Hardenbergia Violacea



Through the wonder of encoded DNA, the Hardenbergia always knows it’s time to bloom. Don’t you just love nature?

It’s a lush vine most of the year, with glossy green leaves. The vines twist like rope, braiding themselves around the trellis. It’s easy to forget it’s there. Then year after year, when February rolls around, tiny purple clusters begin to form. It’s subtle at first, with just the hint of lavender. Within a week, it’s like time-lapse photography. Brilliant purple flowers cluster at the tips of the vines, putting on a show that last two weeks.

Then, as quickly as they appear, it’s over. I find myself searching for the last few clusters here and there, until they really are gone.

The vine, pictured below, grows against the fence outside my laundry room.  If you’re going to do laundry, I can’t think of better company.

Hardenbergia Vine

Hardenbergia Vine

Hardenbergia, Member of the Pea Family

Hardenbergia, Member of the Pea Family

March Haiku

March Winds

March winds fiercely blew.
Leaves gathered on the doorstep
I don’t need a rake!

Icy Water

Icy water flows,
fallen leaves how you vex me.
Mold in one hour.

Visiting Feline

Visiting feline
graces our garden each day.
Does your mama know?

Neighborhood Squirrel

Neighborhood tree squirrel
amassing a trove of nuts,
please spare my new lawn.


Monosyllabic flower
you’re one-third haiku.

You can learn more about the origins of the ancient Japanese poetry style Haiku here.

How to write a Haiku poem from Creative Writing Now.

About the Haiku Master From Wikipedia:

Matsuo Bashō (松尾 芭蕉?, 1644 – November 28, 1694), born Matsuo Kinsaku (松尾 金作?), then Matsuo Chūemon Munafusa (松尾 忠右衛門 宗房?),[1][2] was the most famous poet of the Edo period in Japan. During his lifetime, Bashō was recognized for his works in the collaborative haikai no renga form; today, after centuries of commentary, he is recognized as a master of brief and clear haiku. His poetry is internationally renowned, and within Japan many of his poems are reproduced on monuments and traditional sites.

Garden Wanderings: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

It’s fun traversing the garden with my camera in hand.  The lens helps me see things in a different light, though I’m not always able to capture it.  Beautiful, golden grasses grow at the edge of our garden, but I’ve never been able to record and share their beauty as they move in the wind, offset by the vivid blue sky.  The grasses remind me of a film from my childhood of “amber waves of grain.”

In reality, not everything in the garden is as beautiful as amber waves of grain.  This month I’ve decided to capture the good (flowering vines), the bad (frost damage) and the ugly (pine sap) of my recent garden wanderings.  Here goes:

Hardenbergia violacea 'Happy Wanderer' (Purple Vine Lilac)

Wrapping Around the Trellis

Daphne Odora

Frost-damaged Ferns

Pine Sap Clings to the Cat Netting

Pruning at a Price

I got ahead of myself on Monday and I’ve paid for it all week.

I love pruning. It appeals to my organizing side: tackling a rambling shrub or vine and bringing the wandering branches back under control. Taming the beast, so to speak, at least temporarily. After reading up on the additional sun needed for my winter garden, I got down to business. The hardenbergia hadn’t seen a hard prune in six years. It was time. Pruning would allow additional sunlight to shine on the garden beds as summer waned.

Up and down the ladder I went, in the morning before it got too hot; again in the evening before dark. My neighbor helped from the other side of the fence while my husband sharpened tools. My youngest son pulled twigs from the lattice and eventually we tamed the vine. Over the years the vines “braided” themselves around each other, up along the fence, through the cat fencing and around the supports. Pruning felt like the dismantling of a puzzle.

Braided Hardenbergia Vines

Empowered by my success, I tackled the Pittosporum next. My boys started new schools Monday, so I was employing the “busy hands” technique to keep from worrying.

My inner obsessive gardener took hold and I sawed, chopped and trimmed branches for an hour and a half.


Satisfied with my progress and sticky from sap, I finally relented. Sadly, it was too late. My neck ached, then throbbed and by day’s-end I was miserable. I employed the usual “cast of characters” including a hot bath, topical analgesic and a couple of naproxen.

The next day I felt worse. I tried ice, more analgesics and even slept wearing my trusty cervical collar that night. By Wednesday a migraine moved in and I finally called my chiropractor. Darn if she wasn’t out-of-town!

Five days later I’m almost myself again. It’s hard to give up or give in to your body’s woes; to admit that you aren’t as young as you once were. Age and a series of auto accidents have robbed me of my once-nimble neck. It’s time to call in the pruning professionals. The price for the pleasure of pruning is officially too high.