First shoots of the purple passion flower vine (Passiflora incarnata) pop up anywhere except where they’re supposed to. A steel obelisk stands above where the vine was planted, but the first sign of the passion flower in late spring is eight feet away, growing through gaps in the stone patio. These are plucked out, and then the vine appears growing in a clump of toad lily, and then through a bed of salvias where it is found twining up into the branches on ‘Eternal Fragrance’ daphne.
The strays are pulled, since it is nonsensical to grow a vine without support in the middle of a patio. Just when I wonder if perhaps the crown has died and the passion flower will not grow, here it is. This game is played every spring, though occasionally the first growth does not appear until summer. Once the vine begins to grow in this correct spot it quickly twines up through the metal support, and suckers from the wide spreading roots no longer grow. By the start of August the vine will reach to the roof of the pavilion, where it will trail along on a wire cable for another ten feet before the end of summer.
The yellow passion flower (Passiflora lutea) grows dependably from its crown, but it is mischievous in its own way. This vine was planted so that it climbs up and through a large Oakleaf hydrangea, and as its purple cousin is just getting started in mid June, the yellow flowered vine is already through the hydrangea and into the overhanging ‘Okame’ cherry. The fast growing vine is not substantial enough to injure the tree or shrub.
With increase growth this spring, it’s possible that the small flowers will be abundant enough to be seen from the patio across the pond as it was intended.