Sunday, July 27, 2008

Gas Woe

I am not happy about the price of gas today but that is not my only Gas Woe. I am going to reveal an ugly secret hiding in my garden!

Just what every gardener wants to see in their yard right? NOT! This big old ugly gas tank provides us with wonderful heat during the winter months. Heat is good during the winter but the tank is not something I care to see on a daily basis.

What is a gardener to do? Well, use their imagination and create a solution to hide the big Silver Bullet.
I had an old piece of wooden fencing lying around without a use. The Saint dug two post holes and cut a 8 foot fence post in half for me. We put the posts into the ground secured with a bag of quick-crete. The next day, we put the fencing in place and hammered a few nails.

I wanted to plant some type of vine that would grow quickly along the fence, thus hiding the ugly gas tank. I selected Trumpet Vine! This is a 12 foot piece of fencing so the sales person at the nursery suggested two plants. I took the bait and bought two when one would have probably been fine. Darn sales people!

See that little banana tree in the middle Tina?

Trumpet Vine (Campsis Radicans) is native to the southeastern United States. It grows really quickly and can be viewed as an invasive plant in the garden. The leaves are really pretty with their bright green color and pointed ends.

In time, I will dig out saplings and plant them along the chain link fence behind the tank to cover the neighbors privacy fence. That task will take place once we are out of drought conditions. I have enough to water now!

The Trumpet Vine grows well in my garden with little care and provides me with beautiful trumpet shaped clusters of blooms. I prune it in the spring to keep it away from the tank because the Gas Man needs a clear pathway to the tank.
This is year 3 for the vines and look at how many blooms came with this grouping!
In this picture you can see the pollen has been moved about by a pollinating buddy of mine. Probably a bee but the hummingbirds and butterflies really enjoy this flower as well. They were another factor in me selecting this vine as my fence cover.
Trumpet Vines can be grown on Arbors, Trees, Telephone poles as well as Fences. Their invasive way must be kept in mind as they will become heavy in time such as the Wisteria Vine.

Look at the yellowish throat of this red-orange bloom! She is a real beauty in the garden and has been putting on a show for several weeks.
I see Trumpet Vine growing along the banks of the lake as well as the roadside here in Georgia. It loves full sun and does not seem to mind the drought conditions we have been having the past few years.

I believe I chose a perfect solution to my GAS WOE, in the garden...


  1. Great solution for hiding an ugly eyesore in the garden. I see that Trumpet vine growing everywhere here too. Up telephone poles, on chainlink fences etc...A great way to mask something you don't want to see.

  2. Looks great! I used a similar method to hide my air conditioning unit in the backyard :)

  3. Good morning all!

    Good idea to hide that ol' silver bullet! The trumpet vine will sure do it and is beautiful too! I love this vine. Yup, I saw that pitiful little banana. I have a 'pup' saved to dig for you. Once you get it home though you are on your own (this is my disclaimer in case it doesn't grow:) Mine are about 12-13 feet and still growing. My friend who watched our house informed me two leaves unfurled while we were gone. I thought that funny. She is the same who watered and weeded. What a pal!

    P.S. You are GOOD with those links! Seems more and more they fit in well but it is so hard to find them. You go girl!

  4. Great pics Skeeter. I love that color. Trumpet vine wouldn't be any worse than Jasmine here in my garden. Have to trim the Jasmine or it will take over my garden shed. That may be my solution for my arbor as the Rose is not blooming like I think it should. It just keeps growing, growing & growing all over the place but no flowers.

  5. We love that trumpet vine --not in our yard but when we are out driving the kiddos actually look for it. So cool they say! It is very pretty and does a great job of masking the gas tank. Another hot one here --see you all later!

  6. Skeeter I sure do think you picked the right plant for the right spot.

    Oh Tina come on, I bet your banana tree was that size at one time!! LOL

  7. Perennial Gardener, It is a great masking plant! I wish I had it all along our chain link on both sides of our yard! I fear too much shade. I may give it a try once we are out of this drought...

    Dustin, I do enjoy my heat and air in the house but dont like seeing those ugly contraptions! We bought a new Unit when we moved into the house so the AC does not bother me quit as much as the bullet. Maybe some day I will hide it as well when it start to fade and look ugly...

    Tina, Love your disclaimer! LOL. I think there is too much clay in that area therefore the nanner is not getting enough water. Leaves seem to curl in this spot. This is the 3rd spot for the poor thing. I want to move it but the Saint wanted it there and it is his plant. I think he is finally realizing that is not the spot for it. The pitiful thing will probably be moved a 4th time! Do you give yours lots of water? You have such a great friend to Water and WEED while you were away! I look to the Labels for reference on the links.

    Lola, I would love the Jasmine because of the sweet smell. I wish my Jasmine would grow faster then it does for me. Maybe your roses need a bit more time. The first year of the trumpet vine I only had two clusters of blooms. With each year, I get more and more and this year has been the best so far with lots of clusters... I tried to email you last night but it came back to me so I tried a second time today. I had put in an incorrect letter on the address. Duh, so hopefully this time, we are on track....
    Anonymous, Ha, more reason for Sidekick to pack his bags and wagon! LOL. It is a beautiful vine and bloom. There is so much of it along the back of a bridge at the lake. I never see the water when we are crossing that bridge as my eyes are always on the bank side admiring the beautiful blooms or foliage! Saint is always looking in the mirror to make sure we are pulling the boat correctly. Ha...

    I went out to fill birdbaths and feeders and was melting within 10 minutes. Humid is the word outside today. AC is the word inside today!

  8. Hey there. No, the banana doesn't get an extraordinary amount of water. It is in the veggie garden though, so when the veggies get watered, it does too. That surely helps it. It is in a raised a bed too that has been amended with compost. I am not sure the problem with yours but they seem to grow easy. A friend of mine has one that looks like yours, their nanna is near the road and in an inhospitable spot so that may be the issue. I think your spot looks fine. Really.

  9. Jean, Yep, I think I made a good choice also. I really do enjoy the Trumpet Vine. Thats right Jean, you tell Tina! lol... All nanners were once babies and the Saints baby has had a tough life so far. Pampered inside then in yard, squirrels shredded it and now in the clay dirt! Poor pitiful thing... Tina is gloating about her huge hunka hunka nanners while the Saint little baby chugs along… LOL…

  10. Tina, I do like the spot the Saint chose but there is a lot of Clay in that area. I think the Clay is not allowing the water to penetrate. I plan to move all the Black eyed Susan’s into that area next spring so a lot of the clay will come out and be replaced with better soil.

  11. What a great solution to hide such an ugly necessity of life. My trumpet vine took a few years to get established but now it is trying to take over. It will be getting a clipping soon.

  12. Hi Cindy, Thanks! They will take over so a good hair cut is the way to go!

  13. Mom, My banana tree was pitiful when I planted it two years ago, yes indeed. But gosh you all keep talking about it how can I not help but get a big head?? On the flip side, someone here in this area has a banana tree WITH bananas! There was an article in the paper. They bring theirs in each year. I was amazed. I don't think it is musa bajoo though. Interesting...maybe someday for us all! Truce?

  14. These aren't hardy up here, hard to believe. We have something close on the roadsides but not as pretty.
    Boy! People sure don't like the tank! We tell them, if you purchase your own, it can be underground. Cheaper on propane also!
    Getting out today, tomorrow is BIG! Staples out in the a.m., company from Texas coming in in the p.m.
    Did I mention no housework 4-6 weeks? HA! The nurse said...most "importantly" poor Jack of all Trades.

  15. Tina, no need for a truce as I was just playing with you and your huge b tree. Figured you would know that, that is why I said, LOL. I would love to see the one with the bananas on it. Cool.

    Dawn those tanks are ugly and something you rarely see in the north. First time I went south I was amazed with them. Some people even had then in the middle of their front lawn. How ugly is that?

    Be careful and do not overdo it when you go out. It is always fun and exciting to have company but also tiring.

    Frances has not been on today so she must be traveling back to TN or recovering from a not so low key wedding. She is so funny. I should have known long time ago how much fun she could be when she said she liked Phish!!

    Today is the yearly Harpswell Festival so Christy and Jay are coming down with Josh to go to it. I may go over with them. Josh will like it and be so cute. I have cleaned 2 bird cages so need to get the other one done before they get here. I have been too lazy this morning as I could have had it all done 2 hours ago and should have. I just keep zoning out in my chair and getting on here. Bad girl.

  16. Tina, you are too funny! You do know we were only joking right? Am sure you know that as we all love to see when plants thrive whether in our yards or others. I am not green with envy just sad for the Saint’s little pitiful nanner…

    Dawn, I so wished the tank was in the ground! It was in place when we purchased the house. We took over the arrangement the previous homeowners had with the company. I love the gas heat as it is sooooo hot when it comes out of the vent unlike heat pumps so gas is the way to go but not a big ugly tank! LOL Staples will not be so painful. Been there done that. Most important thing, Take it Easy or you will be sorry later on...

    Jean, I seem to be glued to the puter today also! Heading down to install shades now. arggg... Would rather be dozing on the futon or in the cool Maine air at a Festival though!

  17. Mom, BTU"S on the appliances determine where the tank goes. The farther away from the house the less pressure in the line. Some people don't have a choice.
    I'm the yard supervisior today.

  18. We're all bad sitting on here! I finished schoolwork. Now doing job applications.

  19. Hope all have fun at the festival!

  20. Great solution. The other day I saw a yard where the gardener had planted Trumpet Creeper on the 3 telephone poles that lined the street. They looked so good. I think I might have to turn this bad boy loose on my telephone pole.

  21. Skeeter it is not as hot here as where you are but it is 80 in the shade and on all that pavement, it sure will be hotter than I like it. I am happy when it is about 70 or 75. But there is a breeze. Kinda cloudy and they say we will have pop up thunder showers so not sure I should go. Don't wanna short out my electric w/c. It has opened a world to me that has been left behind for a while and don't wanna go back to that world again right now.

    Dawn that is very interesting to know. Always wondered why anyone would put a tank in the front lawn. Glad you are superisior for the day.

    Tina we are just a chatty bunch today. 20 comments and only 4 are not the four of us.

  22. MMD, I love this on telephone poles too-you should do it.

    Mom, Yup, chatty bunch. I have been feeling funny lately and shocking a few folks so I have been too chatty. Just happy I got my silly schoolwork done. Thanks for overnighting the text book.

  23. What a wonderful solution to solve your problem. I just planted some trumpet vines in my garden this year. No blooms yet though.

  24. Hi --managed to get the yard mowed -front and back --yes Tina I was sporting a boonie cap, SPF55 shirt and long pants:)And, sunglasses too --what a sight! Kids laughed as I went out the door. I usually don't mow during the hottest part of the day but wanted to be able to enjoy swimming with the kids tonight. I always get slighted on the swimming at night when I have to mow --not today:0) I still have the not so fun weed trimming --but it will WAIT --hahahaha. Now, getting a bite to eat and off to swim and enjoy the nice weather. See ya!

  25. M-M's daughter, I think you will enjoy the trumpet vine on a telephone pole. But not sure how the department of electricity will like it. LoL, I have yet to plant anything trailing up our poles for fear of being "fussed" at by them. LOL

    Jean, could you imagine us all in one room together? Worse then a bunch of clucking hens! LOL... I will gladly take your wonderful 80 degrees. Tired of the mid 90's and high humidity.

    Oh I forgot to tell ya, we had 1/4 inch of rain during the night! Yeah, much better then 1/10... No watering for me tomorrow!

    Cinj, Just give them a few years and they will provide you with tons of beauty!

    Anonymous, I usually mow during the hottest time of the day so the yard has a chance to dry out from the heavy dews we have down here! I would do whatever to splash in the pool with the kiddos if I were you too! Sounds like so much fun. Seems you are mowing a lot lately. Nice of you to mow for someone else also. I forgot to mention that earlier! You sweetheart you!

    Saint got those shades installed in the sunroom! It was pretty much a one man job so I lay on the futon and supervised, well, until I fell asleep! Lazy Hazy Dawg Daze of Summer! LOL… I was nice enough to heat him some left overs for dinner! ha...

  26. They're so pretty, and so attractive to hummingbirds. But I have to admit as pretty as trumpet vine is, I'm scared of it in this area. They seem difficult to control with their thick, fibrous runners. I've seen them become very invasive, even spreading a couple houses down from where the original vine was planted, and sprouting in gardens and lawns, between patio stones, pavers, and cracks in concrete walks and driveways. Hopefully they're much better behaved in your climate than they are in this area.

  27. Garden Girl, They are a Vine and they can be very invasive if let grow wild. I would not recommend them in a garden where you cannot keep an eye on them. My Trumpets are 3 years old and I have not had a big problem with them thus far. I clip away when it goes where I don’t want it to go. I just hope one day I don’t regret ever planting them.

  28. That turned into a really pretty place. I have a tank too for our cooking stove, not quite so big but it bugs me every time I see it.

  29. Hey Eve, get you a small fence and some type of vine. Maybe Ivy if a shadey area. Not sure the trumpet would be good as it will take over a small spot!

  30. Skeeter,
    Are you allowed to paint it? I have heard that green disappears but that big torpedo would then be a big green torpedo! I think you did a great job of disguising it! The crossvine is beautiful and I know it's a pain...I have been removing one for 20 years!


  31. Skeeter,

    If you get tired of fighting the trumpet vine you could try a clematis or two. I like the vine but they can grow fast! It might even be a good spot to plant some cucumbers or beans in the summer. Of course you could always paint it yellow and sing Beatles songs!

  32. I don't like the silver bullet--we had one but it was buried. Made it much better. Of course in town things are different. Natural gas & electric.
    I have seen pics of silver bullets painted. A theme is chosen & the bullet is incorporated in the theme. The pics I saw were very nice. Hardly noticed the bullet at all.
    Hope all had a lovely day.

  33. Gail, I had thought of painting it but dont think Dixie Gas would allow it. It is hidden pretty well and does not really bother me now.

    Dave, I was looking at the picture before I posted and was thinking how it resembles a submarine! The Trumpet is doing so well and I enjoy the beautiful clusters of blooms so much, I think it will stay for now. But it is a young plant and maybe in time it will push me over the edge with growth so will keep the clematis in mind...

    Lola, if I had my choice, the thing would be buried. Not sure they allow it here plus we would have to pay to bury the thing. I like my little white picket fence and vine hiding things. We had a nice relaxing weekend. Hope you had a great one as well!