Mistakes I’ve made in landscaping

I’ve made several mistakes when adding plants to my yards. In the first home I bought on my own 23 yrs ago – a new build in Worthington – I wanted to install plants to attract birds, butterflies, etc. I especially wanted to attract hummingbirds. I learned that these tiny hummers really like the tube flowers on a trumpet vine.

trumpet vine

I went to Anderson’s off Sawmill Rd and PURCHASED the vine (mistake #1). I planted it in a CORNER OF THE HOUSE between the kitchen and my bedroom window (mistake #2) so I could watch the little guys while having morning coffee.

Being a vine, it grew quickly and began producing the nectar-laden flowers. Just like the movie, “Plant it & they will come” works for humming birds and trumpet vines. I had quite a few regulars to the vine all summer long until they migrated south for the winter. I really enjoyed watching them from my bedroom or the deck.

You might be wondering why planting this vine was a mistake. Silly you!

Over the years, the vine grew aggressively and needed frequent (as in weekly) pruning. Eventually I noticed it had sent roots under the block foundation of the crawl space and was trying to grow new plants there. It also grew tendrils to attach itself to the siding and cedar trim (see red arrows). That’s never a good thing. Jack – as in Jack & the Beanstalk – would have been proud.

After about 5 years, new start-up plants were growing 10-15 ft away in other landscape beds. I assumed the roots had spread out that far.

The vine had become a monster … taking over my home. I was living in a Grade B movie. Eventually I had to rip it out and nuke it with heavy-duty herbicide.

MY ADVICE: If you read a landscaping book and it says “aggressive” or “can grow to 30 ft” … believe it!

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