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How to Grow a Decorative Climbing Display

Few flower and vegetable combinations could be more eye-catching than this mix of exotic purple blooms and orange squashes.
Excerpted from Simple Steps: Vegetable Gardening

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Flower and Vegetable Combinations Climb Together

Highlights:

Step 1: Get the Basics

The vigorous growth of squashes is perfect for training up a fence and provides an interesting contrast to the delicate foliage of the climbing passion flower and cup-and-saucer plants. All of these plants flourish in summer heat, so will perform best in warmer areas with a long growing season.

Border basics
Size 6x6 feet
Suits Vegetable or ornamental garden with a fence or trellis as a backdrop
Soil Fertile, moist, but well-drained
Site Border in front of fence or trellis in full sun

Step 2: Buy the Plants

1 x squash 'Uchiki Kuri' or 'Jack Be Little' (image 1)
1 x passion flower (Passiflora caerulea) (image 2)
1 x cup-and-saucer plant (Cobaea scandens) (image 3)
Squash 'Uchiki Kuri'

Alternative squash: Squash 'Jack Be Little' (image 4)

Step 3: Maintain Your Plants

Sow squash and cup-and-saucer plant seeds under cover in mid-spring, in either a warm room or a heated propagator. Passion flowers are readily available as plants and will persist as perennial climbers in warm gardens. Attach wires or trellis to a bare fence, so the climbing plants can be tied in or use their own tendrils for support.

After the last frost date, plant the young plants about 12 inches away from the base of the fence, about 18 inches apart, and water them well. Tie the stems to the supports when they are long enough, after which the passion flower and cup-and-saucer plant should find their own way, while the squash may need further tying in. Water the squashes regularly once fruits have formed.

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Excerpted from Simple Steps: Vegetable Gardening

© Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

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