Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Cardinal vine, RIP


First piece of gardening news. Not quite what I was expecting to report:

91-year-old Rosa, who lives alone in her multi-storey townhouse next door, asked me, through her son Henry (who was sweeping her yard), to not grow vines on her fence.  My cardinal vine had just begun to bloom on top of it.

But vines are messy.

The fence in question is black and rusty and is what separates us from Rosa's bare concrete and astroturf yard. Not messy. Some day I'll show you a picture of her front garden.

So I have snipped my flowering cardinal vine down.

Yesterday, I thought that perhaps the birch pole screen I erected some weeks ago on our side of her iron fence had been a mistake. Now, I think not.  Henry says that yes, we may grow whatever we like on our fence. He was apologetic, he said, and speaking for Rosa, not himself. Rosa waved from a window - one of the ones from which she feeds flocks of city pigeons every morning. You know, neat, toilet-trained city pigeons.

I waved back.

I exchanged telephone numbers with Henry, in case Rosa ever needs anything.  I would be happy oblige, unless it is with a request to napalm the rest of my garden.

____________________



22 comments:

  1. 91-year-old next-door neighbors get away with a lot. ;)

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  2. If you leave her a copy of 66 Sq Ft she'll most likely let you plant any and everything.

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    1. Somehow, I don't think so. But a good thought.

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  3. Old people can get really weird about stuff....I sure hope not to be like that.

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  4. Poor Rosie she must be sad inside in more ways than one.

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  5. Wow, that is quite irritating - sounds like the birch screen may need a few more layers to add privacy on your side!

    Welcome home.

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  6. I have never and never will understand this war on greenery.

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  7. what is the favourite flower of this lady?

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  8. not familiar with it, but it's lovely. is it Ipomoea x interfida? have a new arch that needs a vine ....

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    1. Hi Win - Ipomea x sloteri, I think, but there may be several hybrids that look alike. It may have invasive potential, but is nipped here by the cold. I planted it in Harlem last year for the hummers, and...they came. I was hoping to lure some, here. It was rather compromised by our absence (parched), so I was not devastated to lose it. I think it is a pretty climber for late season interest, as it only really gets going now.

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  9. I have teensy bit of this, but yours looked nicer even after surviving drought in your absence. Rosa does not sound like a particularly pleasant character.

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  10. oh sigh. gardening with neighbors... challenging

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  11. You can grow whatever you like on my fence any time!

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    1. Mine too, we have a neighbour just like this. At first it made me soooo mad now I just think its sad really that she gets such joy bending and snapping roses that just lean over to her side that were in full bloom.

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  12. We need you at the United Nations.

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  13. I'm so sorry - neighbors can be difficult. But at least her son sounds nice

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  14. It's sad that Rosa is denying herself the joy of a bright red cardinal flower and the feathery green of the vine.

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  15. Fingers crossed Rosa will get some joy overlooking the rest of your garden. 91 is a hard age.

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  16. Fingers crossed Rosa will get some joy overlooking the rest of your garden. 91 is a hard age.

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  17. Community garden neighbors can be even more interesting... Their gardens are closer to yours, and there are more of them. ;)

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  18. sigh. my parents' (normally kind) back neighbors just yanked up a lot of the climbing roses on my folks' back fence (which, incidentally is fully on my folks' lot) when they were prepping for a bbq in there plantless concrete back patio. I am trying to understand and figure that as non-gardeners they may want to minimize the plant detritus they need to clean up - especially for your neighbor who probably doesn't like that she may need to ask her son to come do that sort of labor for her. I am thinking of how terrible it makes me feel to ask for help with labor i can't do alone anymore since a back injury and imagine that keeping house alone at 91 is difficult. All i can say is that I would definitely advise people to put in a fence or trellis a few inches inside of the dividing fence before investing much energy (or money, depending on how ample yours is) in something climbing or reaching, and maybe if there isn't the threat of having to clean up after it, neighbors may come to appreciate the plants...

    also i just recently moved some cardinal vine off of some cable lines and onto string - it was time consuming and they are not thriving ever since so i think you probably made the right call in terms of how to spend your energy on this one...

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  19. Jeez, I would think that looking at your beautiful vine in a concrete city like New York would be a joy and she should be thanking you for the beauty of it instead of asking you to take it down. That kinda pisses me off. 91 or not. And pigeons? Really? Unbelievable. I feel for ya.

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