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.
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.