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marlingardener's Blog

Farm living and laughing

"Mexican" imports

Category: Flower gardens | Posted: Sun Jun 12, 2011 4:06 pm

Here in Texas we have lots of plants that have "Mexican" in their common name. Mexican honeysuckle is neither a honeysuckle, nor Mexican.

Mexican honeysuckle bloom ( photo / image / picture from marlingardener's Garden )

When it's out on the town and being fancy, it is Justicia spicigera. It makes a nice evergreen shrub, and the flowers attract hummingbirds.

Mexican Honeysuckle (Justicia spicigera) ( photo / image / picture from marlingardener's Garden )

We also have "Mexican petunia" which is ruellia, and "Mexican buckeye" which is a nice little understory tree that isn't Mexican, but does have buckeyes.
When we lived in town the people in back of us were going to a deer lease (hunting area)and offered to bring me cuttings of a "Mexican rose" that grew wild there. I got all excited--a new rose for our garden. They brought back cuttings of bougainvillea!
We have lots of Mexican imports here--produce, clothing, all sorts of things. Unfortunately, many of the supposedly Mexican plants aren't among the imports but people credit Mexico for about half our decorative plants!

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Wrestling with a rose

Category: Flower gardens | Posted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 1:13 pm

As I mentioned on "My Garden" I spent yesterday afternoon wrestling with a rose. I think the rose won.
There is a very large (6' tall, almost as wide) rose bush in back of the manse at the church up the road. Last fall when I went to get cuttings, I noticed a lot of dead wood on the rose, and it was covered with bindweed.
Never one to leave well enough alone, I asked permission to prune and refresh the bush. The congregation knows a sucker when they see one, so I quickly got permission.
I should have sold tickets to the performance! First I put on my heaviest gloves and started pulling bindweed off. That was when I found my gloves weren't really all that heavy. I put a pair of my husband's gloves over mine--that kept the bleeding to a minimum.
Then I got my long-handled loppers and attacked some of the bigger dead branches. They attacked right back.
After I managed to wrestle the branches out of the rose bush and pick the thorns, leaves, and heaven-knows-what out of my hair, I decided to wear a hat. The next challenge was to wrestle my hat out of the rose bush where some thorns were holding on to it for dear life. Who knew roses were fashionistas?
Finally I got down to cutting away the dead tips and de-suckering the bush (and no, that doesn't mean that this sucker was leaving!). I managed pretty well since I had on long sleeves, and I'm likely to heal up in a week or two.
By this time I had a pickup truck loaded with debris, all of it thorny and none of it willing to stay in place. I had a tarp, so I tied that over the bed of the truck to hold everything until I could get home to our burn pile. Have you ever tried to get a tarp OFF a load of thorny stems? It takes a while and it is not fun!
When my husband got home and saw my scratches, band-aids, and generally tuckered appearance, he said, "Oh, you got at that rose bush. Who won?"

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