Today I want to talk about some things in the garden that have surprised me recently. Starting with this passionflower vine...

...growing into the bathroom window. On the second floor. I have no idea how it's supporting itself to get this high, since there is no trellis here, and they climb by tendrils, not sticky pads.


I discovered it at night, thinking it was some large insect (like a mantis) on the screen, attracted to the light.

I suppose I should open the window and prune it back, or it may end up damaging the screen.

Another vine surprise greeted me yesterday too:

My no ID, clearance-priced clematis vine produced some late-season blooms!

I knew it had been producing new growth -- a good sign that it overcame its root-boundedness and was going to do well -- but I didn't expect blooms.

Does the droopiness of the blooms help ID this variety? Does anybody have an idea of what it is?

It's not Clematis 'Rooguchi', which has also surprised me by continuing to bloom pretty much all summer:

Love the little bell-shaped flowers on this one! Can't wait to see what it does next year, when it should really take off.

Since the 'Rooguchi' is just a few feet from the turtle nest, I thought I'd give it a closer look. I moved the mulch away and saw something out of place...

Not a tiny turtle though -- a bamboo rhizome pushing its way into the nest area. I pulled it out of the ground so I'd remember about it.

Every time I come into this part of the garden I am reminded how large pokeweed (Phytolacca americana) actually gets:

I really need to cut back on the number of these that I let grow next year. The birds will love all of the berries, although that just means lots more seedlings for me to deal with next year. Ah well.

Speaking of large plants, the castor bean (Ricinus communis) under the deck can now be described as "over the deck" too, as it has grown taller than the deck railing:

It stands at about 11' (3.3m) tall right now. This is just a single plant, and I love getting to see it from this angle.

Macro shots of the flowers and seedpods are easy now -- just lean over the railing!

I still can't believe that I wanted to plant at least three of these together here. Glad the other seeds didn't germinate!

I'll have *lots* more seed this year, as the early pods were huge and have already ripened. If you're in the US and want some of these, email me! (my contact info is on the "about" page)

My last surprise: the roofing-crew pruned rose is sporting new growth:

I love garden surprises!


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Salty Pumpkin Studio  – (September 23, 2014 at 10:33 AM)  

The vine is so funny climbing in your window screen like that! I hope y'all get to see the baby turtles when they hatch.

Gerhard Bock (Succulents and More)  – (September 23, 2014 at 11:14 AM)  

I also was surprised by the vigor of my passionflower vine. I ended up taking it out after it was invested by whiteflies.

Your castor bean is fantastic. Would love some seeds. Thanks :-).

Mark and Gaz  – (September 23, 2014 at 3:18 PM)  

Very nice garden surprises, and that Ricin at 11', wow! Climbers, when they get going they really get going and are so vigorous and can really climb away at the wink of an eye.

danger garden  – (September 24, 2014 at 6:46 PM)  

Nice shot of the castor bean flowers, holding. My camera pointed upward just doesn't produce the same results.

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