Monday, August 20, 2012

Porcelain Berry

A genus of deciduous vines that are related to Grapes. They are mostly known for attractive foliage as well as the berries that are produced in climates with hot summers. These plants should NOT be used be used in the humid mid-Atlantic and southeast U.S. where they may turn into noxious weeds and take over natural habitat. They are far less vigorous in Canada, New England and the Pacific Northwest...seeds typically do not ripen and germinate where the growing seasons are shorter.

Ampelopsis aconitifolia ( Monkshood Vine )
A very fast growing vine, reaching up to 40 feet high, that is native to northern China. Some records include: fastest growth rate - 17 feet.
The fine-textured, pinnate or palmate leaves are up to 5 inches across.
The tiny flowers are followed by yellow to orange berries.
Hardy zones 2b to 8 in full sun to partial shade on fertile, well drained soil.

Ampelopsis arborea ( Peppervine )
A very fast growing, tendril-climbing vine, reaching up to 30 feet, that is native to eastern North America ( from Missouri to southwest Ohio to Maryland; south to Mexico to southern Florida ).
The ferny bipinnate leaves are composed of deeply-toothed or lobed, pointed leaflets. The foliage is luxuriant deep green, turning to orange or red during autumn.
Hardy zones 7 to 9 in full sun to partial shade on just about any fertile soil. It is drought tolerant and also sand or wet soils.

* photos taken on June 30 2013 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC

Ampelopsis brevipedunculata ( Porcelain Berry )
A vigorous, tendril-climbing, twining, woody vine, reaching a maximum height of 66 feet. Porcelain Berry is native to eastern Russia, China, Korea and Japan. Some records include: fastest growth rate - 20 feet. It has potential to become an invasive weed in much of the eastern U.S. and either should not be used in some areas or replaced with the cultivar 'Elegans'
The 3 to 5 lobed, heart-shaped leaves, up to 6 x 5 inches in size, are smooth, deep green.
The tiny, pale green flowers are borne during late summer.
They are followed by small bright blue berries up to 0.3 inches wide. Plants can bear fruit as early as the second year in growth.
Hardy zones 3 to 8 in full sun to partial shade on fertile, well drained soil.

* photo taken on Aug 3 2014 @ National Zoo, Washington, DC

* photo taken on Aug 15 2014 at Maryland Zoo, Baltimore, MD

Much slower growing and controllable, with attractive variegated foliage. Prefers moist soil and partial shade. Cut back hard every 2 years.

* photo taken on Aug 3 2012 in Bayfield, Ontario

* photo taken on Oct 26 2017 in Columbia, MD

Ampelopsis cordata ( Heartleaf Peppervine )
A fast growing vine, reaching up to 8 x 23 feet in 10 years if growing on a fence. Some records include: growth rate - 4 feet. It is native to the southeastern U.S. ( from north-central Kansas to southeast Nebraska to central Illinois to southern Ohio to central Maryland; south to central Texas to northwest Florida to central South Carolina ).
Hardy zones 5 to 8, it is partially hardy as far north as Ottawa, Ontario where it grows as a herbaceous perennial.


Ampelopsis megalophylla
A very vigorous vine with huge double-pinnate leaves, up to 24 x 30 inches, composed of leaflets up to 6 x 2.5 inches. The foliage is glossy deep green. The fall color is often very attractive.
The fruits are glossy and purplish-black.
This western China native is hardy zones 5 to 8.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Model Homes - Ellicott City3 & 4

Model Homes - Ellicott City3

These are 2 Spruces that anchor a lot in Ellicott City, Maryland that are extremely large for their kind in Maryland. The Norway Spruce is one of the largest in the state. The only larger Spruce I've ever seen in Maryland is in fact an Oriental Spruce and not a Norway. Blue Spruces tend to prefer cooler climates so the one in the photo is also an exceptional tree for the Baltimore area. So on this landscape renovation project I worked with the home owner to preserve and show off these trees that they are very happy to have on their lot. With little care other than a yearly cleaning out of old shaded out stems and a weekly or biweekly deep watering during summer drought, these Spruces will likely last decades and even centuries to come. The natural needle mulch was left in place. It keeps the soil cool and moist and adds to the health of these trees. Studies show that trees with no turf on their roots often grow double or more the rate of trees that do.
I always enjoy preserving unique and historic plants on projects I work on. These Spruces required alot of climbing and alot of time as I selectively thinned out the canopies to enhance their natural effect. This has been one of my favorite projects this year. Hope you enjoy these photos.

Before - June 2010

After - July 2010 ( Lawn was just treated permanently for Grubs with Milky Spore but would have to wait for cooler autumn weather to be seeded to repair grub damage - see spring 2011 pics for results )

Apr 5 2011 - My special order Texas White Redbuds finally came in

* limbed up, feathered and fertilized, these spectacular Spruces dominate the neighborhood. They look even better now with a renovated lawn treated with Milky Spore to permanently and safely eradicate grubs.

* front bed looks sparse now because I cut back and fertilized the fall installed Pocomoke ( dwarf ) Crape Myrtles, Hameln Pennisetums and Blue Ice Amsonias. They will be back with a vengeance!

* the main event mulch and new plant beds comes next week! Stay tuned

* photos taken on August 12 2011

* photos taken on May 3 2012 in Ellicott City, MD

* photos taken on June 8 2012
* photos taken on July 30 2012
Model Homes - Ellicott City 4 * Before photos taken on Sep 3 2012
* After photos taken on Sep 15 2012
* photos taken on Sep 25 2012