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Gardening with Mike: Late Blooming Vines

We New Englanders love our bleeding heart perennials that reliably bloom in the late spring each year. But have you ever seen a tropical bleeding heart vine? I keep mine in the sunroom from about October 15 through May 15, and then move it outside in the warmer months.  It’s a very showy vine, with flowers that begin as you see here, white with small interior red flowers:

Tropical Bleeding Heart vines


After the red flower drops, the larger white flower gradually turns pink and hardens, like a Chinese lantern, staying on the vine for as long as four months!

*TIP* Rootings are easy to do: just cut a small stem off the vine, dust a little rotenone on it and stick it in soil.

Another perennial favorite in the Bay State garden is clematis, which comes in many color varieties. Once they are established, clematis vines provide extraordinary beauty in places that might otherwise go bare. In my garden, I planted a number of varieties around trellises and fences, which provide the kind of support that these delicate vines need.  In late spring, they are usually in full bloom. Here are some of my favorites:


Artic Queen (and a lone Jackmannii)

Arctic Queen_Clematis

Will Goodwin

Will Goodwin_Clematis

Dr. Ruppel

Dr Rupple_Clematis

The President 

The President_Clematis

  Multi-Blue (which looks like a different color in this sunny photo)


Multi Blue_Clematis

 For more of my gardening photos, check out my Instagram feed (@michaelefesta).  I’d love to see your gardens, too! Share them on our Facebook Page and we may use one for our cover photo.

 Thanks to intern Catherine Kenney for help with this blog!

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