Home of the Practically Perfect Pink Phlox and other native plants for pollinators

Monday, March 17, 2008

I step out for spring with Carolina Jessamine and Friends

As luck would have it, I stopped at HD to pick up light bulbs and they were officially recognizing spring. Finally, a whole lot of plants going on.

In celebration, two Carolina Jessamine/Gelsemium sempervirens, a Service Berry (Amelanchier canadensis) and a variegated Yucca stepped out with me. That native plants are for sale at a big box store always surprises me, but the Service berry knocked me over. You usually find Service Berry at specialty nurseries not a diy center.

Carolina Jessamine will do nicely here. It already has made itself at home and is blooming in a sunny spot near a den window. It might be just the plant to start to bring the patio garden back to life. I wrote in an earlier post that this part of the garden was ignored by me after construction pretty much destroyed it. This photo shows the retainer wall and the steps that take you into the back garden. (Oops, there are those hand pruners!)




The Carolina Jessamine will look beautiful on the stone retaining wall. I think it will soften the wall, look spectacular in bloom and the evergreen will be a boon in the winter. I am hoping it will cooperate and drape over the wall. There will probably be some sprawl into the bed but pruning ought to keep it in bounds. Do you think this might be a good spot?

The other Carolina Jessamine will be planted on a trellis to provide a focal point on the plain brick wall of our house. CJ is already growing on a small trellis about 15 feet away (planted last year). I like the balance the two trellises will provide and the wall needs the evergreen vine.

What do you think of the little trellis? I made it from bush honeysuckle limbs.

The taller one is a test...I haven't completed it yet! ...

I usually use these gail made trellises to support annual vines, it may be pushing it to grow Carolina Jessamine. The life expectancy of a honeysuckle trellis is about 5 years. A good end for a bad plant!

This is one of those decisions that could be nice in the short run but a BIG problem when the trellis crumbles apart. Hmm, what to do , what to do?

Does anyone with Carolina Jessamine have any thoughts?

Gail

Stay tuned for more on the Carolina jessamine, service berry and yucca! And in honor of St. Pat's Day here is some moss from the wet area in the back yard!

26 comments:

  1. Gail, by the time the cute honeysuckle trellises have gone back to nature the jessamine stems could resemble short tree trunks and the tops may have woven back and forth into a sort of structure. That's my guess!

    Our vine grows on a wooden fence with the help of stainless steel wires strung through eyelets.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

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  2. It looks good to me. It's a very good use of something that can be a pain (honeysuckle)! I think Annie is right, by the time the trellises don't work you'll have some plants that can stand alone. If you wanted to you could put a guide wire in to run up the wall.

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  3. Thanks for visiting my blog and it is a pleasure to discover yours. The Carolina Jessamine is an aggressive grower for me but it can be easily maintained by pruning.

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  4. Annie,

    The stainless steel will be good.

    Thanks,

    Gail

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  5. Dave,

    Since my CJ is new I hadn't noticed the strength of the stems. I will look more carefully at the ones growing around town.

    gail

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  6. phillip,

    your kind words are appreciated...I will keep an eye on this young lady and keep her tamed.

    Gail

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  7. Another warning sounded from here about the CJ and the cute trellis you made, it, the trellis is not anywhere near strong or large enough for the vine, even with pruning. However, the wall idea is a good one, but you will have to do a lot of pruning or you won't be able to use the steps! The pruning should be easy since it is right there on your patio, not sure how that will affect the blooms though. And I am also flabberghasted about the Serviceberry at HD, lucky you, it always pays to check out the plant selections at those stores, you never know what treasure might have just come in on the big truck.
    You will figure out a good place for your new purchases, keep us updated!
    Frances at Faire Garden

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  8. Frances,

    Hmm....I wondered if they would be strong enough...I see CJ on heavy fences and it does look like it needs to be kept in bounds!

    Yes, I was totally surprised by th find...maybe I should have gotten more than one but that is the kind of logic that gets me into trouble.

    Gail

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  9. Very inventive! I like the trellis and wall. I am in the midst of making plans for the patio we are hoping to build in a year or so.

    Were you aware that blotanical removes the words for word verification? I guess I had never tried to comment from my blotanical link before today so I never noticed. Weird.

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  10. Hey! Did you just add that picture of yourself yesterday afternoon? I don't think I've ever seeing that before! It's nice to be able to match up a face to a name.

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  11. how lucky are you!!!! i so want a serviceberry. i agree with you about the big box stores not having them. but i really think they are beginning to catch on.

    i also love you little trellis. how do you attach it all? five years is a good amount of time.

    i hope my jessamine blooms this year. i just planted it last year. it is on one side of the pvc arbor with sweet autumn on the other. i hope that is strong enough but it probably won't be. boo hoo.

    geri is going to pps tomorrow. she wants to do some shopping. i sent her the artemesia to give to you. she also has it growing in her garden. it is powis castle and is wunderbar! i hope you don't already have it. i think it may fit in well with your wildflowers and native garden. good luck in chez cedar glade with it.

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  12. cinj,

    I am glad you visit my blog, how is the weather up there? Has the big melt started?
    I know very little about blotanical...I signed up but I am trying to learn to be a blogger and will pick up blotanical in a bit. What about you?

    Gail

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  13. Tina,

    Will miss you...I am going to try to get to the garden to get the hypericum but I have clients all day...

    I imagine the SBs are all gone now!

    See you soon,

    gail

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  14. Wow! I didn't know about the 5-year life expectance of honeysuckle trellises. I began a honesuckle branch arbor 3 years ago... and I'm not finished yet. Guess I'd better hurry!!! ;-)

    You brought home some wonderful plants, and you have me very excited about spring's arrival.

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  15. Shady,

    I have some that have lasted a lot longer than that...but there seems to be no end of the honeysuckle branches. Would love to see your arbor, have you shown it on your blog?

    Yes, I want to write about them next,

    gail

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  16. Snowing again. GRRR! I just blogged a bit earlier about FINALLY seeing a small patch of mulch and the tip of a plant. Now it's going to get covered right back up! I guess I'd better resign myself to the fact that it will be a LOOONG time before I'm out in my garden. SIGH!

    I'm still trying to figure out the blogging/blotanical thing too. I'm usually pretty tech-y though, it just takes me a while to experiment and figure things out. If I just had some interesting things to blog about I'd be set!

    I love our chats, even if they aren't all about gardening.

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  17. cinj,
    Hang in there soon it will be warmer.

    gail

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  18. good morning gail. don't worry about digging anything for me. i just wanted you to have this plant. most are spoken for but i had a few extra. enjoy! make sure to find geri tonight. school it is for me. sigh. i hate school on tuesdays and thursdays. then it only limits me to mon/wed classes and the choices don't always work out. isn't everything in life a tradeoff?

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  19. Tina,

    Oh, so true, let's get together sometime soon.

    gail

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  20. Gail: I think it looks great and very creative! Love the moss for the holiday and I did see the love in your previous post. I have a friend who collects heart rocks!

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  21. layanee,

    Thanks, glad you liked the heart. I was so very tempted to pick it up! It seemed right to leave it.

    Gail

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  22. Hey Momma,
    Come on I thought you were a botanist. Where's the latin name for the species of moss? Ah...just kidding. I spent the last 30 minutes on bryophyte websites trying to id it. Hopefully the Tennessee Herbarium will have its bryophyte page up and running soon. Oh well, I'll get back to you when I have a better answer.
    Love,
    Matt

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  23. My darling son,

    Send me the id when you find it. I have been trying to identify a sedge from the yard that is also present at the Couchville Cedar Glade, another almost impossible task..

    Love,
    Mom

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  24. We just call it plane old Carolina Jasmine down here. It is aggressive and can get heavy fast. Love the Service Berry. Your rock wall is beautiful and I wouldn't put the Jasmine there. I would put something more dainty. I'm trying to think of something but only annuals are coming to mind. I'm picturing Homestead Verbena there? It will survive your area if mulched over well after the first frost. There is a purple lantana that is perennial to zone 7. I'm just thinking outloud like I always do. There is a trailing euonymus or wintercreeper that might look good there.

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  25. This has been an interesting discussion in the comments since I just planted a Carolina Jessamine without knowing too much about it. I'm planning to train mine up a smallish oak tree at the edge of the woods, or if the oak tree proves to be too thick for the twining (they do twine, right?) stems then I'll just let it sprawl wherever.

    I'm looking forward to watching the progress of your plant purchases.

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  26. Gail, I like seeing your photo.

    As for finding native plants at Home Depot, the one in north Austin used to carry a fairly decent selection of natives a few years ago. I was impressed. But then suddenly all the natives disappeared. When I asked an employee about it, he said that they just didn't sell. What a shame, huh? But that leaves a lucrative market to the independents, so maybe it's all for the good.

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Let us be grateful to people who make us happy;
they are the charming gardeners
who make our souls blossom.


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