Please do what you can to get one of these in your garden. You will not be disappointed. Today’s image is the archway in the structure that divides across our garden. This structure, It is neither fence nor trellis, acts as a support for Clematis montana ‘Mayleen’. Mayleen is as fragrant and as vibrant as her name suggests and is vigorous to boot! She grows a total length of 20 metres, has been there for many years and has even been fully removed and laid across the grass while the ‘structure’ was repaired and repainted. Twice! As worthy as she is, Mayleen is not the plant I have chosen to extol today. That honour goes to the plant on the left of the archway. Actinidium kolomitka or ornamental kiwi is not an easy plant to grow in our climate being only marginally hardy. Actinidium kolomitka can suffer badly from late frosts and look a bit tatty as a result but when the weather and conditions suit it this is the truly splendid result. Light green leaves are followed by white tips and pink flushes giving this spectacular tricolor effect. This one is trained and tied to self support and has taken 12 years at least to get like this. It is best grown on soil that is not too wet but does not dry out and against a warm west facing brick wall.
A slight negative is that it exudes something which attracts cats. It sends them wild. They are intoxicated by it, literally and have been known to lie beneath it flat out on their backs dreamily looking up at the clouds and to all intents and purposes under the influence.
In other news we have a hedgehog. He or she has not been seen as yet but underneath our bamboo, next to an old decayed stump is a large pile of leaf litter which I did not make and which snores gently during the day time. I am excited by this. Becky, our daughter rescued one that had obviously been used for paintball practice and on account of the colourful splodge still adorning his bristles we named him Bluto as we set him free in our garden. That was three years ago and he/she has not been seen since.