A Muelenbeckia Screen

Last month I planted this Muehlenbeckia axillaris in some planters, with some wire topiary frames, in my back yard.

These planters have been sitting empty in my torn up yard for a long time. They've actually acquired a nice patina. The frames were similarly lying around and are pretty bent out of shape but I think once grown in that will be undetectable. 

There is a large arched shrub of Muelenbeckia in a yard in Mill Valley that I have long admired, which was the impetus for the rest of this project -the wire scaffold on the concrete wall. But before I get into that, let me just say that this vine just like crazy, which is why I love it doubly so!

That concrete wall. Boy, has it been a source of gardeners frustration for me. First of all, as I've stated before, this wall is very high -like about 13 feet or so. Because most of the wall is concrete, noise bounces around in here -it really needs a vine to absorb sound. 

Since moving into my house almost ten years ago, I've been working at growing a creeping fig here, with varying degrees of success. Sometimes it wasn't growing because it was too dry, and other times it would grow and I'd get pretty encouraged, only to have it detach itself in large patches from the wall later. 

Because Muelenbeckia requires a scaffold of some sort, I set up this very rudimentary framework of wire concrete mesh. My system is devised solely to avoid having to drill into the concrete. I attached it to the wooden fence above and secured it at the bottom with a wedge driven into the ground. 

First, I screwed some cedar lengths into the boards. Then, I attached the frame with some fence staples. I picked up the frames from Discount Builders, here in the city. I'm sure this stuff is available from all big boxers. They were about 8 bucks each, far cheaper than chicken wire, which was my original plan.

I ripped out the creeping vine which had an alarmingly extensive root system for a plant that didn't thrive. I was initially going to try to transplant but good lord this turned into an incredible hack job. It was all I could do to not destroy the boxwood in front trying to get those roots out. 

I tilled some additional top soil and planted 7 new wire vines. I re-lay the soaker hose. These things are going to go wild, I just know it.

Until the vines grow in, I quite like the rusted grid. I am still deciding what to do about the wall around the corner. It may get the same treatment. First, I need to address building a fence around the hot tub heater and pump which sit in the other corner of that wall against the shed (ugly!).

Peace and Love.

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