Creeping wire vine
POLYGONACEAE, The Knotweed family
I’ve been making container plantings at work. This delicate creeping wire vine is the cutest thing to trail over the side of a pot, especially a nice frost-proof stoneware pot with good drainage holes. A Seattle based business started by a Southeast Asian family imports them from Indonesia, Vietnam and China where they have kilns and buyers. They came in to the store with lumps of clay to tell us all about how they are made, and the history of pottery. One planter is dark brown stoneware, glazed a deep grayish green. It’s round and shallow with a flat bottom. It is planted with the Creeping wire vine with its black stems and glossy little leaves, a silvery Capo Blanco sedum, pale green Semperviren (Hen and chicks), Platt’s Black Brass Buttons, and Blue carpet sedum. The soil is topped off with a layer of decorative pebbles.
There is also a miniature wire vine, Muehlenbeckia axillaris ‘Nana’. Verrry cute. It grows just 2 inches tall and creeps 18 to 36 inches. It is native to New Zealand. Its insignificant yellowish flowers are followed by tiny fruits. It needs well-drained soil in full sun to partial shade. It can be mowed or trimmed into shapes. I used this one in a baked brown stoneware pot with low curved feet. Its theme is small cute brown/reddish things. Besides the tiny evergreen wire vine, it has a small leaved sedum specked with red, dark red hen and chicks and Uncinia uncinata ‘Rubra’. That’s a clumping, mahogany-leaved sedge relative hardy to zone 8 that grows 18 inches tall. It needs regular water, well-drained soil and full sun. It does very well in containers.
Another wire vine, size large, is Muehlenbeckia complexa, Mattress vine or Wire vine. It can grow 20 to 30 feet. Now I’m fantasizing about all these in a Gorey-esque garden, featuring Corokia cotoneaster, like a giant ballpoint pen scribble. Would that be insane? A garden of a drawing? DÃ¼rer’s hatching comes alive in Cotoneaster apiculatus…