to the kudzu jungle.

While I prepare my morning coffee, Puppy is already busy with his daily work, patrolling the grounds. Each morning, he sniffs along the chain linked borders of the back yard. Making sure the grounds are safe from unwelcome guests. He did this at our old house. Patrolled the grounds. There, in the country, I assume he was keeping the grounds free from deer, fox, raccoons, beavers, and rabbits. Here in town, I guess, he is keeping the grounds free from cats.

I always keep one eye on Puppy while drinking my coffee. Usually he is good about coming straight to the back door when he finishes his rounds, but on occasion, since the back gate post broke in half, he follows his nose to the front of ThirteenEleven.

I see him sniffing around a mound of pea green kudzu. Then I notice the white dappled glow to the right of our mutt. Was it the sun beaming brightly through the pecan tree canopy above? I look up. No. The sun is not high enough in the sky. Hum…….I wonder if something is blooming.

I finish up my coffee, slip into my flip flops, grab the camera, remember to install the battery fresh from the charger and venture out to the kudzu jungle. (The back yard)

A dainty white flower is blooming on a vine. (Another vine, for this vine engulfed yard.) It is pretty, and I seem to recognize the type of flower, but I just can’t place it or pull up the name from the memory bank in my mind. I take a picture and go about my daily business.

Chris brings home the AJC every evening when he arrives home. Typically I go straight for the living and food sections. There in the paper I see it, the same plant in my back yard.

Clematis Terniflora, Sweet Autumn or Virgin’s Bower.

Along with Kudzu, Ivy, and Wisteria (all residences of ThirteenEleven) , it is an invasive plant.

Great !! Oh Joy!!

Quoting Martha Tate, “It depends on your perspective, but Clematis terniflora, which produces clusters of white starburst flowers on twining stems, can be either good or evil. The vine is on a list of invasive plants for the Southeast, and on several global lists as well. On the other hand, it is a favorite of many gardeners, who prize the charming mass of white flowers it produces each August.”

Chris mowed it down.


Jen said...

It's great that you posted this because yesterday, I suddenly noticed this stuff blooming all over everything up here in southern Maryland. I had no idea what it was or why I hadn't noticed all those flowers before. :)

Sandy said...

Although it is pretty, I agree -- mow it down!

Marilyn said...

Jenni, it's very pretty, but with your already-war with the kudzu, I agree, a mercy killing might be in order. Puppy is doing his bit to help you beat the jungle!

Jennifer said...

Ah, pretty invasive flowers. WE have purple bellflower here... gorgeous, but invasive.

NatalieDeltaGam said...

is your kudzu blooming where you live too? what a pretty pest this time of year!

and puppy looks so darling so his patroling of the yard. vivi just runs around like a crazy woman barking at the squirrels who mock her and thrown broken walnut shells down on her head.

su said...

We had the "big House" landscaped professionally a few years ago. One of the shrubs that was planted was burning bush. It is lovely and gives great red fall color. I just read the list of invasive plants and it is on the list! Also bishop's weed! I managed to kill all that was planted.

muddywaters said...

This Yankee is fascinated by kudzu. Once in Natchez, MS. I crawled into a ditch to pull some kudzu to decorate our front bumper. It wasn't a wise move because I picked up a few fire ants along with the kudzu.

A fire ant bite isn't pleasant. I learned a valuable lesson. Never pull kudzu from a ditch. Just leave it be.