Saturday, April 30, 2011

Clinging vine ...

What is it about vines clinging to vertical walls and supports that fascinate us so? I think I'm drawn to the tenacity of ivy or any number of green, climbing cousins that have the ability to conquer their surroundings.

Alfords English Gardens designed the Wisteria-blanketed pergola.

Some vines make their climb by attaching themselves via clinging roots with twining petioles, twining their stems around a support or using tendrils. 

Adventurous vines look stunning as they make their way up stone walls and trellises. Photo (left) via Content in a Cottage and above of La fa├žade de l'ancienne ferme in Paris.


I wish I had the patience to train ivy into a topiary like those at left (image via Chez Fifi) or above as follies in a garden (photo from Folly Fancier).

I may need Edward Scissorhands to assist with pruning if I dare try this at home!

My Blue Sky Vine with its first bloom.

What I have planted this year are quick-growing, hardy Blue Sky Vines (Thunbergia grandiflora). I'm hoping it will cover my Secret Garden trellis with lovely sky blue blooms throughout the summer. We purchased two container grown plants from the San Antonio Botanical Garden in one gallon pots, and both are twining as hoped. Within six weeks, they have grown from 12" tall plants to over 5' in height. I'll share photos as they reach maturity and full bloom later this summer.