► Solanum and its myriad of starry flowers
Solanum laxum (formerly Solanum jasminoides), blooming for months, seems not to want to stop charming us with its very light mauve blue flowers grouped in loose inflorescences. They are present from April to December, and sometimes all winter if it is particularly mild. There is nothing more generous than this climber: it grows practically adult in the year, flowers abundantly, and its foliage is sometimes persistent. With its flexible stems, this plant sometimes nicknamed “false jasmine nightshade” grows so quickly that it can reach 8 meters high and 6 meters wide in a year.
→ READ. Large climbing plants for the sun
The twining stems wrap around their support, entangle with whatever is within their reach and, once developed, hang alone on a wall that presents asperities. This climber, rustic down to -15 ° C, becomes “enormous” and generous in the South and near the coast. Elsewhere, the stems sometimes roast under the effect of frost. It suffices to cut them back to 30 cm from the ground, in March or April, in order to favor the arrival of new shoots, and two months later, the first flowers appear. A wall in the sun, south or west, drained soil, and voila! Let this liana dress a tree, play the lace above the front door, intertwine a pillar, hide a fence, garnish a barrier, decorate a large wall. If she can’t find a support to hang on to, she also likes to lie down on a ground cover. Album is a pure white flowering form, just as prolific as the type plant. Variegatum Album is also white-flowered, but with white variegated foliage. It is a little less vigorous.
► Ah, “Ipomée indica”!
It is impossible not to describe it, even if it is reserved for regions where the temperature does not drop below – 7 ° C! What a joy to welcome this marvel, with its beautiful heart-shaped foliage, animated by large blue flowers from the beginning of summer until the beginning of December. It is also found under the name ofIpomea learii. It is a large, sublime vine that blooms in large cups that last only a day, replaced the next morning. It can reach 15, even 20 meters long if not more, especially if you let it lay down, which it does even in places where earth is scarce … Gable, facade, tree, ground cover in sun, install it where there is plenty of room! In summer, its stems can grow up to 1 meter in a day, both on the ground and on any medium it crosses. You have understood it, you have to adopt it for its beauty, but you have to watch it, because it is invasive. Its foliage roasts at the first frost, so it is time to cut it back: this drastic pruning is not only aesthetic but necessary to curb it.
Naturally, Ipomoea indica comes in many forms. The botanist Patrick Blanc (the inventor of plant walls), interested in this genre, named them after his favorite singers! “Édith Piaf” is sky blue, with a mauve pink heart. “Zarah Leander”, the most common, deep blue, with a light pink heart, turns purple in the evening. Because the flowers change color over the hours. “Betty Mars”, with its sharp flower lobes resembles a clematis. Mauve blue, streaked with bright pink, with pale green tips, it comes from seeds collected by a botanical garden. It may be a hybrid between Ipomoea indica and Ipomoea nil.
► When the ipomea gives the temperature
To guess the outside temperature before stepping outside, climb the Zarah Leander, near your window. Its deep blue flowers turn purple at sunset, before falling the next morning. But in early October, when morning temperatures drop to 14 ° C, these corollas take on a clear purplish tone. At 10 ° C, they are purple with pink edges. And when the temperature is 8 ° C or less, they are downright Indian pink. Their size decreases with the drop in temperatures to arrive at the end of the season at a quarter of their original size. I am describing the one that has enchanted me for 15 years. I don’t know how the flowers of Edith Piaf or Betty Mars evolve over the days, months.
Right now, every week, in all regions, flower festivals of plants with passionate nurserymen, while some open their garden. Visiting them at an exhibition or at home means discovering their universe, understanding their work while hunting for classic or surprising plants. With the list of your desires and a large basket, don’t forget your sanitary pass, and a mask. Here is a mini-selection.
October 16 and 17, Flor’Automnale, in the Jardin de la Levrette, in Yvignac-la-tour, in the Côtes-d’Armor. Exhibitors await you in the intimate corners of this attractive landscape artist’s garden.
October 17,Pot garden, to pottery In the sandstone of time, specializing in frost-resistant stoneware. Two perennial nurseries will be present for this open day.
44 Route de Prétot Lithaire, 50 250 Montsenelle
October 16, 17, 23, 24, 30, 31.The time of saxifrage. Open house at the nursery Under a perched tree. Magnificent collections of saxifrage and hydrangeas.
29650 Guerlesquin www.sousunarbreperche.fr
October 30 and 31. The Botanicals of Varengeville-sur-Mer. Town Hall Square from 9 am on Saturday and Sunday until nightfall, in a friendly, festive and musical atmosphere. Two days of sharing, knowledge of experts and enthusiasts of botany and the landscape around thirty exhibitors. And possibility of visiting exceptional gardens. Contact [email protected]
See you next week: I’ll tell you about some plants with exceptional fall foliage.