Friday, 12 November 2010

Carefree climbers

There are plants in the garden that don't seem to care whether you are there or not. You could go away for weeks or even months and they wouldn't notice. They don't need fussing over. They don't need to be watered. They are just happy with what nature provides them.
My garden relies on these plants. It is  large and I don't get to spend nearly as much time gardening as I would like, so it can often become survival of the fittest. I do have quite a few plants that need regular care but many were chosen because they were suited to this climate and would require little care. Some of our climbers that need little attention are flowering at the moment. I thought I might feature a few.

This climbing bauhinia (Bauhinia corymbosa) is a great example. It grows happily on a fence between the house and John's shed. It flowers all year round to some extent, but at the moment is simply covered in blooms. The only care it gets is to be chopped back if it starts to head for the gutter or roof.


The mandevillia is fairly tough as well, but does respond to some extra attention by producing more flowers. We've had a lot of rain this Spring, plus I have tipped some worm tea around its roots, so it has flowered more than usual this year.





Bougainvillea must be the supreme example of climbers that thrive on neglect. When they get too much water they put their energy into growing more foliage and branches rather than flowers. They can become a real problem if let get too rampant. They will cover trees or buildings and require a lot of pruning which can be painful with their thorns. (A friend has her back fence covered in them to deter tresspassers. Much prettier han barbed wire, but just as effective.) We only grow the bambino varieties and keep them in pots. I have discovered they are one of the few plants that can be kept in a pot and remain happy even if they are not frequently watered.
I just realised why they flower so brilliantly - it's the only time the poor things get any attention.

11 comments:

  1. Your garden is SUCH a delight! I have never seen a bauhinia, and what a wonderful flower it is. To think it is a climber and blooms for such a long time, how amazing. The bougainvillea and mandevilla are both gorgeous too. A plant that is both beautiful and capable of performing double duty as a privacy fence is one worth having!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I would move to warmer climes just so I could have bougainvillea! Though my sister grew one in her garden on Phillip Island in Westernport Bay in Victoria. But she never gets frosts because of the sea breeze.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Your climbers can only live in a greenhouse up here. I am so envious of the bougainvillea and mandevillia. I so wish they would grow in my garden. Such flash color and size.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Missy. Nice fence. The bauhinia corymbosa looks very nice in your garden. Is it very water consuming? Here, in the Algarve, we've got a lot of bauhinia corynbosa trees, used in public gardens and along the streets. I have one and I had to wait 3 years to see the first flower! Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I wish we could grow bougainvillea here- so beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Your climbing Bauhinia is outstanding ... what a marvellous display! Your Bougies are wonderful too ... great colours. Past history with Bougies means I no longer appreciate them quite as much as other people do ... had far too many battles with rampant ones planted in the wrong spots!!! I like the idea of keeping the miniatures in pots, though ... might give that some thought.

    ReplyDelete
  7. You have a beautiful garden and your climbing bauhinia is amazing.

    And I am back on Blotanical, with my new blog.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I love your pink bauhinia and there are so many flowers they seem to cover the whole area.

    ReplyDelete
  9. You're right Bernie. I will never plant bougainvillea in the ground. It goes mad. At least in a pot it stays under control and I love the vivid colours.

    ReplyDelete
  10. What gorgeous vines! I've never heard of bauhinia but it's so pretty I wish I could grow it here. Are you able to garden all year? We've had several frosts and all my tender plants have died from the cold.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Me too, never again bougainvillea. But we have South African Bauhinias. There is a rampant climber with large orange/brick-red flowers, too big for this garden. I have a smaller one, with white flowers in with the 'white' roses. Love those butterfly leaves. Nothing else like it!

    ReplyDelete

I would love to know what you think and appreciate your comments.

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...