I have noticed A Thing on my walks around the neighborhood with Sigyn and the human female: there are a LOT of vines around here. I haven’t figured out whether it’s that people really like to plant them or whether their oft-aggressive nature means they can out-compete frailer foliage when subjected to the crummy soil and wretched water which this city “enjoys.” In any case, they roil over fences from people’s back yards and swag the trees far and wide, so they’re not hard to spot.
We have been keeping an eye on the peppervine all summer long.
This is the one with the divided leaves. They can be red on new growth, which Sigyn certainly approves of!
(That’s a grapevine on the left, and the white flowers belong to something else entirely.)
The fruit are ripening well about now.
I never see them without wanting to drop their blue-black lustrousness into the human female’s blueberry supply, just to see if she notices.
Trumpet creeper is very common. It’s originally native, but it has been adopted by gardeners everywhere because you cannot kill it.
Greatly loved by hummingbirds and Sigyns, it’s an extremely vigorous plant. It clings with little sticky suckers and can smother anything stationary. Hear that, human female? Treat me right, or I will plant one next to your chair.
It also comes in Sigyn’s other favorite color.
This next one is new one for me. It has white flowers and clusters of fluffy things.
The human says it something called Clematis and that the really showy-flowered varieties do not do well here—too hot. She thinks this is probably one of the native species. The furry tailed things are the fruits (achenes.) Not that I care.
Apparently, this one climbs by twining the midribs of its compound leaves around things. Again, not that I care. The human female is once more showing off her store of botanical trivia and I just let it flow right past me. I’m not sure Sigyn is listening either. I think she’s just enjoying the dangling.
I don’t think we’ve run into this Treebine or Sorrelvine before, either.
The leaves are thick and feel rubbery. They have a horrific stench about them, too. Phew! Do you see any fruits, Sigyn? I think we need to plant some of this in the human female’s flower bed…
Another new one! The human female was stumped for a bit, but the leaf shape and the presence of small, brown, aerial tubers gave this Air Potato away.
Sigyn likes the big, drooping clusters of fragrant flowers.
(sniff) What does that aroma remind you of, my sweet? I know I’ve smelled it before, but I can’t place it.
This is Carolina Snailseed, and it looks rather like the plant above.
The human female is intimately familiar with it. There are separate male and female plants, and the lady plants have bright red berries in the fall. The human female planted a few seeds, hoping for girl plants, but I made sure that she only got male plants. They spread readily by underground stems and have tried to take over the entire lot and never a berry to be seen. She pulls it up by the handful, cursing all the while. It’s excessively amusing.
Half of all of these plants just look like grapevines to me. And there are several local species of grape, so actual grapeness is not out of the question. See? Here’s one!
Be careful, my love. Is your grip as secure as it should be?
And, finally, we have this lovely Macartney Rose.
This is not to be confused with the hybrid tea The McCartney Rose TM:
The former is a horrible, invasive pest that has taken over acres and acres of open, disturbed ground in the southern part of this realm. The latter is a fragrant, pink-flowered, well-behaved sweetheart of a plant named for a sort of musical insect.
Guess which one I’m going to plant in the human female’s yard?