Under The Arbor


Looking upwards from the driveway to the far Eastern province of the Fairegarden, across the Fairelurie whose Camassia/Salvia combo is coming into its own, over the meadow/lawn that is transitioning from spring bulbs to flowering grasses before the Alliums and Lilies hold court, the arbor anchors the property edge giving mass to the arborvitae hedging. Let us take a closer look, shall we?


The original concept for this space was as a private getaway, shaded from view and the blazing summer sun by evergreens. In addition to the very slow growing portion of arborvitae hedge, due to being under the hulking tall Loblolly pines, a Blue Atlas Cedar, Cedrus atlantica, Arizona Cypresses, Cupressus arizonica and a deceased Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Crippsi’, being turned into a bottle tree were to provide screening and density. On the other side of the structure is an island bed of Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Boulevard’ and three Japanese maples, among other things. Let’s go around to the path and poke about some more, shall we?


Growing up the repurposed metal clothesline pole at the Southwest corner of the arbor is the native crossvine, Bignonia capreolata ‘Tangerine Beauty’. The grand plan was for this rampant vine to form a canopy of leaves, flowers and tendrils to protect delicate skin from harmful rays and allow for gazing out at the garden in a cool oasis. The orange trumpets are plentiful for a month or more in spring and the growth rate has been most satisfying, covering two thirds of the beams across the front already. The day may come when there will be pruning needed to see out from within, but for now the only maintenance is the placement of dripping bits on top of the crosspieces whilst on an extension ladder.


The ground below had a sharp slope that has been filled up with plant debris, weeds, small branches and grass clippings for the last several years until it is now level enough for the wire bench to rest upon boards at the far end, as intended. A pad for the uncomfortable wire bench was cut from a furnace filter, chosen for the quick drainage and no care, not to mention low cost. A large wind chime provides lilting tones as well as some shade and privacy.


April finds the self sown money plants, Lunaria annua in full purple flower, turning into green then silver coin-like seed pods. This non-native plant (thanks Carolyn) decided for itself to grow under the arbor. The seeds must have been included in the aforementioned plant debris landfill. Nature is the best garden designer, as has been mentioned here before.


There are three roses planted to climb the posts, Rosa ‘Madame Alfred Carriere’, R. ‘Moonlight’ and now in full, spectacular once per season only bloom, R. ‘Fortune’s Double Yellow’.


Fortune’s Double Yellow was one of many roses grown in our Texas garden. Less than an hour’s drive from the famed and fabled Antique Rose Emporium,there were frequent forays through bluebonnet bedecked country roads from our house to there and back during the three years we lived in the Lone Star State.


A delicious fruity rose fragrance and colorways of my most favorite hues, the peachy yellows tempted us to add this zone 8 hardy (we are zone 7) rose when the arbor was first built. Click here to view that post. As with most climbing roses, more flowers will bloom along horizontally bent canes. We have woven the long stems along the metal fan cover that was added to the wooden diamond shape at the North end and more flowers have we.


Clematis deserve a seat at this table and have been slowly growing strong root systems. Jackmanii joins Madame Alfred at the Southeast corner, soon to come into bloom. This one at the Northeast corner might be Dr. Ruppel, records will have to be searched for the name. Added: it has been verified by Randy, that it is Dr. Ruppel. I believe we have three of them growing here. Moonlight is planted on the middle post along the back, more shady than roses like, but once it grows more, it is merely a cutting but already blooming size, the canes will find the light at the top. There is one more Clematis planted with Moonlight that was assumed dead, now showing leaves. It will be a surprise if it ever blooms, but stranger things have happened.


So there you have it, an update of the arbor, complete with Tiger Swallowtail butterfly on the money plant. These early butterflies are positively manic, flitting from bloom to bloom, never resting between cold snaps and rain events. It was a lucky catch to find this one, enjoying the peaceful, easy feeling under the arbor.

Frances

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22 Responses to Under The Arbor

  1. gittan says:

    Hi Frances, it soooooooooo lovely to see those pictures from your garden! Since I’ve wondered for a long time I believe it’s time to ask, why do you have bottle trees? I think it’s rather popular isn’t it? Kram gittan

    Hi Gittan, thanks and so nice to see you! The reason for the bottle trees? I don’t have an answer, other than garden ornamentation. The colored bottles catch the light nicely. I need to work on the one by the arbor, and need more bottles, it is unsightly! HA πŸ™‚
    Kram,
    Frances

  2. Carol says:

    I can not believe how much is blooming in your garden. I’m still seeing daffodils and tulips and our garden looks like early summer would look here.

    Thanks for the close up!

    Thanks Carol, for stopping by. We are about a month ahead of you, right? Some tulips are still hanging on here, but the bearded iris are blooming and other later spring stuff. Time marches on! πŸ™‚
    Frances

  3. So nice to see all your climbing vines! I love the tangerine crossvine and clematis. Isn’t it so satisfying when the bees and butterflies come to visit all the glorious blooms!

    Hi Karin, thanks. I do love seeing all the flying creatures, especially when they are enjoying the flowers, the fruits of my labor, one could say. πŸ™‚
    Frances

  4. gardeningasylum says:

    How peaceful and sweet under the arbor – love that cross vine, not hardy here, but off to a great start for you. My camassias are just showing some green foliage now – like the idea of combining them with salvias – beautifully blue πŸ™‚

    Hi Cyndy, thanks. The Camassias were newly planted last year, the blue ones. I didn’t know they would bloom at the same time as the Salvias. There are white astilbe in that bed as well, but the bulbs might be done by the time they open. It would be pretty, though, if they were all together. Hmmmm…. πŸ™‚
    Frances

  5. Gosh FG, it is all so beautiful. The rose is amazing and I just love the color of the crossvine.H

    Thanks Helen. If you are into orange, the Crossvine, a native, is perfect. The bloom time is long, too, a good choice. πŸ™‚
    Frances

  6. Randy Emmitt says:

    Frances,
    Love the arbor. Your clematis does look like Dr. Ruppel, two posts back on my blog are this years photos of it.

    Thanks Randy. I will check that out! I did and it is. I added a link to you, thanks! πŸ™‚
    Frances

  7. Your roses and clematis are beautiful. I don’t think that Lunaria is native. In fact, it is the worst kind of exotic because it has naturalized (read taken over native habitat) in the US.

    Thanks Carolyn. I changed it to non-native for the Lunaria, with a link to you. It was a passalong from my neighbor Mae, and the butterflies and bees love it. My garden has many exotics along with natives, we are not purists.
    Frances

    Glad to help. I am not a purist either—I grow lunnaria too. I just didn’t want people to think it was native.

    I need all the help I can get, Carolyn, obviously!

  8. Layanee says:

    You have created a lovely place to sit and enjoy the beauty around you but, I fear, you are not one to sit for long. I can help you sit and drink something from a blue bottle which will not go to waste when emptied.

    Thanks Layanee, you are right about my sitting ability. Blue bottle liquids do help me sit still a bit longer though, and how convenient is that bottle tree? HA πŸ™‚
    Frances

  9. Greggo says:

    I have a clematis which surprisingly appeared this spring also. I threw the tag away as I thought the species was a weak sister and needed not to be replanted. I will send you a photo when it blooms so your clematis expert can ID.

    Good going, Greggo! May I suggest you send it to the Clematis expert, Randy? His blog is linked to his comment! πŸ™‚
    Frances

  10. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Your arbor is a peaceful get away. I can just imagine sitting there in the evening emptying a bottle of wine to put on the tree. Smelling the roses. Aaahhhhhhh

    Thanks Lisa. I had not thought about the proximity of the bottle tree to the seat under the arbor, but see now that it is a really convenient placement! HA πŸ™‚
    Frances

  11. Cindy, MCOK says:

    You’ve created a lovely place to sit and reflect and dream about the garden. That Fortune’s Double Yellow is such a gorgeous rose. I saw it festooning an adobe wall at the San Antonio location of the Rose Emporium.

    Thanks Cindy. I saw it growing in Brenham, too and fell in love with the number of blooms, the color, the fragrance, everything about it. I am so glad it lives here, despite the zone denial. Maybe the arbor is helping protect it. πŸ™‚
    Frances

  12. gail says:

    Dear Frances, The fairelurie and meadow are lovely. What a nice place to rest the eye and spirit. Your arbor is another perfect spot for rest, renewal and contemplation! Hasn’t this been a fine year for the clemmies! Thank you Randy for
    id-ing Dr R~I have one that I wasn’t sure about! Now, where can I put an arbor so I can have that marvelous vine, a few roses and a sweet place to sit! xxoogail

    Thanks Gail. We will sit there whenever you come and contemplate to our heart’s content! You need a place for the crossvine, be aware it is quite the climbing machine, but also a blooming machine. The wildlife is loving it, including the birds who like to hide in the tendrils. There are birdhouses at each end, one has an occupant already! πŸ™‚
    xxxooo
    Frances

  13. Kim says:

    So lovely! Thank you for sharing your arbour.

    Thanks Kim. I am glad you liked seeing the arbor. It is a fine place in the garden. πŸ™‚
    Frances

  14. Rose says:

    I can’t blame the swallowtail for choosing this lovely spot to rest (and I will be humming “peaceful, easy feeling” all morning…). As much as I like sunny spaces with a profusion of flowers, it is the shady spots that I seek out in the heat of summer. Your arbor is a beautiful retreat, Frances.

    Hi Rose, thanks for picking up on the song title! Shade is always good here, in the growing season anyway. The arbor is perfect for the outside is sunny, good for the flowers and the inside is shady, good for people and other types of flowers. πŸ™‚
    Frances

  15. Pretty gorgeous, Frances. The two photos that hit me hardest were the lovely Clematis and that most-intriguing crossvine. I can’t say that I’ve ever seen enough of it to register, although seeing the blooms and its profuseness, I think I would have noticed. Is that a Zonal delight, peculiar to the Mid South? Otherwise, you seem to have really “naturalized” the first areas framed here – lots of grass, lol. Is that a bother or your intent? (Had to ask πŸ˜‰ )

    Thanks Steve. The Crossvine is a native to my area, hardy to zones 6-9. As for the lawn/meadow, it is a formerly mowed space of grass, Kentucky Blue and Tall Fescue that is being left unmown. Only the paths around the perimeter and through the middles are kept short. Bulbs, annuals and a few other plants are being added. It is cut down in winter.
    Frances

  16. Leslie says:

    What a lovely sitting spot! All the climbing bloomers make it sound heavenly.

    Thanks Leslie. I love a spot with plants and flowers hanging overhead. It has taken a few years, but under this arbor is beginning to reach that point. πŸ™‚
    Frances

  17. Catherine says:

    What a pretty spot to sit and relax. I love how all the varieties of climbers you have there. It must smell good with all the roses blooming!

    Thanks Catherine. I like a mixture of plants, a patchwork quilt sort of vibe. It does smell good, but the deciduous azaleas are the dominant scent right now in that half of the entire garden. Good stuff! πŸ™‚
    Frances

  18. How wonderful to have roses in bloom already. Your arbour looks like a lovely place to sit.

    Thanks Janet. The roses have just begun, it is a lovely time of year. πŸ™‚
    Frances

  19. Julie says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful pictures, I love it! The only thing that is close to blooming in my garden today is the bloodroot that I have planted in my white garden. We awoke this morning to a yard full of white. We enjoyed a late snow shower this morning in Minneapolis (close to 2″ on the ground). Perhaps soon the many garden colors will sing.

    Thanks for visiting, Julie. Your spring will come, soon I hope, with singing! πŸ™‚
    Frances

  20. Lola says:

    Oh my, I love that arbor & the idea for it’s use. I sure could use one like that even tho Young’un built 2 for me in my back yard.
    Being in town I sure could use one like that for some privacy. I have neighbors very close on 3 sides.
    I have a very pale pink rose that brother brought me & I’ve learned it is a climber I wound it along the top of my chain link fence. I think it’s the same as yours.

    Hi Lola, thanks so much. You are lucky to have someone to build you arbors! Your rose sounds delightful, good gift from your brother. If it is Fortune’s Double Yellow, you are indeed fortunate! πŸ™‚
    Frances

  21. Wonderful arbor and plantings. The crossvine is blooming right now, in the woods. I had hoped we would have some on our property, but there are none. Guess I will have to get some. I like your meadow with the blues and purples ….some of my favorite colors.

    Thanks Janet. The crossvine is spectacular this year. I have seen hummingbirds feasting on the many flowers, too. You need some. πŸ™‚
    Frances

  22. Your arbor is so beautifully adorned with flowers! I like the seating and that the top of your arbor is high for sitting beneath it.

    Hi Cameron, thanks. So nice to see you here and welcome home! This arbor is ten feet tall, plenty of room for even the tallest among us, even in heels! πŸ™‚
    Frances

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