When we travel I make my family endure as many garden visits as I think I can get away with. They act like I am tedious, but I know they enjoy it. This trip, I drug them to the Mendocino Coast Botanical Garden. The con was made easier due in main part to the existence a CowLicks Creamery outpost at the garden (we had discovered the joy of their ice-cream the night before – I died for the spiced lavender honey flavor and the spumoni).
Wandering around a corner in the garden I was introduced to Purple Bell Vine (Rhodochiton atrosanguineum). An upended tree’s roots had been left rather than cleared and the vine was gracefully growing over the whole mess. It was gasp-worthy and now I want to have a go at growing it in my own garden.
Thankfully it is an annual that is purported to be easily grown from seed. I found seeds at Swallowtail Gardens and I also found small plants at Annies Annuals (who call it a tender perennial). Who has grown this?….is it worth 3.49$ for 10 seeds (I know it is worth it if they grow like the one in my pictures, but I am curious about success rates from seed to get a good-sized healthy plant in New England)? Will I be able to be grow something as stunning as I saw in Mendocino in one season in Massachusetts? Looking forward to hearing from those of you who know a bit more about this plant. – R
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