The Vine Sign

Here is the view from my desk.

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This Passion vine has never had this many blooms at once.

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All appeared after I published my “Vine Lessons” post.

I actually looked for a Passion bloom for the post and none were open.

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Think what you will.

I consider it a divine affirmation(no pun intended…okay maybe intended)

of my self-acceptance as grasper and a clinger.

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(The Flower will be quiet for a bit. I will miss you. No worries.)

The Squash Support System

Nature knows everything. We need to pay attention.

Plants plan ahead.

Let’s look at this vine.

It came up from some seeds of ornamental gourds that I threw out.

At each leaf joint is a bud cluster, which blooms one at a time, and a long three-pronged tendril.

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Why such a big tendril for such a small bloom?

Because that little bloom will turn into a heavy squash/gourd.

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That fruit will need to be supported if the vine is climbing.

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The plant plans ahead by having a built in support system with each bloom. (Like a baby with a college fund.)

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We will never know more than nature.

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Pay attention people!

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My One Passion

In years past, I had three Passions.  A wild one, a red one and a hybrid.

I killed the red one. I backed over the wild one. The hybrid is the only type left.

Luckily,  I have several plants of this Passiflora ‘Blue Crown’ hybrid.

I finally got brave enough to put one plant in the ground along a fence near the Asparagus.

Here is its first ever bloom.

If this plant does not survive our winters, I have two more in large pots.

It is a vigorous vine that climbs the deck poles

and then is trained to grow on a trellis upstairs.

All are happily blooming in this August heat.

It is such a marvelous bloom.

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Sleeping, Creeping, Leaping

One of my garden mantras is “Never ever plant ivy.”

I may have to add another vine in there.

I love my Creeping Fig, Ficus pumila.

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The first year here, it seemed to be sleeping.

Last year it began creeping over the wall.

This year it has leaped onto pots and statuary.

I took these two photos seven days apart.

I still love this vine, but too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.

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My Bleeding Heart

This is Bleeding Heart vine, Clereodendron thomasoniae.  It is also called Glorybower.

It is one of my favorite vines.

I cut it back and feed it in early spring.

Then all it needs is sun and water.

Take cuttings to share with friends. These root easily in water.

It grows up its trellis and blooms all summer long.

My heart loves this Bleeding Heart vine.

Flower loves her Glorybower.

 

 

One Clematis, Different Flowers

This Jackman Clematis should have five petals.

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Petal numbers mean things in botany.

So when my clematis pulls the old switcheroo, I get a bit miffed.

Many blooms have four petals.

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Some even have six petals.

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I guess the Flower is going to have to go with the flow when it comes to this vine.

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It’s beautiful, no matter the number.

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Creeping through Winter

This Creeping Fig vine ( Ficus pumila) has kept growing through the winter.

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My guess is that the block wall has kept it warm.

It is hardy to 10 degrees Fahrenheit.

I am happy to see its new copper-colored leaves in February.

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I love this little creeper.

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Saving My Passions

Saving my Passions involves some risky behavior.

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Passion vine hybrid

I must climb a ladder with scissors in my hand.  Twice.

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The first trim occurs back in early fall.  I cut off the side shoots.

I then streamline the vines down to three or four main stems.

The first trim prevents the vines from getting shocked all at once and makes the second trim easier.

Then I climb back up again, about a month later, to cut them down from the trellises.

I usually leave about one third of the plant in place.

I wrap this lower portion into a wreath-like ring and secure it to a short trellis in the pot.

I use garland hooks from craft stores to hold vines onto the trellis. These can be moved and removed easily.

I then wheel my potted vines into my sunny workshop to spend the winter with all my other precious plants.

It’s a jungle in there!

The trimmed pieces may be cut up into cuttings to produce new Passion vine plants for my friends.

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Passion vines cuttings. Red Passion has bigger leaves that are hairy and bronzed.

I keep a request list.  Newly rooted plants will be given away in the spring.

The bunnies helped out by hiding under the Turk’s Cap plant.

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They know mama on a ladder with scissors is something to be afraid of.

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Safe and Soggy

Florence has left us.

I feel such gratefulness that we ourselves were spared

the devastation experienced by so many others.

The sunshine is a welcome sight after days of darkness.

I must admit, I did not stay inside during the deluge.

This should not come as a surprise to my readers.

Over and over again I strode into the storm to check plants and ditches,

necessary for my sanity if for no other reason.

I am happy to report

the banana forest is still upright

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the vines are still clinging

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and way up in a tree

a certain nest is still intact.

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Way to go Mama Squirrel!

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