Neighbours talking over the garden gate has long been a tradition. They share gardening tips, complain about the weather and pests yet are ever eager to discuss their gardens. That is what I had in mind when creating this blog. So stop by my garden gate to find out the latest happenings in my garden.

Happy Gardening!

Garden Gnome
"All my life through, the new sights of Nature made me rejoice like a child." ~ Madame Marie Curie"

Friday, June 15, 2007

Trumpet Vine

Trumpet Vine
(Campsis radicans)

Years ago when we bought our second house there was a vine growing up the south side of the house. This was an old, turn of the century, wood sided, two storey house in need of tender loving care. We were young and naive so tackled the job that ended up being an almost 12 year project. We did everything from designing a huge kitchen, re-roofing, siding, new wiring, new plumping, refinishing wood, installing a pool with large two level deck and privacy fencing. Finally we tired of our money pit and sold it for a non-descript subdivision house with no character but minimal work. We are now moving into house number five and a bit wiser but back to the vine.

I thought the vine was beautiful. It was a bright green and shaded a good portion of the southside wall in the summer. It never flowered in that location as my husband ripped it out because it was damaging the wood siding. We found remnants of the vine under the second story siding coming through the wall when we did the wiring! I salvaged a few pieces, set them in water to root then planted them along what was then a chain link fence. By the time we put in the privacy fencing the vine had grown considerably so I decided to leave it to soften the look of the fence despite my husband's protests. I was rewarded with beautiful deep orange trumpet shaped flowers. A few years later when we sold, the vine had covered a good portion of the fence and was pushing some of the fence boards loose. My husband declared it a weed worthy only of Round-up but it was too late, I had already fallen in love with this beautiful vine.

After we moved, I was at the nursery looking for plants when I discovered the same vine except it had yellow flowers. It was a trumpet vine (Campsis radicans) so I bought it much to my husband's dismay. I had strict orders not to plant it anywhere near the house! I brought a piece with me when we moved here and planted it by the old garage now being used as a garden shed. The vine is growing nicely but hasn't flowered yet. I'm taking a few cuttings with me to the new house.

The trumpet vine is a low maintenance, fast growing and spreading vine that is ideal for privacy screening. It is pest free and fairly drought tolerant. In fact, this is one vine that lives on neglect. It transplants easily and new vines can be grown from cuttings. The beautiful trumpet shaped flowers attract hummingbirds, wasps and bees all of which are beneficial pollinators in the garden. Unfortunately, the trumpet vine can be invasive and should not be planted against houses or other buildings. It is best if contained somewhat to prevent the invasiveness. So becareful where you plant this vine. The trumpet vine can cause rashes for some people so gloves should be worn when handling the vine. Propagation can be through cuttings or air layering.

Happy Gardening!

Garden Gnome

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous6:57 PM

    Five years ago, I lived at my mother's house and found this invasive weed growing up an old oak tree in the backyard. I didn't seem to have any reactions to it, so I ended up ripping it from the ground with my bare hands. Then, I was rewarded with a very irritating poison-ivy like rash. I never touched the stuff again, it was the sap that caused it. It never had flowers or berries. I am now living in the same house on my own, and went into the backyard today to find orange trumpet flowers and long seed pods blooming from this same weed (which has gotten even thicker and more out of control since I pulled it from the ground those years ago). I think I have finally discovered just what is growing on my tree -- trumpet vine. Whaddya know? I'm delighted, but it sure needs pruning...


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