Lots of folks ask about the ‘plant covering the middle arch’ and this is it. Madeira Vine (Anredera cordifolia).
We put a Madeira one in last year because it ticked all the boxes for a very useful plant.
Madeira Vine is a vigorous climber that could provide Summer shade, needs little looking after, and it also produces lots of flowers for the Bees and other insects that help us take care of the garden. It also provides heaps of greens for the chickens.
It’s a relative of the popular Malabar Spinach (Basella rubra and B. alba) and the whole plant is apparently edible but we’ve only tried the leaves and young stems. The warty aerial tubers and underground rhizomes are yet to be tasted here.
There is one drawback though. Turn your back on it for a day and it’s climbed the nearest tree and started smothering it. It climbed our 5 metre Almond tree so quickly while I was keeping its foray into the Sicilian Nectarine and Elder Tree in check. Before I knew it, it was weighing down branches and bending them.
One possible positive from this is that we got more Almonds than in previous years. Maybe it hid them from the birds?
I’m going to knock it right back in Winter and maybe relocate it. It’s definitely a keeper though, it can provide for all of us and the neighbours if times get tougher. Then there’s the biomass factor – it’ll provide enough for my planned methane gas generator.