Sunday 17 April 2011: Chocolate vine
We planted this chocolate vine in a warm corner of our patio several years ago. Despite being slightly tender, with flowers which are prone to damage from late frosts, it has thrived and is now heading towards the roof of the house , along with the wisteria. This year both will need to be severely pruned after flowering!!
We originally planted it because it flowers at around the time of Pete's birthday. The maroon-chocolate flowers look almost artificial, with three thick, waxy 'petals' forming an inverted cup shape. These are clustered along the stems and have an exotic spicy fragrance with a hint of vanilla. When we came back this afternoon, the sun was shining through the vivid new foliage and making a wonderful colour contrast which I just had to capture.
Once again, a busy day. The afternoon was spent with the Huntingdonshire Flora and Fauna Society recording wildlife in a private woodland. There was a bumper turnout, with over 30 naturalists all doing their thing! And great excitement this morning - the first ever emperor moth turned up in the moth trap. You can see her photograph here.