Saturday, September 29, 2007

Little Surprises

I thought I would talk about good ideas for Christmas gifts this morning, then found this surprise in my garden. The little yellow flower is Thunbergia alata, aka Black-Eyed Susan Vine. I had tried for two or three years when I first moved here to grow this vine and had no luck-then all of sudden-three years later this appears! It is growing on a 4x4 pole along with Dolichos lablab, aka Hyacinth Bean. Hyacinth beans grow quite well here and you can find these vines all around town, I know Pedigos Antiques on Madison street has a fine stand growing on a chain link fence. I have not seen too many black-eyed susan vines but I am sure they grow well here too. I like the combination of the yellow and pinkish purple and love surprises from Mother Nature! How about you?

in the garden....


  1. Oh my goodness, I think you just identified a plant of mine! I think I have a Hyacinth bean! I don’t go technical so I use the aka term…. I found this vine climbing on a post at the Beachhaven Winery one day after a sipping of the juice and purchase. I plucked a few of the beans and brought them back to GA with me!

    I misplaced them for two years then found them this past fall. I put them in the freezer for the winter then pulled the pods apart and planted each bean in cups and sat in a warm sunny place in our sunroom. I was so happy when they popped up! I planted them in a huge pot with a trellis secured in with cement and drainage holes. (idea from HGTV show) I was so upset to find damage from the late frost during Easter weekend when we were at the Saints family home in VA… But those things must be hardy as two survived in the pot. They climb and bloom a pretty little sweet pea looking pink bloom then produce these purple bean pods! I bet it is the same vine! Sandy gave me your email so I will send you a picture to see if it is indeed the vine! Gee, I hope I can remember what all pictures I promised to send you….

    The Black-Eyed Susan vine is neat and I may have to attempt that one too. We have a chain link fence between us and the neighbors and they put a wood fence along my garden view to hide their pile of scrap (he is a small appliance installer so he keeps the old stuff until he has enough to send to the recycler. His wife was afraid their pile of scrap metal was ugly to us so they put up the fence) anyway, I would love to plant a vine on the fence to accent the area a bit….

  2. Yes, you do have a hyacinth bean vine and Beachhaven has quite a stand of hyacinth beans. I have noticed them every year. They will normally self seed and return each year with no trouble. I am glad I could help identify the vine.

    The aka term is plenty good enough for me and since most people prefer to use common names versus the scientific names; I always try to note them both in case someone is looking up a special plant.

  3. I cannot believe I finally know the name of the Vine! And you have seen the actual Vine where mine was produced! I am sooooo excited about this! I took some of the bean pods back to Clarksville to my dad so he can plant some next year! He gave us a sapling of a cypress tree that came up from his cypress. So we trade things back and forth! I am thinking of taking him a butterfly bush from my garden as I have a small stray one coming up. They are drought tolerant and he needs more of that in his yard. Nothing to do but sit back and enjoy the blooms all summer long!