The Brief Tale Of My Chocolate Vine
I mentioned it yesterday, but given it's colourful addition to our life, I think it deserves to have its story told. So, in honour of the "beginning" of spring, I bring you the tale of Akebia-Quinata.
The spring after we moved into our house, we created a Resting Arbor in the backyard. Our deck is up to the second story, which gives us a full story underneath the deck. You will see some people use this space for storage. We call those people "nasty." Because it just looks trashy to have gas cans, old folding chairs and lawn supplies piled willy-nilly under a full story deck. But maybe that's just me. Moving on...
We hung a porch swing and built a lattice wall for a climbing vine. (And by "we", I mean "Tim".) I has always intended to plant honeysuckle there but we were at Lowe's one day and saw these little bitty purple flowers on a plant. The plastic Plant Identification Tongue said we were looking at "Chocolate Vine akebia quinata". It met our light requirements for the growing area. It had purple flowers that smelled like chocoloate. They drew bats, which I love. Bats eat mosquitos. Okay, right there I was sold. But the little vine was teeny tiny. So we bought three. When we got them home and planted them they looked even teeny tinier. So Tim went to the store and bought two more. We crossed our fingers in hopes that they would grow.
Then Quinn dug one up. Repeatedly. We kept finding poor little Mr. Akebia in various places throughout the yard, with his roots attached. Tim faithfully replanted the thing, but we didn't think we'd have any luck. They hung in there. The one day at work when I was bored I looked it up on the internet. It seems that while Lowe's called the plants by their more inviting English name--you have to admit that Chocolate Vine sounds rather enticing--the purple flower has another name. Japanese Kudzu. Yes.
WE CANNOT STOP THESE VINES. At least six times a summer Tim has to cut the vines back hard, or they completely surround our deck chair and work their tendrils INTO THE GRILL. Fire doesn't kill them. Nothing kills the Akebia. It's beautiful, but unstoppable. Good thing we planted extra.
If any of you would like your own unstoppable (and hard to find in stores) Chocolate Vine, I'm sure that I can supply you with a cutting very easily. But I warn you, it's like the government. It grows at an ungodly pace and gets its tendrils into everything.