Bountiful harvest, unwanted

This was a pretty poor year for most harvests in my garden. Early spring harvests were fantastic with kale and swiss chard that had overwintered, and the tomato production was acceptable -- everything else was a disappointment to me.

Some things though have no trouble producing lots of "fruits". I don't want these though!


You see, there's a pretty healthy milkweed vine (Cynanchum laeve) or "honeyvine milkweed" that grows up into the hydrangea under my deck every year. This year was the first that I've let it grow much larger than I usually do, mainly because I was away from the garden for several weeks this summer.

I remember the flowers being small but attractive, and they smelled quite nice. The thing about flowers though is they eventually turn into seeds, or in this case, seed pods.

There are a lot of them in this ugly scene (the hydrangea leaves got zapped in a freeze the other night):

I actually let this plant grow all the way up onto the deck railing, as it was not too bad looking and seemed to handle our drought pretty well:

I actually don't know how this plant made it up that high. There's a gap between the top of the shrub and the discarded drip irrigation line that was hanging down a bit. Those amazing vines!

The problem now is that I know that each of these pods will soon ripen and burst open, spreading uncountable hundreds of seeds flying around my garden and the rest of the neighborhood. So I removed all of the pods.

There were more of them than I expected:

I counted forty-one of them. I hope I didn't miss one...

...but if I did and this vine pops up somewhere else nearby, that's a good thing for the monarch butterflies, as I've read that this is a host plant for the caterpillars. (It does have the milky, latex-containing sap of the milkweed family.)

So I'm going to let this vine come back next year -- but I probably won't let the pods develop as much as I did this year.


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Rock rose  – (October 27, 2013 at 7:19 PM)  

Those pod are an amazing size and make a great picture when clustered together. You did a good deed.

Gerhard Bock (Succulents and More)  – (October 28, 2013 at 11:10 AM)  

I also think the pots are great-looking but the thought of having so many seedlings--AARGH.

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