Carmen Cosentino Special to the Citizen
I truly believe that vines are the least used garden plants available to us. They can be used to hide unsightly views or walls in poor condition. They can be trained to climb a trellis, or the green vines can make a beautiful ground cover. There are even types of vines, called stairs, that you can walk on.
Before I get into the types, let me tell you about one of my favorites. It is there, and has been for years, at the end of one of our old greenhouses that is no longer in use. It is at least 10 feet wide, and similarly tall. In the middle of summer he rewards me with hundreds and hundreds of flowers in hues of orange, pink and yellow. I think with all these colors, I’m looking at two or three individual seeds or seedlings that have grown together since day one. When they bloom, you can smell them from 50 yards away. It’s as close to a perfect plant as you can get. It has lush green growth that hides an unattractive structure, and flowers with nectar to attract beautiful butterflies and adorable hummingbirds. Other birds then come to feed on the seeds produced. What is this beautiful plant? Why is honeysuckle, botanical name lonicera.
People read too…
One of my long-time favorites is Paul’s scarlet climbing rose. Its deep red flowers will stand out in any planting. They are easy to grow, produce their greatest burst of color in June, and continue throughout the summer until frost. This plant requires constant watering. Lack of water will cause the buds to fall. Although I have favored this for many years, I cannot turn a blind eye to many of the newer varieties available today in home improvement stores; It is full of wonderful colours, shapes, shapes and fragrances. Cut some flowers and place them in a bowl on your dining table for a beautiful, long-lasting centerpiece.
And then we need to take a look at clematis. I remember that years ago, this plant was seen all over Auburn, mostly climbing up fences and front porches. Some of them were amazing. They were hardy and simple to grow. The range of colors is fantastic, from pure white through many shades of pink and lavender, and ending with the most stunning purple. My favorite has always been one of the oldest cultivars: jackmanii. Dating back more than 100 years, this late-blooming species has flowers up to 8 inches in size that are the most vibrant purple of any flower. When you decide to try this plant in your garden, choose wisely, not only by color but also by flowering time. With planning, you can have blooms all summer long.
Have you ever heard of Celastrus scandens? Of course you do, it’s bittersweet. A fast-growing twining vine, it gives us rather insignificant greenish-white flowers followed by orange and yellow caps on a bright red seed. Birds love it and eat it, and then the seeds scatter everywhere. Come spring when conditions are right, plants seem to appear all over the yard – just plant them where you want them. But mostly we love this plant because if we get to it before the birds, we can harvest large strands of vines just covered in these dried, dried berries. We can wrap it around itself to make a gorgeous door wreath – just add a bow. We can arrange them in a vase with a few flowers from the flower shop and greens from the yard for a centerpiece on the Thanksgiving table.
Need a quick and inexpensive way to hide the neighbors’ clutter? Think of morning glory. If there is no fence, some posts and some 4-foot plastic fencing will do the trick. Buy two or three packets of morning glory seeds and they will cost less than $10 and sow them in small pots. When growing, distribute along the fence according to package instructions; Within a few weeks, the ugly will be hidden.
Have you whetted your appetite for chrome? I hope so! It is a wonderful group of plants that we pay proper attention to. Yes, I will write more in another column.
Carmen Cosentino runs Cosentino Florist in Auburn with her daughter, Jessica. He was elected to the National Floriculture Hall of Fame in 1998, and in 2008, he received the Tommy Bright Award for lifetime achievement in floral education. In 2016, Carmen and Jessica were presented with the Tom Butler Award from Teleflora, naming Cosentino’s Florist of the Year at the company’s annual meeting in Hawaii. Carmen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (315) 253-5316.