It has been said that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.(Is that a pithicism?) This spring we have a lot of what others call trashy plants in our yard, but I prefer to think of them as treasures.

The sweet smell of honeysuckle is everywhere . . . by the kitchen door, hovering over the drive, encircling the back fence. It’s probably giving everyone hay fever but it’s worth it and it won’t last long.


This common plant may be my all-time favorite. It’s called mountain laurel and grows in abundance along the eastern seaboard and in the Great Smoky Mountains. I don’t think it is supposed to grow here but mine seems to love sitting by our front door and sends up the most delectable sweet fragrance.

There are lots of varieties of Laurel, my next favorite being English Laurel which sends out spiky white blooms in the spring and then loads up with black berries that the birds love. It is very hardy, dense, and can be used as a hedge or privacy screen.

Last but not least ‒  the trashiest of all ‒ the super invasive trumpet vine ‒ but ya gotta love how it draws hummingbirds and bees. I try to keep it under control but it isn’t easy. It tries to hide in the spirea and orange blossom bushes and wants to crawl up the house. Still, it is great on fences and telephone poles. Hard to resist.

 If you have a chance and don’t mind getting out the clippers, give these persistent pests a try.

They are well worth the effort.




  • Bob says:

    After the neighborhood garage sales this past weekend, I agree that one person’s trash is another’s treasure. I saw it happen with my own eyes…hundreds of times.

    The same is true of plants. The poke plant is beautiful with big leaves and purple berries. You can eat the shoots in the spring. Some people call them “the poor man’s asparagus.” I’ve never tried them. But the city hates them and demands that you cut them down because they are so invasive.

    The honeysuckle and trumpet vines will kill anything they are allowed to grow on. I spend hours pulling the vines from my native plants, especially my native sunflowers. Virginia creeper is a native plant that does the same horrible things. Native grape vines too.

    If I spent more time in my yard, I’d be in better control of the Rose of Sharon bushes, the honeysuckle vines, the Virginia creeper and the trumpet vine, but I’ve lost control. Still, I can’t bring myself to spray everything with plant killer and start again…at least not until summer is over.

  • beth says:


    I got up this morning and looked out the window only to be greeted by a humongous, and I do mean humongous, trumpet vine growing up the house. I grabbed my clippers and rushed outside to do the dirty deed: cut that sucker down. Not a moment of regret. It has plenty of other places it can grow but it can’t separate the shingles from the roof. Not allowed!

    Between us, we probably haven’t scratched the surface of invasive perpetrators
    but we do the best we can and are grateful that many of them feed our favorite birds.

    Thanks for sharing. -b-

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