Saturday, July 12, 2008

Split Personalities

For reasons unknown to me, the strangest things have happened in my garden and far flung container culture of ornamental plants. Trust me, my collection of plants residing in plastic pots far outdoes anything most of you can claim to be harboring, even if somewhat shamefully. Mine covered an acre of ground, the patios, the deck, the front porch and the front of the barn. I disguised the entire affair as a nursery, but in reality nothing ever arrived to add to stock that didn't totally appeal to me. This nursery sold my taste in plants. Totally personal branding at large.

One year I got into clematis really heavy and Julka was once of the more intriguing cultivars added to the catalog. Mind you any of these plants that graced the catalog was destined to take up residence in my private collection. It is the obsession that fed the madness completely devouring what was once a lovely sloping manicured lawn. Who needs all that grass? It was much lovelier hidden by thousands of plants in black plastic condos.

What became of the coveted and won Julka Clematis? It developed a personality disorder in season two. There is no photo touching done in the image above. The thing actually produced dark red and brilliant blue-purple flowers at one time - simutaneously - on the same stem. A truly psychotic bloomer which seemed to now be so confused that it had no idea who it was.

This vine was affectionately dubbed Sybil since it was quite obviously was no longer Julka. The behavior far exceeded the often troublesome problem of exciting new plants reverting to one of the parents used in breeding. Here was a Clematis that had became so mixed up as to stage an argument with itself that continued all summer long. It never tired of differing in in its own opinion.

Were it not for the damnable rabbits who chewed it off at the ground over the winter, murdering poor confused Sybil in cold blood - you might be able to purchase your own split personality vine today. Have I mentioned how much I abhor rabbits? Does anyone know WHY they only target the things you treasure most? Couldn't they just be happy with the other things you wish would silently slip away instead?

I think rabbits should only come in chocolate, wrapped in whimsical foil to complete an Easter basket properly. The only way to control them is to do away with their population ... or build a fortress around your garden that nothing larger than a Japanese beetle can break into. It is far more cost effective to get rid of Thumper and his kin.

Rabbit stew anyone? Dinner will be ready soon. In loving memory of Sybil whose constant and unending argument shall never be forgotten. May she rest in a peace totally unknown to her in life.
G.G.

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