Re: [gardeners] Our beautiful October garden

penny x stamm (
Fri, 12 Oct 2001 01:56:44 -0400

Hello, Ron and friends -- we are just back from St.Louis where 
we found a remarkable sight:  one passion fruit vine intertwined 
with some lablab vines, growing up Gino's 12 ft. beautiful trellis
against a 2-story brick wall.  There are lots of green balls
hanging down, and I am told that they must turn dark before
picking. Hope that the weather doesn't double-cross us --
it's my guess that they are in a marginal zone (6B) so they
are a bit late. Gino says that the blossoms were lovely
mixed with the delicate blues of the lablabs. And intertwined 
with both of those vines were several 5-ft tall red cannas with 
their large foliage. What a spectacle!

Gino, my  Chicago daughter Andrea, and I spent hours pulling 
out the most beautiful weed in the world:  ornamental oregano, 
a lovely dark purple-bronze. It possibly came in with the 
humus they brought home, but I didn't see any other kinds
of weeds. The plants were choking out the desirable things,
and severely shading the bottom of many evergreens so
that the needles were not looking sound.  Their soil is an
obnoxious clay, and so they had spread thick layers of the
black humus everywhere, right on top. I would have expected 
them to have dug it in, but instead they have been treating it like
a top mulch.  
There was another phenomenon in the beautiful back yard:
an 8-ft tall bright red hibiscus intertwined with a c ------  ------
oh dear, cannot remember the name!  It was a 9-ft tall plant
with huge leaves and bright red seed pods growing in bunches,
very poisonous. And intertwined with both of those vines were
several 5-ft tall red cannas with their large foliage. What a

Then in the front yard there were two more of those exotic 
tropical looking things, one of which had reached 12 feet in 
height, and about 6 feet in width --- what a magnificent sight!

We ripped out 5 wheelbarrows of morning glory coming from the
neighbor's side of Gino's fence, and thus uncovered three 
trellises with clematis growing on them!  They were a bit 
light-deprived and pale, but we feel that they will survive. Part
of the morning glory had grown out into a 3-ft diameter ball
beginning to grow down a young dogwood -- it had crept along
a flagpole anchored to the fence at about 5 feet up, which is
intended to hold a medieval banner as soon as it is sewn. I
wouldn't let Gino put either the ornamental oregano or the
morning glory into the compost pile, for fear of incomplete
breakdown of seeds. 

The only other problem was that one of the dogwoods had
all of its leaves browning dry one-third up their tips. Jimmie
and I brought them over to the Missouri Botanical Garden 
for their advice, and their answer was that if it were not
environmentally caused, we would lose the tree. Nothing
we can do to help it. Very sad. 

And that's how the time went -- fast and well spent. 

BTW, just to boggle your minds, we flew from LaGuardia
Airport here on Long Island to Detroit, Michigan, as the
first leg of our flight down to St.Louis, on a 48-passenger
American Eagle jet plane in pristine condition -- 
1 pilot, 1 First Officer, 1 Flight Attendant, and Penny &
Jimmie Stamm.  The steward gave his mandatory speech,
you know, "Ladies and gentlemen, the way to buckle your
seat belts is such-and-so....." and we were in stitches! 
When he was finished, he begged me to take some
pretzels and a drink, and then sat down next to Jimmie
to shoot the breeze for the entire flight . . .   I figure that
we must now belong to some kind of exclusive club
of honorary passengers -- and I would of course adore
doing it all over again!  The steward explained when I
asked that they needed the plane for the return trip, so
they could not cancel it.  What fun!

Penny, NY


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