Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Cleome...weed or not to weed?

Since moving here to Kingwood, not only did I have to start from scratch as far as gardens go, I also had to forget everything I thought I knew and start over. You see, the old house had a lot of shade and wet clay for soil. Sun was a luxury, I even had some high branches professionally removed just for a few more inches of sunlight....then we moved (AAARRRRGGGHHHH).

So now I have my "backyard" (another thing we didn't have before, swear to gawd!) garden right smack in the sun ALL day. No break at all from it. This means trial and error, trail and error, trail and error, again and again and again. Actually to be honest its been fun buying new and different plants for a change. This year I went hog wild and even bought "Elephant Ears"!!! and Caldium to! WOHOO!  Though my big thrill fell flat when nothing ever came up, but that's a story for another day. Back to the Cleome.....yeah, so I buy some of these critters, no problem, they're Ok, I like change, everything is cool.

Fast forward to this spring...these suckers are popping all over the damn place! Well, truthfully, you can see the path the wind blew one day, apparently with a crap load of their seeds. Now what you don't know is at my old house, or I should say shoebox that we lived in, I was an obsessive gardener. NO, and I mean NO, weeds were allowed or tolerated, that's right, any tiny weeny, itsy bitsy, microscopic piece of unplanned green and you were outta there! This was mostly due to the outletting of stress to my garden.....15 years and medicated later.....we FINALLY moved away to our current little piece of Heaven. And WOW, what a difference happy pills make, I have developed quite a tolerance for weeds now, I even water the suckers if they ask. No, not really, they're just in the way of the flowers that I am trying to water. So since I no longer start foaming at the mouth and begin drooling at the first sign of spring and pounce  upon my garden with mulch, mulch and more mulch, stuff actually has a chance to grow. I love seeing babies from last years plants, how cool is that??? I never gave them a chance before, I'm like a born again gardener!!!

Ok, so those cleomes.....what the hell???? LOOK at this plant below, sprouts up in the middle of gravel, I REFUSE to help it in any freakin way, and its the best damn looking specimen I have!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I don't know what the hell to think here. That freakin plant, and some of it's siblings, are so good and healthy looking, I'm just totally dumbfounded.
Just look at this obnoxious cleome in the middle of no stinkin where in the gravel???? All nice and dark green leaves and big and tall and so NOT suppose to be THERE, neither are its abhorrent pals standing in FRONT of the other shorter flowers that essentially belong where they are!

These wise guys are NOT inside the rock wall either and openly hanging with their weed friends.
Such disrespect I tell you!
Now see these little buggers? Yeah, the ones INSIDE the rock wall with all the other good little flowers, how come there not as big as the derelects, the big, lush ones???? I do water these ones, so what gives? Are they secretly evolving to the cacti family.

And last but not least, the oddball that exists in every family. All the other cleomes are white but this one. The ugly duckling.....not really, cause I like this one the best!!!

 All right, they are beautiful and since I don't have a job it's pretty cool to have flowers that I wasn't planning on. FREE...always a good thing! I learned that to keep them from becoming invasive it is best to snip off the seed capsules when they are plumped up.  To keep the seeds for controlled (hahaha) planting: keep the capsules dry and wait till they turn tan or start to pop open. The seeds will "rattle" loosely in the pod, break them open and shake out. Store them in a dry place till you are ready to use them.
 For more information about Cleome, aka Spider Plant, Click Here.


One said...

Is that a weed? Weed or not, it is beautiful. Glad you posted the photos. They are all nice, the whites and the ugly duckling.

Karen said...

Your post gave me a good laugh, why is it that plants we don't want grow like, well, weeds in impossible places? I remember the first year I grew cleome very well, especially the fall cleanup, when I grabbed the stalk to pull it out only to discover it's other cactus-like tendency--the thorns!

From mostly shade gardening to full sun is quite a change, and it looks like you've got it all figured out, what a beautiful garden!

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