Managing virginia creeper

Bugger. It’s raining. Well not the thrilling downpour. Just the sort of rain that you know is going to last four minutes. And make you think carefully over your morning and try and locate (in your mind) all the tools left out in the garden.

There is a kneeler pad in among the beans in the potager. That’s not the end of the world if it gets wet. There is a favourite small fork somewhere out there. It will turn up.

But the last job before lunch. Lawn mowing.  Those four minutes will be the amount of time it is going to take for me to plod all the way over to the duck pond to retrieve it.

And my favourite new garden gloves. I need to get the mower under cover in case I am wrong about the four-minute bit. And everyone knows that good garden gloves must never be left out and neglected.

Back in a mo.


Turns out I wasn’t wrong. Pathetic amount of moisture. But the mower is safely back in the stables. And with it being 99 per cent humidity I have lost the will to mow anyway.

My gloves are safely stored in my pocket.

So I will hide inside glaring at the sky and shove some pictures of my potting shed in your direction.

When the shed was built, in 2011, I always knew it would have to be camouflaged. The clear perspex roof is great early in the season, but it just gets too hot in there from July. And it looks revolting.

So I went out and bought three Virginia creeper plants. A big investment of £6 from a supermarket. £2 each. I didn’t even think they would take as they were such spindly little critters.

Well look at them now. Doing their job brilliantly.

It’s a shame my camera isn’t doing the same. The chief fault is that the inside of the shed is a tip. And I’m not making the time to tidy it before showing you the design feature of this creeper.

Sorry about that.

But the best bit is that I don’t even have to prune this creeper at all.  I’m farming it.

I want it to cover the entire shed so that in summer it is a cool soothing space. The plants don’t come into leaf until late May. So I’ve done all my seed sowing and potting on and pricking out by the time interior gets green and gloomy.

I reckon I am about one third of the way there.

But the best bit is now the tendrils are heading indoors. Result!

I don’t know if they will survive when I eventually have to shut all the windows and keep the winter out.  But for now I’m excited to see the indoor gardening effect.

And when I look out this particular window I’m not confronted with the half-finished project of the compost bins. Rather I get to enjoy seeing this fantastic creeper up close and fighting to get in.

If you are contemplating using such a vigorous climber do consider the maintenance. Or in the case of this little potting shed – the utter lack of care and pruning.