Thursday, 1 October 2015

Object of desire: Campsis Indian Summer

I've been eyeing up Campsis Indian Summer ever since it turned up in a garden catalogue marked "new". Also known as Trumpet Vine, logically enough. But I was having problems relating to how it would look (and what it would need) in the real world.

My walk to the university library takes me up some smart urban streets that step up steeply from the Cowley Road (takeaways, hipsters, cocktail bars, supermarkets and restaurants of every nationality) with houses that shade from grimey HMOs at the bottom to challenging millionaire conversions at the top.

In between, the gardens get showy, and spill out their riches into the street; and look, there's a Campsis. Here teamed with a velvety purple Clematis, for maximum complimentary colour-pop.

Campsis and Clematis

This tells me two things about Campsis (apart from the obvious, i.e. the flowers are the exact right size for your Action Man to cosplay Angel Gabriel with). It grows fast, if it likes the conditions; and it'll break through fences looking for the sun. It also wants shelter (RHS recommends a 13ft south-facing wall, to which I have to say ah-hahahahahaha) and takes a few years to establish and start flowering (aw precious).

I also catch a hint that it may only flower some years. The clue's in the name. But for those years, what a plant. I might not team with purple, though; it's a gorgeous combination, but a bit too colour-wheel perfect for my taste. Maybe Morning Yellow instead.

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