You enter my backyard through an arbor -- that is, until August and then you have to enter my backyard by hacking through Jumanji, the killer Clematis and her henchmen: a swarm of killer bees.
I first wrote about Jumanji in 2006 when I was such a newbie gardener, I didn't even know what it was. Sometimes it's way funnier being in the dark.
Now I know it's a Sweet Autumn Clematis and that this Sweet Clematis killed the other Clematis I had growing here (probably a Nelly Moser which I liked a whole lot better). I didn't plant either of these, I inherited them when we bought the Money Pit 8 years ago.
I swear that this Clematis only started looking like a sheepdog after we lived in the house for 2 years, so either I'm doing something right or doing something wrong. In the Spring, I hack it down. And I mean HACK. I'm not gentle or caring when it comes to the Beast. Then it slowly grows to magnanimous size -- should I be shearing it back again?
Anyway, let's just say you know it's August around here when you can no longer get to my backyard through the side entrance. Although it's not successful at keeping the meter readers away.