Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Hardenbergia violaceae: Native Wisteria

We have a couple of rather unattractive fences in our back yard, and when they were first built they were a real eyesore. So i decided to cover them with a creeper which would be tough, quite fast growing and put on a floral display. For this I chose this cheerful native, which hasn't disappointed me. At the moment the garden is pretty quiet and rather dreary, my Hardenbergias are developing lots of buds and soon will burst into flower. There are little buds all over it! I have planted about 5 from memory and they are all purple, but it is also available in white and pink, and a pretty mauve and white version.

Hardenbergia is a beautiful twining vine which flowers in early spring, and when i say it flowers a healthy one will flower in abundance and will definitely not disappoint . It will usually grow to a height of about 2m and spread about twice that. It is a member of the pea family and  therefore has nitrogen fixing qualities which in a place like Australia  where nitrogen is lacking so much in the soil can be very handy. H. violaceae also is an evergreen vine so won't be looking bare and ugly during the winter months but actually brings colour to the garden through this less decorative time of year.

Preferring well drained soil it will need something to climb on and if you don't supply  some sort of support it will find it by itself. It's ideal to hide an ugly old shed, or perhaps an old dead tree, or beautiful climbing over an arbor, or as I have done along a fence. Honey eater, bees and butterflies will love you for it too so be warned! next time your at the nurser have a look at this one. I think its a great plant.

By the  way comments are more than welcome so please feel free to leave some.

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