Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Crazy self seeded vine "topiary"

A long, long time ago I got a cheap green metal pole to hang my hummingbird feeder on.

I was peeved at the boring-ness of the pole and decided I would grow things up it. I found this great seed from Botanical Interests called Cardinal Climber (pretty basic) that said it would attract hummingbirds and so I sowed it.

Nothing happened and I went, "Blah." So I sowed some reliable Grandpa Ott seed I had saved for a while and it came up merrily... and then some time soon afterward Cardinal Climber decided it wanted to join in on the action (maybe it's like a competitive younger sibling).

And now I have this:
(pardon the pics sort of suck because I was too lazy and took them through my dirty kitchen window)

It's self seeded (and crossed with itself as you can tell by the random pink and white cardinal flowers). Of course the morning glory re-seeded too and now they've taken over the pole and the hummingbird feeder a bit too.

Lat year, to the chagrin of my husband, I attached a twine to the pole and to the nearest gutter so the vines could climb up it, which they did, and then decided to make a roof attack upon us.

It was kind of neat seeing the vines take over and nearly eat the house while framing our window, but the reality was it that was beginning to clog the gutters above... which is no good, so by autumn's end we had to tear it down and no twine attachment to the roof this year on my part.

(click on the pic to see more detail)

The nifty part is though that these vines want to EXTEND and do so at nearly a 90 degree angle as it's trying to reach out and find something to grab. When the wind blows, the vines look like they're fingers of some sort of scary green Cousin It trying to get a hold of you!

Oh, there's a hyacinth bean vine too somewhere in there, but he's sort of shy and we don't talk about him much :) (Hyacinth beans are edible too :)


Ginger said...

Ooh I need to get this to climb up my birdfeeder pole. It will climb up a straight 1" thick pole or do you have to use a trellis?

persephone said...

Hey Ginger! This little monster will climb up ANYTHING. 1 inch pole or trellis, you might be able to see in the pic, but I tossed a few woody grape vine branches someone gave me to add "volume" to the vine-age.

It doesn't have suckers like ivy or some other plants to climb up, but as long as it can twine a bit around something you're fine.

persephone said...

Ginger, btw if you'd like some seeds of this and/or malabar spinach I'd be happy to send you some