Veranda living! Mediterranean Climbers
Grapevine & Wisteria. The perfect pair!
There is no better place to be in a spring afternoon than in a porch looking south. Sun warms you up and the light extends through the day to frame a garden (a landscape or a field) in continuous movement, in full growth.
Undoubtedly the Mediterranean climate encourages outdoor living during much of the year and often these spaces, between house and garden, are intermingled to take you from one place to another, trapping you between smells, colors and textures.
The perfect place: the porch. And if we add company, aperitif all watered with wine, then from now on it is pure magic.
But going into detail, a simple and robust pergola facing south has the ability to offer beautiful evenings in winter and spring, but requires protection during the summer months to screen the scorching sun.
An austere but high-impact solution, and with history in the Mediterranean, is the mix of two mediterranean climbers: grapevine and wisteria.
Both have leaves that show up late in spring, allowing the winter sun fill the porch until the temperatures begin to rise.
Then, both begin to develop a generous mass of leaves creating a dense layer of insulation that keeps the house cool in summer, while the different green leaves enliven the porch and brighten the eye.
Wisteria has long racemes of scented flowers in spring that usually repeat in summer. In autumn, the leaves turn into a gold, while the grapevine reaches its reds, slightly rusty color. The grapes from the vine ripen visibly throughout the day, and soon will add flavor.
Deciduous plants have the magic to add value to the seasons, to alert the new coming and throw the leaf in autumn to remind you that the cold winter arrives. In winter a pergola well pruned, although empty, is beautiful and it promises expectantly another lush spring.
Of course, the question can be why these and not other climbers. The options multiply as we search, and doubt takes over and we wonder what is the best option. Climbing roses, jasmine, bougainvillea, to name a few that also will appear in your search as many other beautiful and dazzling species in your local nurseries. But, few will show such a good mix, impact and interest, these lovers mingle, live together, are hardy and vigorous and endure as not many others. Now true is, both need annual pruning, essential to have as much flowers and delicious fruit as possible, and a structure for robust and strong support as the wisteria can turn into a hanging tree. The results are worth the effort.
Feature image: Copyright @ Okinawa Soba (Rob) at Flickr Referencias: Mediterranean Garden: A Model of Good Living. Louisa Jones. 2013. ED. Blooming Books
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