While researching the vines that flourish in our climate,it occurred to me that through selective planting, I can experience all the ends of the earth including what I like best about the Louisiana wilderness, and New Orleans' past without ever leaving my garden. Vines are a long time tradition in New Orleans. They were used in previous centuries for their flowers as heavily as annuals are used today. A look at the some of the watercolors in the Notorial Archives housed at Tulane University will show examples of arbors,trellises, and fremes on which vines were grown in the last century. They climbed the columns and draped the rails of balconies,creating" hanging gardens". They served as green shields from the hot sun which,if deciduous,dropped their leaves in winter to allow light and warmth access. Here are some of my favorites.
Antigonon leptopus, alba: common in bright pink, I searched high and low when I found out there was a white variety. Dies back in winter,a mainstay the remainder of the year. Hands down my favorite vine,elegant,graceful. Has never let me down.
Aristolochia durior,Dutchman's Pipe,Calico Flower. Never fails to draw comment.Heart shaped leaves and outstanding bloom.Grows up a large elm in my garden,shade tolerant. Also larval food for the Pipevine Swallowtail butterfly.
Dolichos lablab (I love this name),Hyacinth Bean, another annual,lavender purple flowers,real easy from seed,forms dark purple edible pod.Also available in white but I was disappointed. Another larval plant for one of the skipper butterflies.
I've tried to find the white rosa montana here. It's named, so must exist. There was some confusion about which name is which, as there's is a white/pink variety as well. One of those is called angelina and the other bellisima -- great names! Even though the regular one is a Mexican native, it's not seen very much. I adore it, as my grandmother had one at the end of her drive, drooping and swirling into a line of mock orange and always covered with bees.
My grandmother called that passionflower "maypop".
I always thought of the dutchman's pipe as a northern vine, and think the only one I've seen in real life is the one in Casimira's garden.
There is a huge blue thunbergia covering the entire side wall of Pochote Cineclub here. Not only is it beautiful on the tall brick wall, but it enhances the garden created by Francisco Toledo behind the walls of an old aqueduct. link is in French
This thunbergia is very common around here:
I've grown the "hyacinth bean" here, and it's not only not an annual in this climate, it's downright scary. It's the vine of jícama , a tuber usually eaten raw. I had one that was sprouting so planted it to see what would happen. It covered a very large fence and bloomed frantically with a much deeper colored flower than shown in the above photo. Eventually the tuber got so large that it heaved itself out of the ground.
I'd say that, along with the bougainvillea, the most commonly seen vine here is the flame vine -- Pyrostegia venusta (old: Bignonia venusta). This thing is rampant!
This will inspire me as I redesign...again and partially, my back garden. 'Hangings gardens' evokes glorious images and I have always wanted to see some artwork of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, once one of the wonders of the world.
The calico is an amazing bloom and the flame vine...it is beautiful! My garden is now far too shady for a possible grape vine, but I love them as well Spindrift. My friend had one which he grew over the barest of support on his back porch. It became so thick and lush that we could sit there during a warm summer thunderstorm and not a drop would fall on us...a wonderful primal feeling.
Jazz, would a variegated ivy work for you? I like them so much because the white keeps it from being somber, plus they're evergreens.
Some people think stuff like that is "busy", but to me it mimics the splash of bright sunlight on leaves. I just looked again at your exquisite paradise -- maybe placing it behind the oak in the region of the Sacajawea(?) statue?
A wonderful choice for your area Jazz is the Climbing Hydrangea,one of the very few flowering shade tolerant vines. I am right on the cut off of growing it here. I've seen very few successful plantings of it here. But,in New York and New England I've seen gorgeous specimens growing up trees.
I know it's a destructive vine, but it's so gracefully art nouveau gorgeous in bloom. That white one in your Mozaïa thread is such a delicate grace note between two sides of the street. I believe those bare trunks at war with the iron railings are wistera, too.
The clerodendron shown, C. thomsoniae, is my favorite of the two commonly seen around here. It's interesting in & out of bloom, with the richly green leaves clothing the entire vine. It grows enthusiastically in this climate. I'm not crazy about the one with the red bracts -- there is something Victorian and funereal about it when in full bloom.
I do love the wisteria,on someone else's property.For the amount of room it takes up,the brief bloom period not to mention it's monstrous growth almost impossible to keep at bay,I would never consider it.
Let's not forget the Clematis family (there are about 400 cultivars of these lovelies) some are part shade tolerant. I saw the jackmanii in your garden Jazz,on your fence. It's a little too hot here for them,all but the sweet autumn (the lovely white one) which grows rampantly.
I love wisteria , mine is growing as a standard in a hugh pot quite successfully , flowering for the first time last spring .I would never plant it in the ground tho .
Casimira.... I would love the pink clematis . I have one called Crystal palace (double lilac and green) .I am hoping it grows well in our climate (hot and dry) .It is planted close to another creeper(snail creeper) to give it some shelter from the heat. So far so good.
Bixa....That Flame vine is rampant here as well saw some today on a fence .
A big storm came through here today ,fences are down, tree branches all down the street, my hugh pots with standard roses all blown over , and the best part RAIN.
I have just been out in the rain and now look like a drowned rat. Well maybe not a rat but a hippo Can you tell I am excited about the rain. It has been so long coming , wheat farmers were really getting worried about the lack of it.
No, Casimira -- I would love to have that red clerodendron. There's another one that's identical to the regular thomsoniae, but has dull red/purple bracts. It's not ugly, just lacks spark.
Boy, do I identify with you, Pookie! That's how it was around here a few days ago -- dramatic loud wind toppling my tall plants, but it brought the rain we so desperately need. And yes, there is a need to go out and get soaked by the first rain of the season.
I hope one day you'll tell us about gardening in Australia -- well, your part of it. I've seen gardening shows on tv and pictures in books of lovely gardens, but that kind of thing is always a "best of", without talking about what challenges particular gardeners face.
What about vines that make us ambivalent -- the summer beauties that are so messy during fall and winter? I love the lacy little cypress vine and its cousin the morning glory , but in the midst of admiring their lovely colors and graceful growth, there's the mental image of the persistant dead leaves hanging slackly on the fence later in the season, not to mention dealing with the gazillions of unwanted seedlings in the spring.
These are all very beautiful. Casimira and Bixa, thank you for the suggestions. I am facing a 'une crise de shade' and I may start a thread for your input. Look soon for the exciting 'Your garden plans' ;D
Kerouac, do Parisians not like rain because, as in all cities, it is inconvenient? I do love rain. As in that fact(?) about Eskimos having 50-odd words for snow, there could be an infinite number of words for the moods of rain.
We have honeysuckle now in full bloom perfuming the back garden. It started out 10 yrs ago as a few clumps next to a 6' chain link fence, and now is a fine hedge 100 ft long.
Alas, in the far corner of the garden is an amazingly aggressive thuggish vine that I've taken to our botanical garden to ID, but stumped the experts. If we weren't so far north I'd suspect it of being the star in Kerouac's video. Yellow roots that run 10, 15 ,20 feet before emerging and running amok. I made an exception to my organicness and used an ounce sample bottle of Roundup on one shoot; didn't faze it.