But it is no longer in my garden. Not because I killed it, but because I could not figure out where it should go. It was a case of plant desire without a plan.
I bought it originally to climb up a trellis to hide the utility meters on the side of the house. But it didn't work there, and I moved it to the patio, to scramble over a low wall rather than climb up a structure. That wasn't right either.
Moved it again to a holding spot at the side of the deck. And moved it again, and finally gave up. It's gone now.
But now, making plans in the dead of winter (danger! danger!) I think I have an idea.
I do. I have a great idea.
The entrance to my gravel garden needs definition, and I think a gate and vine covered arbor would be perfect right there.
To the left of this opening there is a baby magnolia tree -- you can see the leaves on a plant in the foreground about a foot high. It is tiny and won't shade the area or frame the entrance for another 15 or 20 years (I'm on the extended garden plan schedule). To the right next to the grass clump, you can just see the dark leaves of a smokebush, and that will grow large quite soon, filling the right side of the entrance.
Where the two bluestone steps lead from the driveway into the pea gravel area, I want to put a gate and arbor with the variegated foliage of Actinidia kolomikta climbing over it. How it would frame the entrance to the space! And provide shade!
Looking the opposite way, from inside the gravel garden, the entrance opens unceremoniously out into a grassy area. It needs a gate. And an arbor, doesn't it?
I've been spending a winter afternoon looking at ideas for a gate and arch -- I don't want a white picket cottage look, and I don't want it to be too fussy or too cute or too ornate.
Or too rustic. I have my standards.
Okay, some ideas, see what you think:
|If this was natural wood I'd like it better than white pickets.|
|From Flickr - Jon Shadford|
Photo is taken at Tangled Garden in Nova Scotia (link here)
|This was found at A Primitive Place|
I like the gate and arch but not the overly flowery climbers.
Picture it with the pink tipped foliage of a kiwi vine on it.
|This is from Timothy Lee Landscape Design. I'd want a gate below.|
|This is from Clive Nichols. Again, I'd want a gate|
below, but the framing into the gravel area is what I like here.
So, with a beautiful gate and arbor, I think I now have a place to try growing a kiwi vine again.
Variegated kiwi vine is hardy in my zone 5 / 6 garden, but it should not be confused with Actinidia arguta, which is actually called "hardy kiwi". That plant is quite a climber, getting way too big for a small arbor.
Actinidia kolomikta is smaller, the perfect size (it vines to 12 feet), and the 'Arctic Fire' cultivar has lovely random pink or white color on the leaf tips. Male plants show the most color, and my young vines did show some paint splashes in spring. The female vine I grew also produced little grape-sized green kiwis. They did not have a fuzzy brown rind, but were thin skinned and you could eat the little fruits skin and all.
|Even my young, frequently transplanted kiwi vine had pink splashes last spring|
I need to mull this idea over. I move too many plants and change too many ideas too often to be comfortable committing to a structure installed in the garden. And I have a fear of cluttering the place up.
But I would have a place to grow a kiwi vine again, and it would be soooo perfect, wouldn't it?