The Ivy LeagueWritten by Jason Canon
Parthenocissus tricuspidata is commonly known as Boston Ivy, Cottage Ivy, or Japanese Ivy. It covers exterior walls of a number of prestigious northeastern universities and is probably responsible for term “Ivy League.” Boston Ivy is a deciduous, self-clinging vine with large (to 4-8 inches) glossy leaves. The color of leaves changes with season starting with light green in spring, dark green in summer, and peach to scarlet crimson in fall.
The Boston Ivy vine has tendrils that have 5 to 8 branches, each of which ends with an adhesive-like tip. It secretes calcium carbonate, which serves as an adhesive and gives it ability to attach itself to a wall without requiring any additional support. It can be easy to confuse this plant with evergreen English Ivy, which clings much tighter to a surface. Boston Ivy will grow along ground but vine loves to climb brick or stone walls of buildings. A north or east wall works best. It can get spread 30-60 feet and is one of fastest growing vines. Other than buildings, it will also climb tree trunks, arbors, trellises or retaining walls. In addition to growing it on walls you can use Boston Ivy for screening or camouflage. It is a tough vine that tolerates urban settings, is salt tolerant, and easily handles most conditions including shade and drought. This fast-growing vine is hardy from USDA Zones 4 to 10 but does best in climates with cool summer nights.
Growing Geraniums Indoors Or OutdoorsWritten by Lee Dobbins
The geranium has long been a favorite plant for both garden beds and containers. This common geranium is actually a member of genus Pelargonium while wild geranium is a member of genus Geranium. Both look great in gardens! Both wild and common geraniums are suited for outdoor living, but Regal or Martha Washington geranium is best kept in containers indoors.
Geraniums can be grown in planters on porch, patio or garden. The ivy type geraniums are great for hanging baskets and window boxes. Make sure you use a container that is big enough for plant or it will wilt (you may need to replant to prevent wilting as plant grows). Use a soil that has enough aeration – either a commercial made mix or garden soil mixed with peat moss or perlite. Plant in a spot that is protected from strong wind and gets 6 hours sun a day. Make sure you water it frequently but do not let it sit in water.