Thursday, April 08, 2010

You Can't Keep a Good Vine Down

Today I saw a sign of life in the lifeless sticks left by my coral vine. I wasn't the least bit surprised, though. This is one tough vine.


Every plant in a garden has its own story. My coral vine has a long one. It started over ten years ago when I bought a little vine at my local nursery. I didn't know anything about it, but I planted it in front of the porch of my old house. Over the next few years it covered the front porch, and the bees just loved it.


Hurricane Ivan blew through, and while the house still stood (although thoroughly flooded), my garden was destroyed. The next year the coral vine came back and flowered again.

Because our house had been ruined, we chose to have it demolished and to build a house ten feet higher. I was attached to what little remained of my former garden, and kept the survivors in pots near the FEMA camper we lived in (for almost two years). The coral vine had dug itself in pretty deep and I couldn't remove it myself, so when they were scheduled to demolish our house, the last thing I asked my husband to do when I left for work was to dig up that vine for me.

I came home from work, and the house was gone. My husband apologized about my vine, and told me that he tried to dig it up, but it was too close to the foundation of the house, and he just couldn't manage it. I walked up to where the front porch had been, and all that was left of my poor vine was a ragged stump. He told me it was useless to try to save it now, but I dug up what was left of it, and dumped it into a container.

The next summer it not only started growing, but grew so big we had to create a makeshift trellis for it to climb on while we waited for our new house to be built. After I was sure that the workmen were gone for good, and no one would trample my plants, I started my new garden and planted my coral vine. By the next year, it had already climbed up the pilings and covered our new porch. You just have to love a vine that works that hard to keep going.

9 comments:

Brandi Mills said...

Wow, what a tough plant! You think it could survive Maine winters?

I was in Florida during Ivan. Ugh, that fall was awful.

Kathy said...

Loved reading through a few of your garden blog posts. I stumbled onto your blog through a comment you made on another blog I follow...I love this blogging business everyone is taking part in, especially the garden blogs. Kathy

mya said...

Your trumpet vine sounds as tough as our kudzu.
Your little frog is visiting me; he will be home in time for grubs.

Vetsy said...

Deborah I never heard of the Coral vine...It's very pretty and very tough!

I'd like to find one of those, I'm going to do some research on it, thanks for sharing that story.

Sunny said...

Deborah...that's one tough vine...it's a great story of perservence...much like your family's ordeal with Ivan and rebuilding your home again...very cool!

Ami said...

This is a very good story of your vine! It is a very tough, and yet very pretty vine! Did not know you had that experience with Ivan. Glad that you had your home rebuild, and better!

Deborah said...

Brandi, it has yet to be determined if my tough little vine could make it through a long Main winter. My guess is that if you cut it down in the fall, built a little cold box for it, and installed a heating pad, it could survive. It got pretty ugly around here after Ivan--took a long time for the area to recover. Were you living down this way then?

Kathy, I love the whole blogging thing too. I've found so many nice garden blogs.

Mya, I'm amazed that kudzu hasn't made it down to our little peninsula. I've seen it inland, but not down here. I guess what makes us vulnerable to hurricanes, protects us from kudzu. My frog looks happy on your site.

Yeah, Sunny and Amy, it's almost like my little vine is symbolic of our demise and ultimate triumph. For us (just my husband and me) Ivan wouldn't have been as traumatic if we hadn't chosen to ride it out in our house.

Just Jenn said...

Amazing! It's the little vine that COULD. What a heart warming story. I love it.

...now about that morning glory. Maybe you could post pictures of what's wrong with it and we could help you figure it out?

Deborah said...

Jenn, what a great idea. I'll post pictures and let everyone take a stab at it.