After the grapes that covered our shade structure died, we wanted to plant a hardy flowering vine. I considered Lady Banks rose, which generally thrives in the Southwest garden, but I’d just lost one to leaf-cutter bees that autumn.
I recalled a vine that climbs a brick storefront that I pass on the way to the office every day. The local nursery also had a display of this same climber, Texas crossvine, covering a shaded sitting area. It looked just the thing!
I picked up three young plants in gallon containers. While I was planting them, the neighbor from down the street was fixing my next-door-neighbor’s roof, and he asked me what I was planting. He was inspired and picked up three for his own gate arbor.
In a sunny location, his gate arbor provided a spot for quick growth and heavy bloom.
My crossvines have grown more slowly, but now, five years after I planted them, they cover the side of the structure and about a third of the top. This spring, the blooms are gorgeous!
Most of the literature says that they bloom March-May, but here in the desert, we get repeat blooms during the summer rainy season and early fall. This is a plant worth having in the desert garden!