simple is beautiful

A Little Vine With My Cottage

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


 It never fails.  Whenever we are in the front yard working, someone will stop in front of our house.  First they slow down.  Then they come to a complete stop.  Next they roll the window down.  Mr. and I just look at each other because we know what comes next.  "Excuse me, do you mind if I ask you what kind of vine that is growing over your front door?"  Some have even gone so far as to jump out of their car and run up to have a closer look.  We don't mind.  We actually like that it has caught the attention of many passers-by.


 The vine is a Clematis Armandii.  It is an evergreen, which is unusual for a clematis, and it flowers white.  Blooms appear in March.  They are so fragrant and are a nice welcome.


Hubs and I planted this vine 10 or so years ago and never once regretted it.  To encourage it to grow up the wall, we attached it to the house with poultry nails.  Poultry nails are u-shaped nails that are pointed on each end.  The nails have long since grown into the plant and have completely disappeared now.  We also secured the vine onto the fascia board just under the gutters with the same nails.  This quick grower covered our entrance in no time.

The only downside is that the aphids love it.  The flowers secrete a sweet sap that attracts aphids.  Every year I blast those disgusting little critters with the hose.  I have even sprayed them with bug spray which I really don't like to do.  I once read that a soapy solution would work.  Tried that too, but the little creeps continued to hang around feasting on our sweet vine. 

The upside is that lady bugs love to eat aphids.  For that reason, we always see lots of lady bugs on our front porch.  Lady bugs make me smile for two reasons.  They are just about the cutest bug there ever was AND they eat aphids.  This year, I am going to go to my local garden center and buy a bag of lady bugs.



That's right.  Together with my army of lady bugs, we are going to wage war on the pesky little uninvited, leaf eating, mess making, varmints.  Don't worry.  I will take lots of pictures when this happens.  Should prove to be a very satisfying day.

Aphids, when I unleash my girls, you'd better watch out, ha!

By the way, if you see one of these, please don't hurt it.  It's only lady bug larvae.  No, they aren't as cute as the lady bugs they eventually become, but we still like them.

Lady Bug Larvae, harmless

I live in zone 7 and this clematis is recommended for zones 7-9.  To read more about the vine go here.


19 comments:

  1. The clemantis is beautiful! I love the way you have it attached to your entry way! Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  2. My kids love Eric Carle's The Grouchy Ladybug- your story made me think of it! What a pretty vine!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I LOVE the vine growing your your door! I wanted to do that so badly,but it didn't work out with the design of our entryway. How funny that we both posted about our white clematis today!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Your vine is beautiful and I had no idea that there was an evergreen clematis! I have one of the non evergreen varieties and love the pretty purple blooms. I hope your lady bugs go to town on those pesky aphids!

    Kat :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love the evergreen clematis too and you've found the perfect spot for it!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Rene, that vine is gorgeous. I love greenery growing on a house. My husband doesn't want it on ours. He said it will ruin the stucco and it is hard to maintain.

    ReplyDelete
  7. It really looks amazing, such unusual leaves! A great inspiration - and love your blog :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. These pictures were just what I needed today! We have a foot of snow on the ground...I would love to have blooming flowers!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I had no idea there were evergreen clematis. Yours is gorgeous! No wonder people stop and ask what it is!
    Cass

    ReplyDelete
  10. Your vine is absolutely lovely. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Your clematis looks fabulous. I love clematis.

    ~ Tracy

    ReplyDelete
  12. The timing of this post is just perfect ~ for the past two years I've wanted to plant a flowering vine above our garage. I need to read up on this one and see if it will survive here in Connecticut.

    Thanks for reading my thoughts :)

    Jo

    ReplyDelete
  13. The clematis is nice, but I'm sitting here still REELING from the knowledge that you can buy a bag of ladybugs. WHO KNEW?

    ReplyDelete
  14. It's so pretty that I can almost smell it. Last year I planted a fragrant viburnum {by the front door}. This post makes me all the more excited for it to bloom. Thanks for sharing! Lisa

    ReplyDelete
  15. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Lucky you in a place so good for plants and ladybugs! I'm in Zone 4 and the ladybugs are all climbing on the inside of windows, eager for warm weather outside. Last year I planted a Sweet Autumn clematis and I hope my new clematis looks half as good as your lovely vine.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Love your blog. I don't think I've been here before, but I will most definitely be back!
    Off now to look for this clematis and to see if it might be happy in Southern California. I have a spot along my porch that needs something just like this. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thanks for posting the zone and link for your vine. I will be checking it out. We have aphids problems on our Crepe Myrtle and our garden supply store recommends a pre-emergent treat. It worked very well and we have been aphid free for two years. If you are interested let me know I will send along the name.

    ReplyDelete
  19. In a teeny tiny way, I am disappointed to announce that aphids never appeared on my vine. They have, however, been popping up in other areas. I really wanted to try the ladybug trick.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks so much for stopping by! I love your comments and read each and every one. Your questions will be answered here or you can email me at rene.cottageandvine@gmail.com

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
DESIGNED BY ECLAIR DESIGNS