Friday, February 12, 2010

Lilac Vine on Blue Wall .. Hardenbergia violacea


Are you in the neighborhood?  If you're planning to visit, I generally describe my home in reference to the blue wall surrounding the front patio. Drop by today and you'll see the 'Happy Wanderer' or lilac vine scrambling over the corner of the wall by the driveway. The plant was well-established when I moved into the house a decade ago:
And since I've been 'in charge,' it is rarely given a drink during the Bay Area's 6-month dry period.  While the garden I created outside the french doors at the rear of the house is hand-watered, the plants in front must be able to withstand benign neglect!

When this early bloomer is making a spectacle of itself,
I'm reminded why I pulled up roots and moved West.
The long months of ice and snow were taking their toll in more ways than one.
Today, I'm grateful for the rain,
and for the exuberance of this drought-tolerant, carefree evergreen climber:
An Australian native that tolerates temperatures as 
low as 15 to 20 degrees fahrenheit, especially with a bit of protection (like a wall).

I'll soon be launching a new web site:
Alice's Garden Travel Buzz
Very excited about this project, however daunting it is to undertake!


  1. What a fantastic color combination! I love your blue wall, and the lilac vine is gorgeous. And lucky you, you don't have to travel anywhere to see it!

  2. I love Hardenbergia, it looks so lovely here when little else is making a show in spring. I haven't tried growing it here at this house...not sure if the deer would leave it alone, but I would love to try growing some up the side of the shed inside the deer fence.

    Good luck with your new website!!!

  3. Yes! I love Hardenbergia, one of the non-natives I've invited into the garden and intend to keep. Just wish I could capture that color on camera, tricky tricky.

    How exciting, a new website! Have fun, I'm sure you'll do very well. I've been so impressed by your stellar ascent on Blotanical ;->

  4. How lucky you are. I would love to describe my house as the one with the lilac growing over the blue wall. Instead, I describe the beige house with the black shutters. Not nearly as beautiful!

  5. Hello Alice,

    This too is one of my favorite vines. I keep adding more of them...I am up to six now and they are also in full bloom. I am looking forward to the unveiling of your new website :^)

  6. Hi Deb
    It's my garden, so I'll sigh if I want to.... (to the tune of, ya know)!
    I love to see this display each year, the way it brightens rainy days.

    Interesting that you mention deer. It's one of the few plants that I grow outside the 'walls' / fences of my garden. It's quite common here, but I'm not sure if they like it. I would think they'd find it tasty, but often Australian plants are not their favorites. Cheers, and thanks for good wishes, Alice

  7. Alice We might have to make you an honorary Australian citizen after this post. good one
    cheers Ian

  8. Alice, So this is what is blooming now in February!? Sigh indeed! I love the bold color of the wall! Your Lilac Vine makes a stunning show with the cerulean blue! I may have the color wrong... but here is wishing you a great launch and much success to your new blog! Carol

  9. It is a nice climber, and with pink flowers as such, it really create a deep contrast against the blue wall. Very beautiful indeed ~bangchik

  10. Dear Alice, This is certainly a 'wish for' climber which I have never come across before and which, clearly, is doing spectacularly well with you.

    I do love the 'chic' blue you have painted the wall; it reminds me so much of the Mediterranean, all blue skies and a chilled white wine on the terrace. Perfect.

  11. Your blue wall is wonderful...I want to see more of it! gail

  12. So...can I take this as a personal invitation to see this blue and purple combo? Okay - I'll be over in a few minutes....get the coffee going!

    Gorgeous combination, Alice. I love this vine! Though I've killed two of them in my own garden so have given up for now. But every time I see them blooming I have a little voice in my head saying 'third time's a charm'.....

  13. Alice:
    What a wonderful climber. How I wish I was in the area, we could traipse through the gardens, and I could learn first hand of their creation. A new website? Congratulations. Can't wait to see the finished results! Stay happy and healthy!

  14. Love sharing my garden with fellow Blotanists! Thanks to all for leaving a comment. (Trying to log onto Blotanical to connect w/ everyone, but it must be on overload on Saturday A.M.)

    Coffee is always on for you. Isn't your microclimate more temperate than mine? Do you know why they died? Just curious... Alice

  15. This is a fantastic colour combination... makes a change from all of our blogging pictures of the snow everywhere... looks a bit warmer with you! Have a good weekend - Miranda

  16. Love the blue wall! And thanks for the introduction to Hardenbergia. Interesting that it seems to be deer-resistant...yet another reason we Californians should start learning more about Australian plants.

  17. Hi Alice

    Breathtakingly beautiful plant. I'm utterly jealous of your California weather right now. It's frost all the way here at the moment.

    Good luck with Alice's Garden Travel Buzz.


  18. i am completely envious of your blue wall! it is awesome and what a fabulous backdrop to your gorgeous lilacs.
    congrats on your new website too! looking forward to stopping by :)

  19. Great colour combo. That blue is a favourite in the garden – I have a dead shrub I've been wanting to paint that particular shade of blue, when I'm not changing my mind about the colour.

    Hardenbergia sounds almost like a garden curse, akin to "tough beans!" "Can't grow that stunning lilac vine? Hardenbergia!" Hardenbergia to me, up here in the chilly antipodes!

  20. Yes those vine's go crazy... but they are gorgeous!