I have a few arbors in the garden that have been screaming for their time to shine on the blog. Literally-they are saying look at me! My time to shine! Today we'll talk about the gigantic PVC arbor I built as an entryway into the vegetable garden. I built this PVC arbor from 6" PVC pipe several years ago. It is about 10 wide at the base and about 16-17 feet tall at its peak. I pieced together PVC parts to make it all work to form a large arbor and glued the parts together with construction adhesive. I couldn't get that stuff off from my hands for days. It is really really strong glue. Prior to putting the arbor together I painted the white PVC with a deep green color using the Fusion spray paint made for plastics. Once the arbor was in place I secured chicken wire to the arbor so the vines would have a place to cling to as they grew up the arbor. It has been about five years since I built the arbor and the vines are finally providing me with a show.
The left side of the arbor (south side) has a 'Tangerine Beauty' crossvine (Bignonia capreolata) growing on it. The north side has a 'Pride of Augusta' (Gelsemium sempervirens). Both vines bloom at the same time. One side is orange and the other is yellow. I highlighted the yellow side in my vegetable garden post from last Wednesday. Today is the crossvine's (orange) time to shine.
Crossvine is a cousin to the vigorous trumpet creeper we see blooming all along the fencerows in Tennessee during the summer. Crossvine is purported to be less aggressive. I cannot vouch for that because I do not grow the trumpet creeper, but I can say the crossvine is a very manageable vine that can grow in the shade or sun. Bloom will be much less in the shade however. My vine grows on the northern side of mature oak trees and is somewhat shaded. It does get some sun but probably not as much as it would like. Nonetheless it blooms wonderfully every year.
Can you see the chicken wire attached to the arbor? I do have to do some training of the vines to ensure they are growing up and around the pillars but once the vines have a solid structure I should have to only trim errant stems. I need a ladder to reach to the top of this arbor so training and trimming is not something I do often.
And finally here you can see the complete arbor in its glorious context. This arbor is a big presence in my garden and I really like it not only for its presence but for the fact I can grow up-a nice luxury when I run out of room on the ground....
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