What’s that purple flower vine?

What’s that purple flower vine?

On our recent trip to Florida I was literally stopped in my tracks by this purple flower vine in Winter Garden. I’ve been familiar with Petrea volubilis, or Queen’s Wreath Vine, but I’ve never seen it like this. Driving down Plant Street in Winter Garden, there is always something beautiful to see. This town does a great job of maintaining and growing their green space for residents and tourists to enjoy. But this. This was too much for me! The purple flowers were dripping off of the trellis. Petrea volubilis is sometimes called “Florida Wisteria” and it is easy to see why. Wow. I can’t tell you how many people I heard talking about this plant. How often do plants get this kind of attention?… Read Full Post
Rhodochiton atrosanguineum- Purple Bell Vine

Rhodochiton atrosanguineum- Purple Bell Vine

Sometimes I feel like if I put out to the universe what I am looking for then these things tend to show up. Okay, universe, you’ve been alerted, on the top of my “plant wish list” is Rhodochiton atrosanguineum, “Purple Bell Vine”.  Are you familiar with this plant? The first time I saw Rhodochiton atrosanguineum was during a garden visit as part of the Garden Writers Association conference in Buffalo, New York last summer. As I toured this homeowner’s garden taking photos I literally stopped when I saw this plant. It doesn’t happen too often that I see an entirely new plant. Well, new to me, that is. What could this be?  Where do I get one? The Purple Bells Vine was being grown on a small obelisk structure and had completely engulfed the metal frame. … Read Full Post
 My DIY trellis project

 My DIY trellis project

As part of our yard renovation this year we wanted to make the most out of every inch of space. This DIY trellis project along our fence was the answer for this difficult area. The small size of our yard, and my plant obsession, means we needed to look for vertical solutions to create the most impact. Trees are one way to add vertical interest, but with our neighbor’s palms and an already shady space, trellises made the most sense.   There are lots of options for trellises and I highlighted several HERE. For this part we decided an inexpensive, easy DIY trellis was just what we needed. I am going to cover it with plants anyway! DIY trellis materials: I purchased this 3′ wide welded wire fencing from Home Depot.  … Read Full Post
Female Flowers and Male Flowers

Female Flowers and Male Flowers

When my cucamelon vine failed to produce any fruit in the past season, I decided to take matters into my own hands and do some hand pollinating. As I was talking about this to a friend I could see the puzzled look come across her face. “How do you tell the female flowers from the male flowers?” she asked. Good question! Now not all plants will have separate female flower and male flowers. In fact it isn’t many at all, but the ones that do are important to us agriculturally.  All of the plants in the Cucurbit family will have separate male and female flowers on the same plant. This includes cucumbers, loofah vine (shown above), watermelons, squash, zucchini, and of course, my little cucamelon vine.  … Read Full Post
Rex Begonia Vine, Cissus discolor

Rex Begonia Vine, Cissus discolor

Rex Begonia Vine, Cissus discolor, is a vine that you will see once and remember forever. I first saw this plant at my friend Sonya’s house in Virginia when we visited one weekend during graduate school. Avid plant collectors, out of all of the pots on their porch, this is the one that I remember. A tender tropical, Rex Begonia Vine is worth the effort. The leaves look like they should feel like velvet and have a metallic silver color. The bottom side of the leaves, vines and tendrils are all a deep purple color. When the sun shines through the leaves the green and silver disappear and just a burgundy purple colors glows through. Cissus discolor is not an extremely aggressive vine.… Read Full Post
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