Thursday, September 25, 2014


I've been noticing all the beautiful Vincas or Periwinkle growing around here lately. They like our summer heat.   

Research says that they are native to Europe, NW Africa and SW Asia.  The purple ones in the photo look a lot like Impatiens. But the leaf tells you it's a Vinca.  Vinca and Periwinkle are both common names for the Catharanthus plant which is usually a summer annual.  

I haven't planted them for myself nor at any job in about 18 years!  They used to get this fungus or something where about 25% of them would die pretty quickly.   I couldn't afford to replace so many plants at a job. So I just stopped planting them.  I stuck to Marigolds, Salvia, and Zinnias for summer color.  

But I've heard that there are some new varieties of Vinca that are resistant to that die off.  Some as you see in the photo still die. 

 Vincas used to come in just purple and white.  But I love that peachy color with the dark eye and that cherry red color with the white eye.  I think I'm going to try them next Spring.  How do you do with Vinca? 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Coral Vine

Vines sure can grow like crazy!  I guess that is what they are meant to do in their natural habitat or in the jungle!  This is Coral Vine or Antigonon leptopus.  Say An-TIG-O-non  Lep-TO-pus(easy as Latin names sound like they look).  It is native to Mexico and is listed as an invasive exotic species in Florida. I can imagine it taking over there.   I love the flowers.

Research says it is evergreen.  But I know it to look crappy in winter so it gets cut back hard.  I had one at our old rental house in Arcadia in a whiskey barrel and would let it climb up a Eucalyptus tree.  But the whole thing was too big to fit in our large(the largest) moving truck.  So, I left it with my neighbor.   Then I hunted nurseries here in Burbank(only 23 miles away) for 2 years unsuccessfully.  I finally mail ordered a tiny 4" pot of it.  I wasn't sure where to plant it, just knew that I needed it :-)  So I planted it on the birch teepee in the front yard on which I also have a climbing rose called Bouquet Parfait.

You can barely see the teepee.  There are 3 legs.  

 The first year it grew about 4 feet and still got cut back in winter. This year it is almost smothering the rose.  It grew so big that I tied a rope from the teepee to the house roof to give it somewhere to go.  It DID!  It has reached the roof about 15 feet away!  My Rick is not too happy about it reaching the roof.  I was worried a little. But I will dig it up and plant it elsewhere in a few months.  But I am enjoying it's flowers and crazy growth now :-)