Sweet Shenanigans: Lexington Garden Cleanout

by Sheri Sweet

Many thanks to Dave Mason who helped me clean out the Lexington Senior Center Garden!  I’m attaching before and after pictures – lots more is needed out there, but this is a super start! 

The first picture is the north end of the garden.  The second picture is the south end of the garden.  (Don’t EVER let anyone try to talk you into planting Plumbago in a flower bed unless it is a very large bed, so you don’t have to worry about it spreading!) The third picture is the arbor (butterfly rest area).  

After Dave and I got the first pass done, this is what it looks like now!  The first picture is the north end, the second picture is the south end, and the third picture is that arbor.  The insidious vine was growing into the electric box, so Dave kindly removed it.  The arbor started life with a yellow jessamine on the north side and a purple hyacinth bean vine on the south.  I think where tut there’s still a jessamine in there, but the Hyacinth Bean Vine never came back.  So, I planted Cardinal vine seed on the south end.  Well, there again, no one ever mentioned that it was invasive!! It grew out and I started finding it at the south end of garden!  Runners were 20-25 feet long!  

The insidious vine – that’s another story!  When Wes and I were building this garden, about 3 -4 feet down, growing out from underneath the FOUNDATION of this building was the base of this insidious vine.  There was no way to remove this root.  We decided to just deal with the tiny little pieces of vine as they came up!!  That was fine until they started putting out all the hundreds of little starts!

Then, someone with the Senior Center apparently gave orders to someone who mowed the whole garden down to the dirt line.  We found the wreckage the next day when we went over to work in that garden. There were several expensive plants out there that never did come back.  We lost interest in that garden after that and have done minimal work there for several years.  

I have decided that the thing I need to do is plant polite perennials out there to make it more maintenance free.

In working at the Senior Center Garden, Dave and I were pulling out two vines:  a wild morning glory with pretty light purple flowers and the no-name insidious vine!!  But wait!  On the arbor is ANOTHER vine!  Leaves similar to holly with beautiful bright red berries!  And that very easily also “went to town” and I was finding it on the north end, which is 30 – 37 feet from its epicenter!!  Too bad someone wasn’t trying to make rope!!  It would have worked beautifully!  What was so amazing to me was the lengths these vines grew!!

So that’s where we stand now.  Gradually (probably in the Spring) we’ll start working on this garden and try to bring Some sort of order to it!

Oh, wait!  I forgot to tell you about our freeloader!  When I was working out there, I grabbed hold of one of the vines, and started pulling on it.  I caught a movement, stopped, and leaned in to see what it was.  There sat a very perturbed toad the size of my fist!!  He did NOT like being disturbed. By the time I got my phone for a picture, he had hidden himself again. 

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