As I see the Caper bushes tumbling out of the Alcudia wall I remember just how easy they are to grow. Propegation has been just a matter of a snippet, preferably with a heel, pop it in some moist soil until it takes root. At this time of year it is in full bloom with fresh flowers every day, they only last a day and often wilt in the full sunshine but the delicate white flower with its many shimmering stamens is really worth while and any long stem will have dozens of flower buds. Now here is your great dilema, do you want to see the flowers or harvest Capers?
Capers are usually prepared in brine or vinegar and preserved in this way as a garnish for several dishes but the actual Caper is in fact the flower bud not as expected of most plants, the fruit after the flower. So as I have just said, it is your choice, enjoy the flower after the bud has opened or pick off the flower buds before they open. There are those who enjoy their Capers as tight little buds whilst others harvest them just a little bit bigger. No matter what, this is an easy plant to grow, it needs quite a lot of space because it produces very long growing spurs and be warned, they do have spikes along their length. They don't need much water once established, in fact if you can imagine where they tumble out of the dry stones of the Alcudia city walls where there is no water at all for months on end, then they must be regarded as a very hardy shrub that does wonderfully well in our climate. It also needs to be ruthlessly cut right back to the trunk at the end of every growing season if you want it in the garden but that is best thought about another time. At the moment its just time to enjoy the garden.
Let's take a look now at all those climbing plants that are in full flower and in some cases wonder why on earth we allowed them into the garden where they take over and strangle everything else that grows in their way.
We will start with Morning Glory, its really a wild climbing plant that can be found entangled in trees, up telegraph poles even along the ground. Now is when you may be asking yourself, did I really want that invasive plant in my garden?. This is one of the plants that has miles long growth that will run along the garden or anywhere until it finds where it wants to grow up. This is where you must be really drastic and pull one up before it starts climbing. Mind, once it gets to where it wants to be, and if you want it there it can be a real pictire full of its bright blue trumpet like flowers. It is really up to you just how much of it you want in your garden. This is only one of several climbers that can be really invasive whether you have planted them yourself or they have simply climbed in over the garden wall.
Bignonia seems to pop up where it wants. It needs support and will look lovely on a pergola with its hanging bunches of pink flowers and can be trained easier than some other climbing plants and well cut back after the leaves fall in the autumn means you can keep it where you want it.
Passion Flower can be another uninvited climbing plant, although it has a really interesting flower and even fruit if you want, some how or other it can appear on every wall of the garden and here again, it finds its way up into the trees and hedges. Just keep pulling up the new growth as you find it if you really don't want quite so many Passion Flowers.
Honeysuckle is another truely invasive monster making a lot of wood and sending shoots up all over the place. It can be forgiven when the evening fragrances of its flowers fill the air but here again , think twice before you invite it into your garden.
Mind if you have enough space , these 'intrusions' can add colour and fragrances and fill in more than just the odd corner of a mature garden and never seem to need watering even in this climate. Lets face it, easy growing plants are what some of us are looking for, why make more work when some of these climbers and vine type growth really do look after themselves and right now are all in full flower filling those odd corners with colour..
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