Far Out Flora

Hate it? Ditch it!

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Cape Honeysuckle Before

Don’t get me wrong, Tecoma capensis (Cape Honeysuckle) is a decent plant if you have some space, and don’t hack the living crap out of it a month or two before it’s supposed to bloom (late fall through winter). I bought it about two  years ago, wooed by the picture on the tag of its orange, tubular flowers (thinking it was a true Lonicera type honeysuckle). In October it was straight up to ginormous, popping out the odd flower here and there, so I seriously considered ripping it out to make room for way cooler  plants. Instead I went berserk with the pruners, and hacked the living daylights out of it (it seems to not be phased by extreme pruning). I should have ripped it out then…

So beautiful... NOT

So here it is growing through a rusty old towel rack we found on the street thinking it needed a trellis like device (it doesn’t, it’s a big honking shrub). I’ve been strategically taking pictures of the garden for months trying to avoid it.  About two weeks ago I started hacking at it again, then I turned to Matti (official ripper outer of plants) and said, “Let’s get rid of this thing.”

Getting rid of it

Matti went nuts chopping it out at the base, and pulled the top part out in one big mass. He dug the the remaining roots out afterwards, and found a little surprise.

Agave baby

We’re still not sure what we were thinking when we planted an Agave americana, and a couple babies we picked up free on craiglist. The momma responsible for this pup root was pulled out back in October. There was a time when we were excited to see new pups, but these days they get hacked off immediately (anyone in need of a big honking americana in SF, we have another one that needs to go soon).

New babies

I’m a little shocked looking at this picture from two weeks ago. It’s already starting to fill in like crazy. We’re giving Papaver ‘Drama Queen’ a shot in our beachy sandy soil (technically it likes richy rich dirt). I’ve been a bit of a ‘Drama Queen’ lately, so it’s appropriate. So far, so good, it’s almost doubled in size since taking this pic. I’m really excited to see what Phygelius capensis ‘Magenta’ does in our neck of the woods, too! It’s the tiny little guy left of the container.

Matti's a magician!

Check out Matti’s sweet new trellis! He made it exclusively from the remains of the honeysuckle corpse with nothing holding it together except pressure of the canes! Matti rocks! Our Eccremocarpus scaber ‘Tresco Gold’ is popping out of dormancy, and needs something super cool to crawl on. I’ll be posting love stories about my favorite vine EVER, soon. Moral of the story, if you’re not really loving a certain plant in your garden don’t be afraid to get it the heck out of there! We’ve planted all kind of things we regretted, but have never regretted their departure. Our bougainvillea is the next scheduled plant going to plant heaven very soon.

8 Comments

  1. LOVE the trellis! I ditched a Tecoma capensis as soon as we moved into our place and have never missed it. Didn’t think to make a trellis out of it though!

  2. too bad you don’t have the room to tolerate evicted plants. fortunately(or maybe not), i have room for all that low life plant vermin. and if they really act bad, i have unsuspecting relatives…

  3. Matti does rock! You are a lucky girl. I am going to give up on my pink bower that used to crawl beautifully on our fence. For two years it has tried to come back but keep freezing back. So I give up and will be digging it up this year. Need something tougher to climb the fence.

  4. Pingback: Plantgasm - Garden Links for 19 March 2011

  5. thanks for stopping by and leaving your blog on the lovely blogs list! glad to find you :)

  6. Love this post, love the trellis and the rusty ol’ towel rack, too!

  7. I loved reading this post Flora! You’ve described a couple similar experiences I’ve had in my own yard. I used to feel so guilty because I was the doofus that brought it home in the first place. But live and learn right?!

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