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Monday, August 04, 2008

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It's been many years since I've been in Arizona. I'd enjoy some wide angle views of your surroundings and the mountains! Last time I enjoyed the view of the Rocky's I was in Salt Lake City, but that was back in '98-99.

They will be coming.

Not sure if you've got experience with bougainvillea, but from a maintenance perspective you should be ecstatic that it's gone. They grow like weeds and can take over a huge chunk of your yard in no time. Those pretty red flowers get blown alllllll over the place and are a pain to get rid of. Then they also can have some pretty wicked thorns, particularly once they've died out -- NOT something you necessarily want to deal with with kids around.

We've got one in our backyard that is fortunately sequestered in a sideyard so it can't cover the whole area, but it's right next to our AC unit so I'm thinking of taking it out just so we don't have the debris getting sucked up in there. They are pretty to look at, but only if they are far away (did I mention that if your neighbors have a bougainvillea, you can fully expect to find the leaves all over YOUR yard as well?)

Since I'm a renter, I think I'm stuck with the plant, which I'm very familiar with. I'm used to the scratches from the mesquite tree I used to have when I lived in AZ.

With the bougainvillea in our yard, I just whacked back the dead growth and brought the three bushes under control. They're not in the immediate play area anyway and the litter from the mesquite is far worse.

Plus, I trimmed off all the thorns at kid level. Besides, my kids seem to have a very healthy respect for thorny plants after they checked out our next-door neighbor's saguaro and barrel cactus.

My neighbor behind us -- I think the property is vacant -- have something much worse than bougainvillea, though. It's a type of vine that kills everything. Only old growth has thorns, but they are harder to see and a lot nastier. The vines go straight up into the air, then lean into our yard after a while. They are ugly and nasty.

Actually, the only plant I really hate in OUR yard are the two oleander, which have toxic leaves. A kid can have a heart attack after chewing on a couple of them.

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