Tuesday, November 4, 2014
Persistence Pays Off
I do love an arch in the garden and I have lots of them. I add them all over to create height and add a vertical element as well as acting as a way to separate spaces. Most of them are wire ones that I purchase from catalogs or a nursery. This also allows me to utilize a whole new group of plants that would otherwise be left to an occasional fence or wall - vines. This arch in the Moonlight Garden has had at least four different kinds of vines growing on it that I can think of off the top of my head. When I put it in about seven years ago I planted the very prolific and popular at the time 'Avalanche' clematis. Of course the more I thought about it the more I regretted the chance to put one of my favorite fragrant vines in, Madagascar jasmine, so I added that too. Neither vine flourished the way I hoped they would. So I decided to just go for it and add a white passion flower vine and at least have butterflies all over. I probably added a star jasmine too. One thing about vines that should always be a warning is that they can be very aggressive. By nature they are meant to grow from the floor of the forest, and scale up tall trees to get the sunlight at the very top. All of the vines I planted on this arch had no intention of scaling much of anything and most barely made it over the arch but the most frustrating thing was they just weren't interested in blooming. Here and there would be a bloom but nothing like I was used to in my other gardens. It may have been too shady. I have a hard time realizing that this area doesn't get as much sun as it seems due to the tall queen palms. The hard ground isn't very fertile either because of years of chemicals used on the lawn that was here previously. Then finally I broke down a bought a white Mandevilla vine. I am not crazy about Mandevillas for some reason. A little too showy and tropical for me, so I have no idea why I bought two and put one on each side of the arch last spring, just desperate I guess. But just to keep me humble I suspect, those Mandevillas are just as happy as can be and are blooming for months now! Go figure!