I love Clematis, of course, and other perennial vines, but there’s something about tall annual vines I find fascinating and quite brilliant. They start as teeny tiny seeds, full of mind blowing genetic material, and when planted in spring explode in growth to achieve staggering heights. Annual vines I’ve grown include scarlet runner bean, morning glory, purple Hyacinth bean and, last year, Cup and Saucer Vine – Cobaea scandens. It’s native to Mexico, where they are pollinated by bats, and can reach 30 – 40 feet (around 10 metres). In my northern growing season they topped out at about 12 feet (3.5 metres) before an October frost stopped them in their tracks. Here was their journey in my garden.
This vine does not get covered with flowers – you don’t gasp at the sight of masses of flowers like you do with Clematis and the individual blooms are much smaller than morning glory. I never noticed it attracting pollinators. But it was a new-to-me vine and I’m glad I grew it. This year I’m looking for a different annual vine to try – perhaps Cardinal Climber – Ipomoea × multifida. The flowers and foliage both look great and, apparently, it produces a lot of nectar for hummingbird- which I DO have here.