Climbing the walls
Amateur Gardening|March 20, 2021
A troublesome vine gives Toby pause to ponder why what grows up doesn’t always come down quite so easily
Toby Buckland

LARGE glass of wine, or thimble? Good things, contrary to the old saying, can come in big packages, except perhaps when it comes to climbers…

I’ve learnt this lesson (again) after planting what looked like an innocent maidenhair vine (Muehlenbeckia complexa – easy for you to say!) to cascade atop the wall of our drive. Maidenhair vines have always been popular with florists for adding froth and frou-frou to bouquets, but their popularity is spreading because their wiry ebony stems and small leaves, as glossy as a newly minted penny, make great Insta fodder.

But while they might look delicate in a pot, five years after planting mine, a day spent in a tug of war while hacking at the shallow roots is proof that it’s anything but.

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