Sunday, April 27, 2008

Flower Grown Wild

This past week I have been walking about my land a lot, seeing what new and different now that things are really starting to grow and I have been amazed at how many new (to me) species of plants I am finding. These were definitely not here before and I suspect that some things are coming out now since I have cleared a lot of areas that were previously choked by so much underbrush. This is cross vine and I was particularly happy to see this. In fact, I have found several bunches of it in different areas. It is a very hardy vine and I'm sure it goes by other names, that is just the one I know. It has a very attractive and fairly large flower that is really not done justice by these pics. The colors are very bright and flashy in real life. According to herbalists, cross vine is a wonderful tonic for general health and stamina, similar to ginseng. You make a tea from the leaves, I don't believe you use the flower.
It's very attractive anyway and I would imagine that the hummers would like it also. I would like to try to root some and plant near the house, perhaps on a trellis. It flowers very profusely with enough sun.
I have not been doing much work on the house itself lately. I have had a couple of projects for other people that I have needed to complete and have been working on planting various things to try and make things look a little better around here. I guess it just looked so barren around the house that it was beginning to get to me. I needed some garden therapy I guess. Also, I have been saving my paychecks in order to buy the siding which I hope to start next week. I am very anxious to get that done. I think it is really going to help my feelings to have the siding on and getting it painted and trimmed up will be something relatively easy for me to do when I come home from work in the afternoons.
Oh, I forgot to mention earlier, the sun has now vanished from the inside of the house. Actually, it was back at the first of April that the last sliver of sun departed. So, the house is staying fairly cool these days even with some days in the low 80's. If it is a bright sunny day (80-82 degrees) the house is usually at about 76 degrees when I get home. I do have 3 narrow west facing windows that I need to shade and I think it would drop the inside temp some. Hardcore passive solar design says NO west facing windows but I couldn't help it. Besides, they help warm in the winter. I am going to open the clerestory windows this week and see if that makes any cooling difference now that I have ceiling fans. The guys at work have said that they are already running their air-conditioners at home so I feel good about my house.

*Bryan Adams


hillbilly2be said...

Passive solar is so cool... it just works: no motors, no pumps, no maintenance. Just lower heating and cooling bills, and more comfortable house. Glad to hear yours is working out for you. :)


Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

What a lovely wild flower. Crossvine (Bignonia Capreolata)is a new plant to me. It does not grow this far North.

Floridacracker said...

Our house is nicely insulated and shaded by oaks with the result that we only run the AC on the very hottest, most humid days.

... unlike the trailer we lived in before the house was built.
Beautiful crossvine, I have some here, but I never catch it blooming!

edifice rex said...

Hey Ron! Yeah, it's so easy; I just can't for the life of me understand why more people who are building don't just turn their house a certain way etc. and utilize the sun. Of course, in subdivisions etc. you can't turn your house but one way. Bleh!
I think my house is going to work out great as I make a few adjustments.

Hwey Philip! Crossvine is beautiful; one reason I was so happy to find so much of it growing here now. I imagine that it is a mostly southeastern US plant but it might grow in our northern states.

Hey FC! Yeah, great insulation and shade makes all the difference in the world. I lived in a trailer once too, right out in the middle of a field basically, not a tree around! God, that was awful!