Patience is a necessity

I can be patient, when there is no alternative and there are plentiful distractions.

The vigorous Dutchman’s Pipe vine (Aristolochia macrophylla, below) winds through lower branches of ‘Ivory Silk’ lilac, but there are no pipes, no flowers. The foliage is pleasant enough, and I expect that someday, some part of the vine will reach that ideal sunlight exposure to bring flowers. There is no choice but to wait. I cannot figure anything to help it along.

Nearby, deeper into the shade, the ‘Moonlight’ Japanese hydrangea (Schizophragma hydrangeoides ‘Moonlight’, below) climbs onto an arbor, but with no flowers. Perhaps this shade is too deep, though several overhanging branches were removed a few years ago so that the space is brighter, if not sunny. In any case, the foliage is splendid. ‘Moonlight’ is not a true hydrangea, but it is difficult to tell it apart from other climbing hydrangeas.

A climbing hydrangea with variegated foliage (Hydrangea petiolaris ‘Miranda’, below) was planted in spring to climb a large blackgum, and if it never flowers the colorful foliage will be enough. Still, I’ll be happier if any of the vines flowered, if only to give the satisfaction that they’re doing what they’re supposed to do. I wait, patiently, and fortunately, most of the garden’s plants perform as expected to keep me occupied and not bothered by these failings.

After a chilly first half of spring, the passion flower vine (Passiflora incarnata, below) finally showed signs of growth a few weeks ago, but today I see that this has withered and died. I presume that it is dead, and not, as I promise non gardening acquaintances, growing every other year. As my wife cautions, no wonder no one believes anything I say.

This spot, beside the open sided summerhouse, is ideal for a vine. By late July, after a typically slow start, the passion flower vine latches onto the cable to trail along the lower edge of the roof. Flowers follow in August, and occasionally these are followed by fruits. I expect I will plant another, and certainly another of the small yellow flowered ‘Lutea’ (below) that disappeared after becoming overly shaded a few years ago. This should not wait another day.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Linus says:

    For the climbing hydrangeas, would rock phosphate help? I planted a Schizophragma this spring, and it just finished blooming, but I’m guessing it was “juiced” at the nursery. I just ordered a Hydrangea anomala ssp. petiolaris ‘Kuga Variegated’. Both will be in relatively shady spots, so I’m guessing few flowers in the future.

    1. Dave says:

      Perhaps, but I haven’t fertilized anything in twenty five years, and everything else flowers just fine without.

  2. tonytomeo says:

    Passion fruit vine is not often something that one must be patient with. It can be voracious!

    1. Dave says:

      Here, passion flower gets a late start, beginning growth no sooner than May, and often early June. So, the growth season is much shorter. I’ve had vines grow from the ground to fifteen feet in a year, but most years it’s a few feet shorter. Typically, I prune side shoots that will grow over the top of neighboring shrubs. A second passion flower vine grew through the branches of any upright Japanese maple, but it did not survive the winter.

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