As much as I hate how Kudzu has devoured so much of the South today, I must admit that our family contributed to its spread when we lived on the Florence Mill Hill. Sprigs of Kudzu were taken from the overgrown area along the walk leading from Park Street up to the Southern Railway tracks. Daddy would plant them on one side of the steps to shade the porch and swing from the hot afternoon sun in the Summer. He would attach a cord to the roof of the porch for them to climb up, and in a few weeks, a thick mat of leaves provided the cooling shade.
Each Fall when frost killed the Kudzu vines, they were pulled down and cut back to the ground. Since the vines never lay along the ground attaching roots for new plants, it never spread. Years later, learning how huge the vine’s root tubers could grow, and how indestructible they are, I wondered why, the spring after Daddy died and Mama, Jerry, Gail, and Kay moved away, the little tubers did not sent out shoots to spread across the yard, attaching new plants along its path, and eventually overgrow the whole Mill Hill.
Mama dug up wild Daylilies and planted them in a row on the other side of the steps. These plants and the Lilac bush growing near the sidewalk in the upper corner of the yard were the only landscaping in the yard of our Lake Street house on the Florence Mill Hill during the 1940s to the mid 1950s.
Scenes from JoAnn’s youth