Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Strawberry Vine

In my garden there is a large place for sentiment. My garden of flowers is also my garden of thoughts and dreams. The thoughts grow as freely as the flowers, and the dreams are as beautiful,
~Abram L. Urban

Isn’t that the funniest looking flower you’ve ever seen? When the red cherry-like bud opens it reveals something like a pine cone to my eye but its common name is Strawberry Vine. Shisandra rubiflora is a twining vine that likes a sunny or semi-sunny spot. Twining vines do best with some sort of a trellis or arbor with an open construction so the vines can spiral themselves around the supports. It does not like to dry out and reportedly will reach 10-15 feet (3-5 m) tall. It is hardy to USDA zone 7. Originally, in 2007 I planted it in a fairly shady spot that only got sun late in the day. It didn’t settle in very well nor did it bloom, then an errant soccer ball broke it to pieces, so 2 years ago I moved it to a safer spot that gets sun till well past mid-day. This year it is taking off, is filling out and there are more blooms than ever before.

A perfect example of ‘right plant, right place’. If you have a plant that is not happy, it is possible that it is simply in the wrong conditions for its needs. Read the tag that comes with it carefully for the necessary information to make it thrive in your garden. Of special note: the tag also says vigorous. Be aware that tags are written to sell plants, not warn of possible problems. When you see the term 'vigorous' on a tag let that be a red flag. A vigorous ground cover could become an invasive pest, difficult to eradicate. A vigorous vine could swallow up what ever it comes into contact with so beware. I may have to do a lot of maintenance on this vine like I do my wisteria to keep it under control. That will remain to be seen.

All in all it is a very odd flower and one to look for if you are a plant collector with a penchant for the unusual.

My friends, I am sorry that this post is so long in coming. I never meant to keep you hanging on, wondering if I was going to write more. Lately other responsibilities have been demanding more of my attention and I have had less time to write. I still have lots of ideas to write about and am not willing to say good bye, but I will be posting much less often. I hope you have enjoyed this blog and will stay with me. I know I have enjoyed having you visit and comment. It has been so fun to see visits from around the world, making our global garden so much smaller. If you are fairly new to this blog, there are many, many more articles archived for you to read and comment on. The previous posts will remain valid and I will answer all comments or questions you may have. If you want to be notified the next time I post, you can click on the subscription button in the right column and it will come to your email.

Until we meet again, I hope those of you in the northern hemisphere have a wonderful summer enjoying your gardens, and those of you in the southern hemisphere – enjoy the respite and have fun planning what you’ll do next year in your garden. Cheers!

In bloom in my garden today: shisandra rubriflora, saxifrage, hardy geraniums, lily of the valley, iris, huchera, lilac, dutch iris, columbine, peony, geum, dianthus, solomon’s seal, sedum, daphne ‘Eternal Fragrance’ and 'Summer Ice’, wisteria, tellima, azalea, ajuga, chives, tomato, raspberry, alpine strawberry

Author’s photo


ddzeller said...

I will miss your posts but count me among your fans and I'll gladly wait until you have more time to post again. Your pictures are stunning.

Joan said...

Thank you DD! It's been lovely to have you here and fun reading about all the great local farms and foodies on your blog!

Shari said...

I will miss them too but will be sure to savor each one as it comes!

Joan said...

Thank you Shari! You are so sweet to visit without fail and I look forward to our continued cross blogging!

Cindy said...

What a beautiful and unique flower!

I really really like it!

Life always gives us challenges that put blogging on the back burner doesn't it?

You know I'll be here and I'll just have to email you instead!

be well and enjoy your garden!!!!
much love Joan

Joan said...

Thank you Cindy! I've so enjoyed blogging with you and truly appreciate your encouragement!