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Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Regular friends of the decanter will recall that I recently mentioned the purchase of some confederate jasmine to plant along the bottom face of the back porch this spring?  In an update to that post, I mentioned that I had found a nursery down in Georgia (the Nursery at Ty Ty, as a matter of fact) that sold the stuff and had placed an order.  In doing so, I somehow had a dreamy idea that I had only set the preliminaries in motion and that it would be some time before I had to worry about the actual doings.

Well, so much for that.  The damned things appeared on the doorstep of Port Swiller Manor yesterday.  Four plants, bare-roots with long tendrils, wrapped up in water-soaked Reynold’s Wrap.  All very well, but it’s a good month until I can even think about putting them in the ground even in normal conditions.  What with Algore’s current reign of GlowBull Worming, God alone knows when it will be safe this year.  And so, the first gardening panic of the season occurred:  What to do with the bodies?  I hastily had to scrounge four pots to stick them in, while sending Mrs. R to pick up a couple bags of potting soil.  She did, but the bags have been outside down the local hardware store, and it’s going to be at least 24 hours until they thaw out enough to be of use.

In the meantime, the plants, still bundled in their Reynold’s Wrap, sit in one of the pots, watching me even as I type this.  I must say that they are fine, hardy-looking vines, very tough,  woody and grasping.  One gets the impression that once they get themselves established, it’ll take nothing short of napalm to get rid of them.  This is, to me, a Good Thing.

And speaking of establishing, I have been surfing around the innertoobs looking for suitable trellises on which said jasmine can climb up.  What with the dimensions and elevations of the space with which I am dealing, so far I have not found any ready-made products that seem to suit.   (See the link above.  My idea is to cover over the three central pillars and leave arcades on either side but covering the corners.)  It was only this evening that the thought occurred to ol’ Robbo:  Why not just build them yourself?  After all, a trellis is really nothing more than a frame with mitered lathes criss-crossed inside it, right?  How hard can that be?

Can we fix it?  Yes, we can! (Um, I hope….)


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March 2014