Plant poacher!

Friday, February 1, at home in Arizona

Now that I know how to propagate plants from cuttings, no plant is safe from my pruners!

I may have mentioned somewhere on this blog that the property to the rear of our property is unoccupied.  Not only that, it is not maintained and, from the looks of things, hasn’t been maintained in a very long while.

Grass and weeds are hip-high.  

An enormous vine has taken over the porch, including the porch roof.

Well, I’m in the backyard with a brush and a can of sealer-stain.  I’m working on odd places here and there on the fence, like close to the ground or around gate hinges and latches.

Reggie and Roger are on the other side of this gate, relaxing in their beds that I placed in the sun for them.  Last I checked, they were stretched out in their respective beds, peacefully snacking on pecans.

I check again.

Looks like Reggie is instigating a tussle!

Whoops!  You asked for it, Reggie!

Anyway . . . .  

Back to my story.

After awhile I pause again from my trim work.  Taking a little break, I wander around the yard, eventually opening the back gate that gives access to the rear property line.

Hmm . . . That vine had white blossoms and the birds went crazy for the berries . . . .

I sprint to the patio and retrieve the hand pruners.

I’ll just mosey over there and take a few snips . . . . Nobody’s gonna’ care . . . .

Leaving the boys to their play, I set out on my mission.  I make my way through the weeds that have overtaken the neighbor’s front “yard,” picking up stickers in my pant legs as I go.

Snip, snip, snip, and I head for home!

Oh, for heaven’s sake.  I don’t believe it.  Here comes Madame Troublemaker up the street, returning from her daily stroll to the mailboxes.  What timing.  She’ll have something to say. . . .

Suppressing laughter, I dart through the gate before any verbal missiles are lobbed my way.

Haha!  Made it just in time!  I love you, fence!

Later . . . 

The thrill of the hunt subsides and I calm down to examine my capture.

Maybe this isn’t such a great idea.  This thing looks like a weed and I don’t know if it’s toxic to pets.

I toss the cuttings.

Gee, there’s a Texas sage bush over by the mailboxes.  Silvery-gray-green foliage against the cedar fence, purple blossoms that last for several months.  Oh, yeah.

“Reggie? Roger?  I’ll be right back, sweeties.”

I back the Perfect Tow Vehicle onto the street.  The boys watch through the chain link.

Soon I return with my prizes!

Would you look at that!  A levitating place mat!

Internet research informs me that woody cuttings are best rooted in potting mix, rather than in water like I did with the Mexican petunia.

By the way, those Mexican petunia cuttings produced copious, strong roots and continue to do well since I “potted them up.”  Here are a few of them:

Pots, less than a dollar each.  Four green place mats for a dollar.  (Thrift shop, of course)

Also on the internet I discover that cuttings of Texas sage (Leucophyllum frutescens) are easy to propagate.  Ideally the cuttings are taken from new growth in the spring.  However, success can be had from cuttings taken in fall or winter.

I plan on success.

Texas sage, aka purple sage, Texas Ranger sage, Texas barometerbush, etc. is available in different varieties.

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“Un-uh.  No digging.”

“Sorry.  You know the rules.”


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NOTE:  To learn more about Texas sage, check the following websites:  “Great Design Plant: Texas Ranger Explodes With Color”  “Texas Sage Cuttings: Tips on Rooting Texas Sage Bush Cuttings”

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RVSue and her canine crew is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

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59 Responses to Plant poacher!

  1. ReneeG says:

    Oh no! First?

  2. Wow, sat down to my computer after being out running errands, and there you are — new post!

  3. Millie says:


  4. Millie says:

    Congrats. ReneeG what wuick fingers you have!!

  5. Cynthia in San Clemente says:

    Those little rascals – such guilty looks on their sweet faces! Sounds like you must be having nice weather in AZ since you are out “plant-lifting” and staining the fence. We are getting quite a bit of rain here in SoCal. I’m using the time to cook and bake. Last night I marinated 6 lbs. of top round I got on sale and now it’s in the dehydrator – on it’s way to becoming beef jerky that I’ll send to my grandson at college. And now, I’m baking sugar cookies to frost for the Super Bowl game tomorrow. I found a set of four really cute football themed cookie cutters – a helmet, a pennant, a jersey and a football. If my cookies turn out looking anything like the cute ones I saw on Pinterest it will be a miracle!!

    Hope all of you in the Midwest and East are staying safe and warm during these storms.

  6. David R Reed says:

    Kind of concerned for Tioga George.

    • Cinandjules🌵 says:

      Don’t be… he’s living the life how HE chooses!

    • Pat/Central Texas says:

      I am very concerned also!

    • Lee says:

      Me, too. Would be different had he not talked about pain and loss of control of his arm right before his last post.
      Not like him at all to just stop posting. Have been following him since the beginning. Sorry about putting this
      comment here, but I know Sue comments to him frequently.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      This is one of those situations where there’s nothing for us to do. I care about George as much as anybody, but I’ve learned to let go of things over which I have no control.

      When we are given news, we will know whether to be sad or glad. Until then, I’m setting concern aside.

    • ReneeG says:

      He bought a panel van and has been converting it to an RV. I guess he wants to do that since it would be easier to buy one.

  7. Michelle Salt Lake City says:

    Love the fence.

  8. Cinandjules🌵 says:

    All neighborhoods have a nosey Nellie!
    Ducking behind your fence…peering thru the slats! Phew she went on her way!

  9. Susan in Dallas says:

    I think Roger wanted you to believe he wasn’t doing any digging, but his expression said something else!!

  10. Deena in Phoenix says:

    Oh, I love purple sage…hmmmm…I could take clippings from the plant in front of the complex for my patio! Have to work on my patio garden…someone loved it so much they took most of the plants; funny, left me the planters…the succulents are all there, maybe I’ll to only succulents…time to do some research.

    Love the reaction to the yard rules, so cute are their little faces!

    Tomorrow, off to final day at the WM Phoenix Open. so excited!!

    Take Care

  11. Sarvi in OR says:

    But the dirt looks so soft and fresh under their paws, how can they NOT dig? hehe

  12. Mel from NW Arkansas says:

    Love to read about your fun with plants and thrift shop pots! A little caution regarding Texas Sage.. we just moved up from Texas after 5yrs there and before we put the TX house up for sale, we had to pay $100 to have our 4 TX sage plants torn out… we had them planted in 2013 and they were so ugly and spindly looking.. they were on the NW and NE side of the house and I did not prune the shrubs so that may be a factor ?? some of our neighbors had some that faced SW & looked a bit better for a few years but after 5 yrs they all start looking real sad…and they shed like crazy so our mulch was covered up soon after a new batch laid down… sorry,, they look pretty in pics (hence why we planted them) but there must some secret to looking good that the residents of north TX aren’t aware of!! Good luck and keep us posted on your “green thumb” activities!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I read somewhere that full sun is best. A south facing wall is good. Any shade leads to spindly growth.

      • EmilyO in southern NM says:

        I don’t know how old the TX sage is in my yard but it was spindly looking last year, branches were breaking in high winds so I did trim it back to be more compact in the spring. The only time mine puts out blooms is when it rains (even the littlest bit) or when I put some water on it (in the summer only). The blooms pop out quickly and disappear almost just as fast. The birds love the little flowers, like they almost get “drunk” on them. I love the leaf color and the contrast of the purple-red flowers.

        Oh another beautiful shrub is the Winter Jasmine. Has cute little yellow flowers that start popping out around Christmas/New Years and before the leaves show up. Once established is easy to maintain. Love the mounds of yellow flowers outside my breakfast area window this time of the year.

        (PS, sometimes I laugh when I have to do the math, before posting, as it often “tests” my old lady math skills!)

  13. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Hi, Sue!

    I just about choked on my water when I started giggling about your close call with Madame Troublemaker! Tee hee! Reggie and Roger look like they are enjoying themselves, even when testing the rules! 🙂

    Enjoy the rest of the weekend! Gracie pup is currently sacked out, sprawled at my feet on “her” ottomans, softly snoring. Life is good! Sending you and the boys lots of love and hugs from me and Gracie pup! 🙂

  14. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    I really like the colorful pots you found, and the striking black fence hardware!

  15. ApplegirlNY says:

    Yup, Every neighborhood has one of those! We have several acres and are set way off of a country road, and yet the nosiest woman on the road was next to us (she sold her house this fall and moved – YEAH!). When my husband was building our porch, she reported him to the town building department for not having a building permit (he had a building permit), then one time when he was taking down trees, she called the town to complain. They had to inform her that if the trees were on our property we had a right to remove them. OMG…. she has way too much time on her hands, and an exaggerated concept of her self-importance. She complained to the town about everyone! Thankfully, everyone else on the road are great people.

    My son is doing well. He had extensive skin grafts a couple of weeks ago, which have really helped with his pain. His hand and arm look like Frankenstein, but it will continue to heal, and he will adjust to the new norm. Thank you for your continued prayer. He still has a long road ahead, and I would ask you to pray that he doesn’t get discouraged. He’s generally an optimistic person, but this is a load on his mind. Thanks again. For the first time in many weeks, we are breathing a little easier.

    Sue, once again, you have made me jealous. Now, why do I live in Upstate New York? I never have a good answer to that that question from Jan-March.

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      Thank you for the update on your son, Applegirl. I am glad that he is making positive progress – wonderful news! Continuing to keep your family in my prayers. *hugs*

    • Cynthia in San Clemente says:

      Thanks for the update on your son. Will continue to pray for good progress.

  16. Barbara (Nashville) says:

    Nice post as usual, Sue. The Mexican Petunias appear to be growing quite nicely and looking healthy. Reg & Rog appear to be up to the usual antics, they are so cute.

    I love the Texas Sage. One of my neighbors has some that comes back every year and grows beside her bay window in the front yard. She cuts it way back in the winter.

    Thank God the polar vortex has gone on its way. For the next few days it is going to be in the 60’s, but we are going to have rain move beck in starting on Monday and continuing through the week, the back down in the 40’s for highs.

  17. Columbus Calvin says:

    I just have to say it. You seem to be blossoming as a gardener.

    Reggie and Roger are especially welcome. I love the digging picture.

    One of the local weather forecasters thought yesterday might be the last really bad day of winter here in Central Ohio. I hope so. Today was good enough to help a disabled friend move across Ohio, but not much fun. If the forecaster was right, maybe we’ll get spring in February. As usual, nobody really knows.

  18. Vickadee80 says:

    Hi, first time visitor here… I so enjoy your tales and photos of adventures on the road, the progress in your new home and yard, and I get a big kick out of the dogs’ hijinks. I do have a word of caution though, regarding R&R eating pecans. One of my sister’s small dogs (Buttercup) got very sick with pancreatitis from eating too many of them in a fairly short time. My sister has three mature pecan trees and had a bumper crop that year. Her vet said the high fat content of these nuts, and Buttercups small body size, were the reasons she was so affected. It was hard to keep the dog from gobbling them down whenever she was outside, but worth the effort to keep her healthy. I hope your little guys won’t have any problems!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Vickadee, and welcome! I’m glad you’re enjoying my blog.

      I appreciate the warning regarding the boys eating pecans. They don’t eat many at a time, usually only one. I think the fun is mostly in cracking open the shell. Their short attention spans soon have them off doing something else, as you can see from the pics in this post. 🙂

      I’ll watch that they don’t overdo it. Thanks!

  19. Eileen says:

    Those little boys are as cute as ever!

  20. Linda in Ky. says:

    Hi Sue. When I lived in Arizona, the flower/shrub I fell so in love with was the Mexican Red Bird of Paradise. I still have the seeds I picked. Perhaps I will try planting the seeds here this spring. I can enjoy it until cold weather, huh? Linda in Ky.

  21. Kathy says:

    If that porch vine gets red flowers it may be a Mandevilla. Thats what it looks like to me.

  22. Jules MN says:

    Propagating plants is one of my favorite summer activities. As a result I have too many hostas, hydrangeas, and lilies. Now I share with friend and neighbors.

  23. Victoria Wendell says:

    I had a dog that liked to dig, under fences. What was suggested to me and I found really works, is burying medium sized rocks, along with some of the pup’s poop along areas of the fence where he was inclined to dig. After a few trys, the digging stopped!

    • Elizabeth says:

      We had some success adding some cayenne red pepper to that mix for our “digging” dog too…heh…not too keen on getting that on the snout!!

      • Victoria Wendell says:

        Excellent addition. I’ll bet that works 100%!

      • Suzicruzi says:

        Cayenne also works great as a squirrel and cat deterrent in your garden beds. I am a cat lover, but we keep ours indoors. Actually, he prefers it that way.

        Anyway, we had a neighbors cat that was constantly pooping in my flower bed that bordered my patio, and whenever we wanted to enjoy sitting out there, the nasty smell of cat poop, and pee presumably, wafted through the air. Not to mention when I was digging weeds, a cat poop surprise! Ugh.

        The folks at the Backyard Bird Shop digested I go and buy cheap cayenne from the bulk section, which I did, and sprinkle it all around the beds. Presto! 😉 It was that, or live trap the cat and haul it off. I’m relieved the pepper worked!

  24. weather says:

    Wading through hip high weeds for a vine clipping, Ha, I love it 🙂 !! Spoiling Madame Troublemaker’s chance to be nasty is yet another reason your fence was such a great thing to invest in. A normal person might ask what you planned to use the vine for, and enjoy having a nice neighborly chat. I can understand why you tossed those clippings, not knowing what type of plant it is made that a wise decision, in my opinion. The hunt to get them was probably more fun than trying to control a vine’s growth can be in real life.

    That sage is gorgeous and will look great in your yard! It’s nice that you know they do well there, since it’s already growing by the mailboxes. I read that some can grow 2 feet in a year if fertilized every 6 months. So with just normal growth I imagine you’ll have a few lovely nice sized plants growing near your fence within a year.

  25. Pauline in Mississippi says:

    Levitating place mats!!! It sure looked like it was doing that in the picture !!! I love the color of the sage…the leaves and flowers.
    Got a few days of warm weather here and everyone is outside!!! Hope they don’t start planting. LOL!!! Cold weather is due back next weekend.
    Glad to see R and R having fun.

    Hugs to you and the boys.

  26. Dasher says:

    Local news highlighted a teen who was one of 3 dog handlers who qualified for the Westminster Show in NY. The interesting part of the story for me was when she talked about her dog, Gamble, and referred to him as “an obscure breed right now”. What was his breed you ask? A rat terrier. What do you think Sue?

    • Dasher says:

      One of only 3 from Florida so quite an accomplishment for a 16 year old

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Rat terriers throughout the 20th century were not “obscure” (as in hardly seen). They were common on farms in the U.S., not only because of their rodent hunting skill, but also because they fit into a family so well.

      The “obscure” breed remark is probably a reference to the breed not being officially recognized by AKC until only a few years ago. Everybody is familiar with the beagle or poodle or pug, not so with rat terriers.

  27. Elizabeth says:

    The Texas Sage is beautiful…can one eat it also, like the sage we put in dressing?

  28. Shelley in CA says:

    You have given me an idea…I need to go for a walk with some clippers!

  29. Diann in MT says:

    Nosey neighbor? I had one when I lived in Pueblo, CO. She would walk up and down the alley with her dog and drive my puppy Lulu nuts. A complete taunter. She called the cops on me and wanted to charge my dog as a nuisance. Behind a chain link fence? In her own yard? Over my dead body! As they say. One day during one of her excursions down the alley, I walked out and confronted her by simply asking why she walks the alley and teases my dog. I didn’t see her again. I wish I had known about tall wooden fences then. Yours looks great, Sue.

  30. Suzette in TN says:

    LOL…when I first saw the headline, I thought you were being attacked by a plant poacher! Then, I realized that YOU are the plant poacher! Funny! Looks like you’re good at it!

  31. Shelley in CA says:

    There is an sad update on George’s blog, :(. Sorry to bring sadness to your blog RV Sue. Please delete if necessary.

  32. Eddie says:

    Just heard that Tioga George has passed away.

  33. rvsueandcrew says:


    Expressions of sympathy and tributes to Tioga George may be made at his website:

    “The Adventures of Tioga George”


  34. Li says:

    Got my hands on Carol Klein’s, ‘Grow Your Own Garden’ (UK) and have plans to take advantage of some propagation this year. She has some articles in the Guardian site.
    Also enjoy all things Monty Don. He’s on Netflix here in Canada.
    Good growing!

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