Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sweet Caroline

Joining Master Gardeners has given me access to a host of plants I may not otherwise become familiar with. Last week while working on a project, I was given Carolina Jessamine (aka Carolina Jasmine). It's a stuning evergreen vine that produces yellow tubular flowers in the spring. I thought perfect, this would be great to grow up my new birdhouse post.

As I always do, I googled the plant to determine the light and water requirements before planting. To my surprise, I learned that Carolina Jessamine is highly toxic and ingestion of this plant may result in death. I get that most plants are poisonous if ingested, but in the plant world there are degrees of poison. Indigestion, drooling and temporary confusion is something I would probably risk as side effects of enjoying a particular plant, but death was a new one. Probably not worth it.

So the new birdhouse post in the backyard was out. In fact, any area in the backyard where the kids play was out. My 2 1/2 year-old son is good about keeping things out of his mouth, but my 14 month old daughter...not so much. That left me with the front yard and the most practical place was the mail box post. I imagined this vine covering it like a mail box post in some country garden, and got to planting straightaway. But 'what if' scenarios plagued me. In the end, I dug it up, double bagged it and threw it away. I'm going to leave Carolina Jessamine for experienced Master Gardeners who also happen to be empty nesters. I'm sure some other beautiful, evergreen vine will come along.

For good measure, click on the link below to find a list of poisonous plants. Totally worth it.

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