Irrepressible Growth and Persistence

“Irrepressible” certainly applies to rabbits—chipmunks too, come to think of it—but late April into May seems to belong to the rabbits. These two did not budge when I came out with safflower seeds for the finches. 

Two adult rabbits sit watchfully as I refill the bird feeder. These are eastern cottontails. Photographed on April 24, 2024.

More recently, I have seen a small bunny, offspring I am sure, darting between hostas. It would be lovely if these rabbits would develop a taste for lawns. The height they mow the blue fescue to would be OK with me.

The Extremely Persistent Honey Locust Shoots

Another irritation is the persistence of the honey locust root shoots in the rain garden, most of which I planted in May 2017. I wrote in that post that I expected to be rubbing off the epicormic shoots for a couple of years. If only!

The epicormic shoots still need to be rubbed off weekly, seven years later, even though portions of the roots have rotted away. If I were to miss a couple of weeks, they would start growing thorns and require clipping instead, which is quite tedious compared to rubbing off tender shoots. That’s experience for you.

From left to right: Echinacea purpurea, a honey locust root with plenty of shoots, and Penstemon digitalis. This is the first round of epicormic shoots on the root of a honey locust for this year. Photographed on May 5, 2024.

I missed a week of shoot-rubbing while I was trying to tame the wild thing that is my lawn. 

This is a different section of the same honey locust root, with shoots that are reaching their maximum easy-to-handle size. If they get much larger, they develop thorns. I removed all the shoots. Photographed on May 22, 2022.

The Last Pawpaw

The remaining pawpaw tree is also undaunted, in a more welcome way. Despite its missing partner, it managed to set fruit last year, and it has ambitions for this year, too. The tree was covered with flowers for two weeks.

Freshly opened pawpaw flowers. Photographed on May 1, 2024.

As the spent flower petals dropped off, potential pawpaw hands were left behind. A lot of these hands will drop off; when no fertilization takes place, there’s no reason for a plant to produce fruit. 

A spent pawpaw blossom with two potential pawpaw hands to its right. Photographed on May 15, 2024.

An American Wisteria In Bloom

The American wisteria has had to contend with poison ivy at its roots, a thuggish honeysuckle crowding it, and a windstorm that brought down very large silver maple branches that took down half the arbor that it leans on. It lives under the silver maple and the elm, and despite all the competition it is doing very nicely.

American wisteria in bloom. Photographed on May 22, 2024.