Saturday, April 27, 2013

garden, giant vine edition

The fence that closes off the back yard gave us an opportunity to plant some vines, of which the most spectacular is the Dutchman's Pipe, or aristolochia, that we planted just beside the side porch, facing the park. There are about 500 species of aristolochia, and we're not quite sure which one this is. The flowers are enormous (well over a foot long), smell intensely like lemon-flavored hard candy, and start out as gigantic hollow buds that resemble partially inflated balloons.

The thing has grown incredibly fast...

We bought the vine in a small container in the fall (at one of the Fairchild Garden's sales), and it has grown quickly. The vine is very easy to train, and quickly grows a thick mat of heart-shaped leaves. It'll make a nice green layer in between the backyard garden and the park.

We're going to have to keep the aristolochia from taking over the part of the fence reserved for the two passiflora vines, the passion flower, which we bought to feed our state butterfly, the Zebra Longwing, and the passion fruit, which we bought to feed ourselves. That part of the fence will eventually be covered with thick green leaves punctuated by big blue flowers, which ought to look pretty good from the living and dining rooms.

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