Friday, April 3, 2009

Looking to Learn

I am pleased to say that I'll be spending tomorrow at Gardenfest, an annual day-long collection of gardening seminars at McHenry County College. I'm particularly looking forward to the seminar I'll be attending on climbing plants, because this is one group of plants that I don't know as well as I would like. It would be nice to incorporate at least a trellis or two in my garden, and I must admit that I drool over pergolas draped in climbing roses and such. A pergola would look ridiculous in my tiny yard, but I can dream, right?

Most of all I'm just happy that tomorrow will be a completely garden-centric day, albeit not in the garden itself. I usually leave this event extremely motivated to get gardening, which is good because it's almost time to begin my two major projects for this year: expanding my front bed and planting a rain garden. Both will involve removing sod, fighting the clay, and planting (the fun part).

I hope the weather holds for all of you actually getting your hands dirty this weekend. Here in northern Illinois the snow is finally melting and maybe, just maybe, spring is here!


Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

Be careful, it's way too easy to become a collector of Clematis! I should know. There's nothing prettier than a climbing Rose with a Clematis growing through it (not that I have any climbing Roses, but I've seen them together). I'm afraid of Trumpet Creepers. There's a huge, magnificent one climbing a telephone pole here in town. I fear they need very large, sturdy structures. Have fun at the seminar. It sounds great.

garden girl said...

That sounds like a great way to spend the day. Hope you had a great time and learned lots!

I'm VERY afraid of trumpet vine! Did I say very afraid? I have seen older trumpet vines become extremely invasive, sprouting more than thirty feet away from the original vine. Their runners get very thick - I've seen them get to nearly two inches in diameter, and very tough, and nearly impossible to remove. I've seen them coming up between foundations and sidewalks, cracks in driveways, spaces between patio bricks or stones - you name it. As beautiful as they are as much as the hummingbirds like them, personally I feel they're way to invasive to consider.

I've heard and read of people saying they can be controlled by keeping them pruned, but I've seen runners go about a foot underground. They can be difficult to detect until they sprout ten feet away, and by the time that happens they are so well-established they're hard to eradicate. Don't mean to go on a rant about them, I'm just not sure most people have seen how invasive they can become. I shudder when I see them for sale in nurseries.

rambleonrose said...

Thank you for the warning about trumpet vine! What I took away from that presentation is that I need to learn more before planting any vine around this place! Many of them seemed to be rather invasive, and I already can't stand how my neighbor's English ivy has become an aggressive groundcover that constantly threatens to engulf my part of our shared fence. I do not want to introduce a similar problem on my property!

That being said, I'm intrigued with some simple annual vines like morning glory and hyacinth bean. I'm still trying to digest all the information and hopefully put it into a coherent post in the near future! :)

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