Bloom Thyme Friday: Beautiful, Invasive or Both

When you garden in one place for as long as I have (30+ years) you go through seasons where we need the 3 R’s — REFRESH, REMOVE, REPLACE. Trees grow, sunny areas become shady areas, trees die and shady areas become sunny areas and beautiful vines become invasive nightmares.

For the last few years, we have taken on at least one or two of these large projects.

Going on now in our garden…


A HUGE 30 year old maple that my son planted as a seedling after we took part in a maple tree tapping. He never tapped his maple, but it served him well as it gave him and his “fort” shade for many years. As you can image, it is a sentimental favorite and one that gives us beautiful shade too. Now 1/4 of the beautiful maple is dead (lightning strike we think). We are trying to cut back the dead and keep the rest. Time will tell if this is a good decision – especially with the wind we are getting today.


Invasive vines. Some we planted and some we did not.

Japanese Honeysuckle: I won’t go into that here as I wrote about it a few posts back. If you want to read that post, go HERE.

Yellow Trumpet Vine: We planted this beautiful vine back in 2011 to replace another beautiful vine that we had purchased only to find it was being moved to the plant watch list – The Porcelain Berry. (You can read about that experience HERE.) 😳

Both of these vines were purchased at garden centers and did not come with a warning.

Both did exactly what I wanted them to do – to a point – they covered and drapped around our pergola that holds our facing swings in a most enchanting way. The Trumpet Vine had an added bonus. Hummingbirds flocked to it. However, the last 3 years we find it is popping up everywhere. And, I mean everywhere. Last year as far as 40 feet away from the mother plant.

I am not good with before and after project pictures – I jump into the project before I remember to take the before shot.  I do have pictures from last year to show you the beautiful parts and some of this weeks process pictures.

First the branches were removed – some 3” in diameter. Next was to drill holes in the branches and fill with a plant killer. I love power tools but I hate to use plant killers but there seems no other option to getting rid of this beautiful invasive garden destroyer. Finally, Mr. G will start the repair work on the pergola caused by the pretty invasive.

Three years ago I planted two other vines in the same vicinity so that when we moved the trumpet vine the area would not be left completely stark. Major Wheeler Honeysuckle – who has a much better reputation for the present time at least – and a vigorous clematis, Etoile Violette.

Etoile Violette and New Dawn Rose in another area of the garden

I have both of these climbers in other areas of the garden and so far no “invasions.” At some point I may even give the Peggy Martin rose a try in this area. I have a small one that we started from a cutting at last year’s IRS Rosefest. Once it reaches the “robust” stage, I’ll decide. For now it will be Etoile  Voilette and Major Wheeler vying for “pole” position.

Just looking at this beautiful “drapey” picture gets to my emotions but here’s to celebrating a better “drapey” solution – SOON. 🥂


Next I will be filling the space where the Japanese Honeysuckle was removed … adding shrubs, roses and a new potting area.


The delicate looking Bleeding Heart is beginning to bloom in spite of the dropping temps and bits of snow.

Sand Cherry is lovely.

New Plant I am very excited about…

Scentsation Honeysuckle

If are you getting the idea that I have a “thing” for honeysuckle, you would be right! I LOVE vining and drapey things!


Moved mixed shrubs from this raised bed to make way for more cutting flowers. I have drawn up the plan and will be planting (mostly seeds) in a few weeks.


Another beautiful rose was delivered this week – ‘Moonlight in Paris.’ This rose is also known as ‘Garden and Home’. I saw ‘Garden and Home’ in full bloom in Bob and Dona Martin’s California garden 2 years ago and have never forgotten it. Indiana is many miles from California and possibly light years away from California growing conditions. The Help Me Find website says it is zoned for 7b – 9b, so I will grow this beauty in a container and see how it goes!

Here’s the picture I took in  the Martin’s Garden


If you would like to listen to some basic tips on helping your roses have a great year, listen to my conversation with my good friend and extremely successful rose gardener, Ron Daniels on Rose Chat HERE.


The tomatoes are now over 7” tall. Next week when the weather improves I will start the hardening off process of giving all the seedlings exposure to the outside. Most of them will then go into the garden or in large pots in mid May. Our last frost date is usually Mother’s Day. Hard to believe it will be warm enough by then but all we need are consistent night temps 55 degrees or greater.

Whether flowers or veggies, I am looking forward to having them successfully outside to be their “best self”!


This has been a hard week locally with so many new cases. Reports are we will now start the decline. I pray it is so.

Even though the weeks are dragging on, stay in and stay safe!

If you need garden inspiration, Grandboy#3 might just help…

5 thoughts on “Bloom Thyme Friday: Beautiful, Invasive or Both

  1. I’ve had wonderful luck with my last Scentsational(after two failures). I have it on a trellis in full sun–it bloomed generously the first year, smelled wonderful and was evergreen this past winter. I also love Major Wheeler although I miss the fragrance. It is a rampant grower but not invasive.

  2. The Three R’s do not work so well among redwoods that live for thousands of years. However, most of ours are secondary growth that is not much more than a century old. They do not seem to change much, but there shade continues to expand and limit the options for what can be grown.

  3. Is your maple tree top heavy? Tropical Storm Michael’s (maybe a hurricane) strong wind gusts during the night uprooted it, and it fell on my neighbor’s fairly new red truck and totaled it. It was a healthy tree, but you would not believe the top foliage and limbs on my fairly old maple tree (older than 50 years or more). Now, I have sun and a new rose garden where my maple tree grew. A vine that I love is Confederate White Jasmine with dainty white flowers and the jasmine fragrance. I have a huge white (star shape) clematis in bloom now. It is planted under one of my hydrangea shrubs. My wisteria was utterly beautiful this season, just full of flowers. Enjoyed your blog and photos. Your grandson #3 looks as though he is looking for Easter eggs. So sweet,

Leave a Reply