Plant Particulars September 2012

They creep and climb. Some people love, and some people hate them. I’m talking about vines! After teaching a class this summer on vines I’ve realized they are very misunderstood and Reiman Gardens has some great examples of some really wonderful vines.

One of the first you will see is the cardinal creeper (Ipomoea quamoclit) in some of the containers near the parking lot. These very vigorous vines are annuals. They will not make it through the winter here, although occasionally you will find them come back perennially by seed. Annuals vines are a great addition to the garden because they are fast growing, love our hot Iowa summers and are temporary – giving you an opportunity to do something different the following year. Most are easy to start from seed and most prefer full sun. Other annual vines that are worth a try are purple hyacinth bean (Lablab purpureus), black-eyed susan vine (Thunbergia alata), and morning glory (Ipomoea purpurea). There are also several vines that we grow here at the Gardens that are not annuals, but are not winter hardy and therefore are treated like annuals here in Iowa. Mandevilla (Mandevilla ×amabilis) is one beautiful example planted in the containers by the Dunlap Courtyard. Others to try at home include ornamental sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) and most of the passionflowers (Passiflora).

Another exciting addition to Reiman Gardens this fall is an expanded perennial vine collection. Each of the nine vine poles that surround the South Patio just outside the Speer Room in the Mahlstede Building will feature a different perennial woody vine. You may be familiar with some of the perennial vines already featured at the Gardens including the Kentucky wisteria (Wisteria macrostachya) in the Jones Rose Garden, the Boston ivy (Parthenocissus tricuspidata) on the Pattern Garden walls and the climbing hydrangea (Hydrangea anomala subsp. petiolaris) on the wall of the Walled Court near the Hunziker House. The new collection on the South Patio will feature the following:
– Hardy kiwi vine – Actinidia kolomikta ‘Artic Beauty’
– Chocolate vine – Akebia quinata
– Dutchman’s pipe – Aristolochia durior
– Trumpetcreeper – Campsis radicans
– Clematis – Clematis
– Hops vine – Humulus lupulus ‘Aureus’
– Maypop – Passiflora incarnata
– Climbing rose – Rosa ‘Ramblin Red’

Stop by the Gardens this fall and take a peek at some of these new and established specimens. Hopefully it will give you some ideas of things you can do at home.

Prepared by Aaron Steil, Education Coordinator