Showy and delicious, plant this edible flowering vine for late summer color
Choose an annual or perennial flowering vine to add color to your late summer and early fall gardens. Some will bloom right up until frost.
Nasturtiums are annual edible flowers that bloom with bright yellow, orange and red colored flowers. They'll provide a beautiful show in late summer and will keep blooming until frost. As an added bonus, you can even toss a few tasty petals in salads and soups.
Other annual flowers, like the Cypress vine or "cardinal climber," start from a little plant that grows up and vines around fences or trellises. This time of year, Cypress vine explodes with small, brilliantly red flowers. This one will keep flowering right till frost.
If you're looking for perennial flowering vines, clematis blooms profusely this time of year. One downside of certain types of clematis, though, is that they can grow a bit too aggressively in the garden and landscape.
An alternative native is the clematis virginiana, or Virgin's Bower. This one looks similar to that late-summer, early-autumn flowering clematis but doesn't spread by underground roots or seeds. And the bees and butterflies still love it.
Some of the smaller, flowered clematis vines, like Pink Mink grow with smaller flowers that tend to flower longer, well into late summer and even into fall.
A question on sourcing spinach for a French recipe
Q: I have a French recipe that recommends Samos spinach, which doesn't seem to be available in Vermont. Do you have an alternative to recommend? And if so, is the spinach better cultivated or bought in the spring? - Dennis, in Ferrisburgh
A: Samos is a European spinach variety with a dark green color and crinkled leaf. If you can't source it here, try another crinkled leaf variety like Winter Bloomsdale or Hammerhead.
You could source those seeds locally and plant them now in a sunny spot with a row cover over them to keep them nice and warm. They should germinate fast and you could at least some baby spinach leaves in the next month or so.
Otherwise, plant them in spring!
All Things Gardening is powered by you, our audience! Send us your toughest conundrums and join the fun. Submit your written question via email, or better yet, leave a voicemail with your gardening question so we can use your voice on the air! Call Vermont Public at 1-800-639-2192.
Listen to All Things Gardening Sunday mornings at 9:35 a.m., and subscribe to the podcast to listen any time.