Look for Wisteria, Wind Chimes and Windmills

Look for Wisteria, Wind Chimes and Windmills

Beyond cascading ferns and trellised ivy, a world of vertical beauty exists just out the back door.

Listening to the high fluting around your neighborhood on a breezy summery day will confirm the popularity of wind chimes. While most chimes are metallic and look something like individual pipe organ stacks, some people are choosing chimes made from natural materials. In setting up a garden for children, Cynthia Brown educational horticulturist for Green Spring Gardens Park in Annandale, decided to include a large interactive set of bamboo wind chimes. “[With this garden] you’re involving all different senses,” said Brown, “but what we were missing was sound. The other day when it was windy ... it was making lots of noise.”

WISTERIA BRIDGES THE WORLD of flower baskets and traditional ivies. The beautiful usually purple flowered vine that can grow to heights exceeding 25 feet seems ideally suited for trellised arbors, but care must be taken.

“Wisteria needs a huge trellis,” said Tim Guy of Merrifield Garden Center in Merrifield (with an additional store in Fair Oaks). “Wisteria is a massive vine; if you put up a regular plywood arbor in a few years the wisteria will break it. You put wisteria on 4x4’s or 6x6’s.”

What makes wisteria particularly attractive is that provides refuge and a nesting area for many birds. Mary Cole of Sam’s Farm nursery in Falls Church agrees that their wisteria has “birds' nests all over it.”

Birds themselves are for many the most rewarding part of a vertical garden.