My Nemesis, the Trumpet Vine

My neme-neme, ooh my neme-nemesis…

One of the reasons we bought this house above all others was the GREAT garden. The original owners were big into the landscaping and even created a lovely brick raised bed with a trellis and a wooden path. The previous owners said they almost pulled it out – sacrilege! The trellis had some brown vine winding around it in March and the P.O. said it was big with a red flower.

Yeah, it was big.

This was what it looked like when we moved in in June.


So I spent an hour outside every evening, getting bit by mosquitos and trimming this thing down to size. My neighbors said that if it was trimmed down, it would bloom. Blooms meant identification!

Identification meant horror.


I got it trimmed down – not prettily, since most evenings I was just hacking as much off the top as I could reach. But I did try to save some longer vines and wind them gracefully through the trellis. It was going to look beautiful, I just knew it. And then it bloomed and those bright orange flowers were quite pretty!


Oooh, pretty but evvvvvvvvil! Quite like chenille. Except chenille doesn’t reproduce. My brother-in-law identified the blooms as trumpet vine. I did some internet research. I came to the conclusion that a nuclear bomb wouldn’t be able to remove this vine from my garden.

Who the hell planted this thing? Why? O.O. were, by all accounts, great landscapers. Although it’s overgrown, we have nothing to do but trim things back to normal shapes. I was even able to clear out the back of the raised bed and plant my tomatoes.

But this trumpet vine… I am pulling it out of the raised bed, from the opposite corner of where it was planted. I am pulling it out of the wooden slats of the walkway. I am pulling it off trees on both sides of the bed. I’m surprised I haven’t found it in the front yard yet!

I trim weekly, and I can barely keep up with it. If I wait an extra day, it looks like the picture from when we first moved in. There’s an empty bird’s nest in the top of the trellis. The birds probably came home one day to find they couldn’t get inside due to the vines winding over top of their nest the few hours they were away.

So I pull. I trim. I look up the cost of uranium online.

I think getting a landscaper to remove it when they come trim the bigger tree branches in the fall will be the best option.

For now, I just hope my nemesis doesn’t choke out the tomato roots.

Published in: on July 31, 2009 at 9:16 pm  Leave a Comment  
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