Here in Sevilla, we currently have three lonely house plants. We’ll eventually get more, but we’ll probably wait until spring before we plant anything on the balconies. When we lived in Guilford, Connecticut — the money pit — we had large gardens to maintain and enjoy. Attached to the back of the house was an expansive, old, creaky deck. We, of course, decided to replace the deck with something crisper and more stable, which meant that some of the old plantings surrounding it were trampled or cut back. Clematis grew at the bottom of the main stairs to the backyard. During the deck construction, the new growth was completely trampled. So we were thrilled and surprised to see it come back to life and begin to thrive.
|THE OLD DECK. THE DEAD WOOD OF THE CLEMATIS ON THE RIGHT.|
Our friend Judy has regularly visited us wherever we’ve lived. When she stayed with us in Connecticut, she “earned her keep” by spending hours weeding the flower beds. Judy is the ideal weeder; she zones out and completely focuses on the task at hand. She always worked hard when she visited but we would allow her some moments here and there to relax.
|YEAR TWO. NEW DECK AND NEW TRELLIS (FAR RIGHT) FOR THE STILL-DORMANT CLEMATIS.|
One afternoon as I vacuumed the pool, which was located halfway down a hill away from the house, Judy sat across from me reading a book and dangling her feet in the water. Jerry was up at the house watering plants around the deck. Suddenly, he called out.
“What happened to the wisteria?” He sounded angry and having already inspected the plantings around the deck myself I knew exactly what he was referring to.
I turned my back to Judy blocking her view of Jerry, trying to discreetly wave my hands across my body to let him know to not go any further. He didn’t catch on.
“Who pulled out the wisteria?!?” He was clearly upset.
Judy asked, “What’s he talking about?”
“Who knows.” I responded with mock indifference as I turned my back again and waved my hands in his direction.
“But, the wisteria!” he sputtered and I realized it was hopeless.
I gave up and turned to Judy, “There was no wisteria. He’s talking about the clematis,” I explained. “You ‘weeded’ the clematis.”
Jerry again called out, “What happened to the wisteria?”
But this time, Judy sweetly called back, “Nothing. But I pulled out the clematis.”
We all cracked up. All was forgiven and Judy flew home to Seattle about a week later.
Not long after that, the clematis came up from the ground with multiple shoots. It was stronger and more lush than before. So much for Judy’s ‘weeding’ skills.
|JUDY’S CLEMATIS ONE YEAR LATER.|
A few years later, we planted wisteria in San Diego. We didn’t let Judy anywhere near it.
|NO LONGER WORRIED ABOUT THE WISTERIA, JERRY AND SOME FRIENDS ENJOY MY CLEAN POOL.|