Tackling the Vine

I moped on the couch for a while this morning, nursing my second cold in as many weeks. Then I hauled myself back up and went outside.  The sun is shining today with a high of 77 degrees F (25 degrees C).  Cold or no cold, I needed to be outside in that fresh air. Lindy, Slinky and Mouse all thought so too, so they followed me outdoors.

After wandering around the garden, I donned my gloves and my shears and tackled one of my projects: the now deceased Hardenbergia vine.

Dismantling the vine

Dismantling the vine

Digging it up wasn’t possible,  but at least I could cut back the woody vines.  I used my “Martha Stewart”  ruby saw and a pair of lopping shears and chopped the vine back to the roots.  Over the past decade, the Hardenbergia gradually wound its vines around the trellis, rooting it to the ground below.  I pruned away the dead wood in parts, a bit like disassembling a puzzle.

dead vines

“Puzzle” pieces

When done, I poked around in the soil in search of clues. No obvious sign of the plant’s demise was evident (like a gopher or a fungus).  Perhaps it was just time.

rope vines

Rope like vines embrace the trellis

dead vines

Beauty, even in death

Now that the vine and trellis are out, I’m giving some thought to the replacement.  The Hardenbergia required a major pruning once a year, a task that had me up on the ladder for long stretches of time.  Planting something closer to the ground is more my speed these days.

Please stay tuned!

17 thoughts on “Tackling the Vine

  1. Oh wow – you did it! Despite old age, bad back and spring colds 🙂 Bowing down before greatness!! I once had a hardenbergia in my garden that looked just like yours did in its prime. How sad that it has died so soon after looking so beautiful…… I just love those twisted stems. You are so right – beautiful even now! I hope all that hard work cleared out your cold as well. Big hugs to you and lots of healthy germs zooming to you across the Pacific!


    • I don’t know about greatness, but I do feel good about tackling what I could. The roots remain, but at least it looks better which makes me feel better *and* I’ve liberated a pretty trellis for another use. Mike used to do all our digging, but now he has ankle and shoulder problems. We’re falling apart!

      As for greatness, you make me feel wonderful with every single comment. You have the knack for being thoughtful, inquisitive, kind and funny. I bow down to your greatness.

      The cold lingers, but I had a good night’s rest and woke up without the alarm so that’s good. I have Pilates this morning, another appointment after that, a client this afternoon and our book club meets tonight. My pockets are stuffed with tissue and I’m ready to go.


      • Thank you – that is such a heart warming response – I love it when I feel seen and appreciated 🙂 You are too dear Alys!!

        I hope you have a smooth ride through the day and that tomorrow will find you reflecting back on another successful day – and that cold will be drying up, packing its bags and doing its Elvis impersonation.

        ‘Ladies and gentlemen, Elvis has left the building’.


  2. You are a force Alys! I can’t imagine how much work that was and with a cold yet. Sorry to hear your getting knocked around by it the 2nd time, good grief. You take such good care of yourself with healthy eating and exercise. What chance do us mere mortals have if you are catching colds? I hope you’ll feel better but I fear your schedule sounds plenty full for any good rest. I didn’t wake very early today and felt one step behind all day. But I did manage to get a lot done including posting a package to you. I hope it arrives quickly, cheers you and chases that cold away.

    A shame about that gorgeous vine. Must be highly finicky if it can’t survive in California. Have you ever seen Wisteria? We got married in a garden in Dallas. It was April and the Wisteria was so amazing I will have to look for a photo and pop it on FB. I don’t know how much work they are though, maybe too much. But it’s stunning.

    Check out this unique Clematis, requires no pruning and apparently is smells really nice


    I laughed when you said both you and Mike are falling apart……we’ve been saying that a lot lately. Is this the new normal? Somedays I feel like a clunker in need of maintenance, LOL. Feel better soon hon xoK


  3. I love the look of the plants twisted vines and sorry to see it take it’s leave. I know the feeling of a job well done at the end of the day. You always sleep better after a day like that. Sorry about the cold. Can’t remember my last one. I don’t get the flu either even though I don’t get a flu shot. I eat LOTS of pickled garlic and it keeps my immune system sharp. Especially if I keep my stress down. I don’t know why it works but it does. Also keeps my cholesterol in check since mine is high due to heredity. If you like pickles, you’ll like pickled garlic but some is better than other. I eat more if I have to be around lots of people. No, you can’t smell it on me.:)


    • I like garlic but I’m not a fan of pickles. Does it need to be pickled to have the health benefits?

      The cold is a drag, but with school aged kids, lots of viruses head home. I sailed through most of the winter without anything wrong, so if this is the worst of it, I’ll take it.

      Are you seeing signs of spring, Marlene?


      • Yes, Alys. I am seeing signs of spring. The ducks are making lots lots of noise. I think it’s mating season. Sorry you aren’t a fan of pickles. In the beginning, I tossed bits into a salad and coated them with dressing. It’s hard to get enough garlic by just cooking it and the pickling seems to help with the gut bacteria which helps with the immunity. I haven’t had a cold or flu in more than 12 years. Other than the Bells, which was brought on be EXTREME stress.I get nothing. No matter who comes into my space with it. Now I dish out a good spoonful and pop them in each day, more when I’m going to be around lots of people. Hope you are better soon. Colds are hard on the skin. from tissues. 😦


        • Good for you, Marlene. That is fantastic.

          I’m finally at the end of my cold, with the tender nose to prove it. I have tried the lotion-infused tissues this year and must say they really are wonderful. Pricey, compared to the other tissue, but worth it when you use one every ten minutes.


  4. Looking at the “prime” photo, I can see where it would be hard to give that up. I had never heard of that type of vine; of course, that’s not unusual as I am a neophyte at best when it comes to gardening!


  5. Pingback: Three Garden Projects, All in a Row | Gardening Nirvana

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