Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Vines Around the Coastal Garden


I feel fortunate that when we moved into our home three years ago, a number of vines were well established in our front and back yards. The pink jasmine is all over the front and back yards, planted by the previous homeowner. This is a good and a bad thing at times, since the pink jasmine is a high climber when it comes to vines. The trellis in the back yard has pink jasmine crawling up at least eight to ten feet, great for that area but not so great for the short deck area, where the vines billow out and grow aggressively. They look beautiful but so much pruning!



The passionflower vines on the fence are growing like crazy this year, flowering well even though I haven't had as much chance to run the soaker hose along the base of the vines growing against the front yard fence. There are not as many flowers this year because I have not soaked the vines on a regular basis, but the light purple and green flowers still look great draped over the front and the back of the front yard fence. I planted four roots from the green and purple flowering passionflower in the trellis boxes last spring but so far nothing. I hope the roots take hold and the vines grow from these seedlings. I've never dug up and planted a seedling root of passionflower before, so I am hoping by next spring I will see some growth.

I discovered last year that the previous homeowner had planted yet more pink jasmine, this time a plant in each of the front yard trellis boxes. The plants have been doing little growth since we've been here until finally this summer the vines are reaching the top of the trellis and building up in size. Originally after two of the four the dark purple passionflower vines died off I tried to dig up the jasmine vines because I thought they would be too much in terms of pruning in the trellis boxes. The passionflower vines behave themselves fine in the trellis and grow upwards, but I discovered they are shorter lived than I thought they would be. This summer its been pretty bare again like last summer. I planted some sweet pea seeds, added some rich soil and nothing happened. I've always had hit or miss luck with sweet peas, not sure what I am doing wrong, guess its time to study up more on them. With the lack of sweet peas and passionflower seedlings in the trellis boxes I finally realized perhaps because the pink jasmine does best growing tall these vines will do well there after all. When grown to grow tall the pink jasmine vines do not need as much pruning. I also realized the pink jasmine sports flowers and green with burgundy leaves almost all year long here, another benefit for the trellis. I am hoping by next spring I'll see more flowers and vines on the trellis boxes, even if the pink jasmine dominates the trellis, no doubt it will be a beautiful display after all.

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