January 3, 2010

Pretty Pretty Pretty.

Now that the New Year has been ushered in, it's time to start planning the garden! Keeping in mind the fact that the motto of Colorado gardeners is something along the lines of, "Well, there's always next year," I am attempting to keep a tight rein on myself and NOT overhaul every bit of yard in one season. Not only can we not afford it, but that would just send me right straight in to the loony bin. I'm picking my battles.

In later posts, I will be telling you all about my plans and ideas for the yard (and you will be sick of it and begging for more cat posts before long, I'm sure), but for tonight I will just share with you my vine of choice. See, the backyard (and a not-insignificant part of the side yard) had been overrun with Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia). It's a nice vine, but not only is it everywhere in our yard, it's everywhere in Denver. I swear, people can't understand that there are other vines out there. And quite frankly, other than a really stunning fall color display, I don't see that there is much to recommend it. So ... out with the creeper and in with this:

This lovely vine is Variegated Porcelain (or Porcelain Berry) Vine (Ampelopsis brevipedunculata 'Elegans'). And no, it doesn't come from the craft store - it really does look like that. The berries go from green, to white, to pink/red and finally to a lovely cobalt/indigo color.

Now, before any stray gardener stumbles into this blog and commences to throw a horticultural hissy fit, let me remind you that I live in Colorado. In other, less harsh parts of the country that aren't constantly teetering on the edge of yet another drought, this plant is indeed very invasive. An unofficial noxious weed, even. However, here in the Rocky Mountain West, it behaves itself very nicely. Our temperature range is too wide and our moisture too hard to come by for this to break loose and rampage through a neighborhood the way it does in other parts of the country.

So there you have Plant #1. Next up ... The Edibles.

(Photo borrowed from Dave's Garden. Hope Dave doesn't mind.)


waterdragon687 said...

Hmm... I thought what we had on our back fence was a woodruff of some sort, but having just been and looked at some pictures, I guess it's Virginia creeper we've got, too. Oh well, it does work to soften things up a bit, and Peter likes the color it turns in the fall--he misses the more varied colors from the East coast, rather than everything out here that goes a uniform gold (or brown, if it freezes early). So I'm not too inclined to go tearing it out, but I can see why you would want the Variegated Porcelain Vine; it looks quite lovely.

HubbleSpacePaws said...

VPV looks lovely!! Too bad it sounds like it would be a nightmare here in B'more! But I'll take the more temperate climate! ;-)

Playing in the mud is good stuff... mush on!

Mommas Soapbox said...

I'm looking forward to having a gardent his year! I live in California but in "the hills" and we have so many deer that think I've planted it just for them.

This year I'm going to figure a way to fence it in and them out.

I love to watch them but don't want to grow food for them...

Potatoes get planted in a few weeks so you have given me a good reminder to get my rear in gear!

By the way.... my little sista lives in Colorado and LOVES it!