My Florida Backyard occasionally experiences pest problems - specifically pests with two legs and no concept of property line boundaries. I'm speaking of course of some of the neighborhood children, who sometimes like to use the gardens in our yard as their own personal short cuts. While we're definitely not the old, cranky "keep off my lawn" kind of people (we really don't care if kids run on the little bit of grass left in the front yard), we definitely don't like it when careless kids trample our precious plants.
It also has the advantage of serving as support for one of our new additions, purchased at the USF Spring Plant Sale this past weekend.
This new resident is a Dutchman's Pipevine, specifically Aristolochia trilobata. We've been wanting some pipevine in My Florida Backyard for quite some time now, as they serve as a host plant for both Pipevine Swallowtails and Polydamas Swallowtails. With any luck, we'll have some caterpillars on this vine this summer.
A. trilobata is a neat vine, with its shiny tri-lobed leaves and crazy interesting flowers (see below) that explain the "pipe" part of the name. It will die back to the ground in a freeze, but recovers well once the weather warms up. We were pleased to find such a healthy, full plant for sale, because it won't take a few caterpillars long to chomp the leaves up pretty well.
We've only had the new fence up a few days, so it's hard to say if this will completely stop the unwanted kid traffic. But if nothing else, it provides a great low trellis for a vine that should add a lot of wildlife value to My Florida Backyard, and that's something we can feel good about.