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Trumpet Vines – Spectacular Flowering Plants For A Mediterranean Landscape Garden - by Jonathan Yaakobi

The name “Trumpet Vine” is used for a number of climbing plants, landscape shrubs and small trees that possess prominent yellow and orange toned flowers whose shape resembles that of a flared trumpet bell. They belong to the Bignoniaceae botanical family, and although mostly of sub-tropical origin, can be grown on a tight water budget, and are hardy to light frosts. Trumpet vines are therefore ideally suited to Mediterranean and dry climate gardens.

 

As landscaping bushes, Trumpet vines form a loose screen, sporting colorful blooms intermittently through the year. They tend to have a similar leaf shape and fine to medium texture in common. Most are species, hybrids or varieties of the genus Tecoma, once known variously as Stenolobium and Tecomaria.

 

For example, Yellow Trumpet, Tecoma stans, if pruned once or twice a year, can be maintained at a height of 3-4 meters. If left untouched, it will form into a small tree. Best results are obtained in this regard though, following careful pruning and shaping. Cape Honeysuckle, Tecoma capensis, is somewhat more vine like in growth habit and so must be regularly pruned to maintain a bushy form. Excessive pruning however will deplete the plant of its attractive orange blooms.

 

Different species and varieties can be combined to effect a variation on a theme, always a good strategy for creating a unified but stimulating plant composition. For instance, the cultivar, “Golden Jubilee”, seemingly a hybrid between the Yellow Trumpet and Cape Honeysuckle, is almost identical in form and leaf texture as Tecoma stans, but grows spectacular orange flowers instead of yellow.

 

Another plant variously named “Trumpet Vine” or “Trumpet Creeper” is the rampant climber, Campsis radicans. While the shrub species mentioned, function as screens or informal hedges, Trumpet Creeper, as a self-clinging vine, can be allowed to climb up and cover a wall. No one who has seen this plant in the glory of its full bloom, (reddish-orange flowers) can remain indifferent. Campsis though, is very aggressive and it is best to avoid planting it next to the house, but rather on a freestanding wall instead.

 

<B>Other combinations and associations</B>

 

When choosing a plant or as in the case of Trumpet vines, a group of similar plants, it is always necessary to consider how they work with the rest of the plants in the garden. Trumpet bushes combine well for instance with a number of shrubs from the legume family. Senna corymbosa, with its yellow blooms, is a case in point as the leaf shape and texture are so similar to those of the Trumpet vines.

 

When choosing herbaceous material, whether annual or perennial, thought should be given to colors that either contrast well with the orange and yellow hues of the Trumpet vines, or blend in comfortably with them. In this respect, flowers like Bidens and Eschscolzia, with their respective yellow and orange colors complement subtly the dominant motif established by the different varieties of Trumpet vine.



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Jonathan Ya'akobi

Your Personal Gardening Coach
 



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