Monday, October 28, 2013

Red Jade Dilemma

Red Jade in full bloom three years ago.
Nature has not been kind to our two beautiful Red Jade vines.

The storms of last year toppled the structures where they were growing, breaking tender branches that would normally bear the beautiful, pendulous clusters of red flowers.

It is inevitable though that these structures will eventually crumble. After all they're just made of bamboos, which rot easily especially in a place where it's wet much of the year and humid all year round.

As a temporary solution, and creatively as well, my father decided to use the main trunks of living plants as posts for the arbors.

As you see from the picture on the right and below, one arbor is now supported by the trunks of three live palm trees on one side. On the other side are three sturdy logs serving as legs of the bamboo latticework.

This particular vine used to hang above the ruins of a long gone gazebo. A storm from last year flattened the bamboo pergola and damaged the plant, breaking most of its branches. Good thing it still survived.

Now it has a new and better home, just on the opposite side of where it used to climb. In a few months it will become lush and hopefully around this month next year it will start to bloom.

And if one vine is not enough, there are two new young Red Jades getting trained to climb into another arbor. One of the young vines is shown in the picture on the left and the other vine is seen on the right side of the picture above.

This new arbor is made of cable wires. These weaving tangle of wires are supported by three mahogany trees. For a storm to bring down this cable arbor, it needs to be strong enough to topple at least one of these trees. But then again, exactly three years ago, a powerful storm did manage to bring down a mighty Narra tree nearby (see picture above or below).

Installing the trellis made of cable wire.

The finished cable wire arbor/trellis.

These structures are just temporary, especially the one with the bamboo top. My wish, budget permitting, is to replace them with sturdier structures like the metal pergola across the pond.

I've been going back and forth, not sure whether to call these structures "arbor" or "pergola". While writing this article I was watching a replay episode of "Yard Crashers" on HGTV and like the host knew my dilemma, he said "if it's a passthrough it's an arbor, if it's a larger structure it's a pergola. There you go! These are pergolas!