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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Attack Of The Killer Plant

At the beginning of the winter,
Howard and I take the old pumpkins
from our Fall decorating,

. . . give 'em a good smash to expose their tender innards,
and put them beneath thick underbrush to feed squirrels
and other little critters into the cold months.

By spring, there's usually nothing left,
or perhaps a little bit of bleached out pumpkin skin that quickly composts away.
 We forgot to put this pumpkin, above, out for the squirrels,
so it lay hidden under snow from Christmas until spring, deflated like an old balloon.  But intact . . .
Until it was attacked by the enemy beneath:

Yes, the spring blooming plant beneath it came up anyway, and sliced right through the pumpkin
with its sharp needle like foliage.  Ouch!   It even beheaded it ... in the picture below
you can see the stem has come undone and is lying near the edge of the border.  Again, ouch!
Kind of creepy, isn't it?
 But it is lovely to see the hyacinths abloom in my not-yet-tidied up border.

At least one of our beds is tidy, below, but I think the people we hired to help with Fall cleanup got a little too enthusiastic, and I seem to be missing about 2/3 of the Bleeding Hearts we used to have!  I will plant more; they do so well in this spot.

The big forsythia is having a sad and anemic spring.
That is a sad looking bush.
Last year, it bloomed profusely.  The year before . . . another poopy blooming season.
Could it be that this particular forsythia is on a two-year cycle, and only blooms well every other year?
It was not pruned last year, so the new growth was not shorn off.  'Tis a mystery.

Happy Wednesday! 
I'm off to have brunch with my friend Betsy, pick up Alida's wedding invitations, and bring some shoestring chic chairs to an upholsterer.  More on those on Friday; a good story!  -- Cass

Visit Susan at A Southern Daydreamer for Outdoor WednesdayClick here!


  1. Our forsythia is dependent on the weather. If the buds are nearly out & we have a freeze...wammo...gonzo!! Last year we had an early warm spring & they were a brilliant yellow. This year they are still in tight bud...
    We do the same thing with out pumpkins....recycle!!
    Have a Great Day!

  2. Funny pumkin story..... I know the hyacinths smell divine..I would not be happy with the clean up crew! Have a great busy day!

  3. The hyacinths are just beautiful, Cass..I haven't done much yard work yet...too many high winds and sand storms going on right now.
    We didn't get any snow all winter and no rains as of yet so our yard and plants are looking waaay past poorly!!!
    xo bj
    Oh, and did you come over for a try at the beautiful Danish enamel house sign I am giving away?

  4. Lovely!! I really enjoy hyacinths and wish I had some more garden space to add some to my garden!

  5. Your pumpkin story is so funny! I remember you saying last fall that you left the pumpkins for the critters, that is so sweet.

    You had such a terrible winter, I wonder if that affected the forsythia.

    The wedding seems to be approaching fast. Isn't it exciting?!


  6. Our forsythia looked a bit better this year than last, but it's not an old bush. Neighbors down the street have a magnificent looking one.. thick, tall, lush. I wonder sometimes if maybe they are fertilizing it.


  7. Isn't mother nature amazing! Those hyacinth's were coming up no matter what! The pumpkin was just great compost, wouldn't it be funny if you had "super hyacinth's" this spring! Have a great day! When you have a moment please stop by for a snack, we love company!

  8. I pruned our forsythia rather hard last year and it has rewarded me, this year, with about two blooms. Big disappointment!

  9. The neighbor's forsythia and none of the azaleas seem to have done as well this year. Last year everything seemed to be so thick and lush with gorgeous blooms. This year? Not so much. :(

  10. That poor, poor unsuspecting pumpkin...just a-laying there minding its own business..and whammo...invaded by an alien species! You're righ it is kind of weird. Speaking of weird..yur forsythia is looking a bit peaked too (who know what is under THAT and trying to poke through);>) Have a great evening! xxoo Diana

    ps...can't wait to hear about the shoestring chic chairs!

  11. Okay- I am overtired. I DO know how to spell RIGHT and YOUR and KNOWS! lol

  12. My son is going to be 21 fri. And he still takes our pumkins and destroys them. He loves throwing , dropping and stepping on them till there a big oh mess . Than the critters go to town on them. If he has leftover firecrakers for the 4th look out. No more pumkin. :)

  13. You have more pumpkin adventures than the average bear.

  14. Let's hope there is such a thing as two year cycle forsythias. Or else mine are just plain old dead this year. Good idea to leave the pumpkins for the critters.

  15. Enjoyed this post! Someone on Facebook told me that forsythia blooms on old growth every other year. If you want to prune, he said, do it right after the blooms are gone, so you know which branches to clip. Sounds like a lot of work to me, but he said if you chop down the whole thing, you won't get blooms again for two years! I am not a gardener -- telling you what I was told. I did plant one this year -- again -- so I will see how this works out.


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