File This Under Window View or Serendipity

File This under Window View or Serendipity

This is the view looking outside my east studio window, only about 8’ away from my neighbor’s cracked and stained concrete patio.  A few self-seeded Joe Pye Weed grow next to my window, but not tall enough to hide an unattractive view.

Many years ago I had a trellis built on the outside of my patio fence and planted Virgin’s Bower (Clematis virginiana) to climb up and, I hoped,  over the fence.    No such luck–it just scrambled along over the tops of  the low-growing asters next to the house, blooming in August and September.



–and turning to feather dusters in September and October.

Then this summer, the clematis found its way to the downspout and the TV cable and began to climb–first time ever.


Joe Pye was taller than ever this year–all that wonderful rain–and I  noticed the clematis was also twining up the tall plants.

I anxiously waited for it to bloom–


–then from inside my studio, this stunning bouquet appeared outside my window and completely blocked the view of the neighbor’s old patio. Unplanned.  Serendipity.



, ,

7 Responses to File This Under Window View or Serendipity

  1. Valerie Blaine August 14, 2013 at 6:40 am #

    Pat, I have a mystery plant that is baffling me. The leaves look like Clematis, but it’s not a vine and it never flowers (making it impossible to identify). It’s very invasive. I thought perhaps it was a renegade snow-on-the-mountain without the colors (the leaves are solid green). If I try to pull it, it just breaks off. I can’t herbicide it because there are so many native plants interspersed with it. Any ideas?

    • Pat Hill August 14, 2013 at 7:47 am #

      You’re the third person who has mentioned this to me. I don’t have a solution–maybe someone else will.

      Readers–more comments.

    • Pat August 14, 2013 at 8:07 am #

      Some suggestions for you: Is there a time of year such as late spring when it greens up but native plants are not yet active? That’s how I attack Bluegrass in my prairie. Also, the greening identifies it early and allows me to dig it up using a pitchfork, trying not to disturb companions.

      Second, use Roundup or similar by painting the leaves with a paintbrush. Tedious to be sure. You can also put a cheap cotton glove over a rubber glove and dip it into Roundup or Banner. Then I carefully “caress” the offender.

      Good luck!

      • Valerie Blaine August 17, 2013 at 4:01 pm #

        Thanks for the tips. Unfortunately this aggressive plant shows up just when the spring ephemerals do – I have lots of bloodroot near it, for example. So I can’t zap it then. But the paint brush is a good idea. I’ll have to find a day when I have LOTS of time and patience

  2. Kris Kauth August 14, 2013 at 8:30 am #

    Pat, I planted a Virgin’s Bower two summers ago near an archway that gets shade in the morning and sun in the afternoon for a few hours and then filtered light. Last year the leaves started yellowing and turning brown from the bottom up. I thought it might be the result of our hot, dry summer, thought I kept it watered. But, as the plant climbs up this year, the same thing is happening. Now I think it is an insect, possibly? Any idea what it might be and how to stop the damage? Thanks much. I enjoy your website!

  3. Pat Hill August 17, 2013 at 4:31 pm #

    I’m sorry–I don’t have an answer for you.

    Readers: do any of you have any experience with this?

Leave a Reply


Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes