|Golden Hops Vine|
This is the first of the month, when Joene sponsors GOOPs, or Gardening Oops. You can go to her blog to see more.
My oops involved a complete failure on my part to execute a design I had seen in a public garden. It's not the first time something got lost in translation.
I wanted a particular look and design element in this corner of the front garden. This hops vine, Humulus lupulus 'Aurea', was the answer.
Originally I had a small white-flowering clematis here on a wooden rose trellis. The space is just a wall with a drain pipe and no redeeming features. Very little room between the wall and the other plants, so something upright and tall was called for. A vine.
The clematis was a viticella variety that scrambled to only 8 feet, and made a pleasing open shape as it wandered up off the trellis and onto the downspout. Elegant and arching, shapely but unfussy, a nice little bit of contrasting elements. And such pretty flowers.
|The original clematis growing on this wall|
It was perfect in that spot.
So of course I moved it.
What I planted in its place was a mistake. I put in a golden hops vine that is well documented to grow rambunctiously to 20 feet or more. And I knew that. I knew it would grow that big.
It dies back to the ground but regrows its happy looking golden foliage each season with exuberance. I knew it needed more than the wobbly wooden trellis, so I put it on a steel structure that was a little taller. A little taller.
By September it looked like this, all humped over and massed on top of itself trying to find something more to grow on.
|Nope. Not what I was going for.|
Why did I remove such a pretty, perfectly sized flowering clematis and put in this big clumpy hops vine?
In my defense, I had an image in mind.
I saw this at The Cloisters Museum & Gardens in New York, where brewery hops grew in long trains up to the tiled eaves of the arched wall.
|Hops vines in the kitchen garden at The Cloisters|
But here's what I plan to do. The steel trellis will be removed and next spring I will tie multiple long string cords all the way up the wall to the gutter, just like the Cloisters picture shows. The hops vine can enthusiastically grow along the strings to the garage roofline, hopefully in the graceful pyramid shape I want.
|A blank slate and a design plan for this wall. Future oops.|
Then next summer when the whole effect is a tangle of confused foliage, buckled gutter, and snapped string supports, I'll post another Gardening Oops to show you how that worked out for me.