Puff Vine Love

Puffy Vine Love may be more original than anything else, but if you prefer a more natural effect, it grows easily from seed and adds an authentic Victorian look to the garden.
Fluffy Vine Love is a real old-fashioned plant that is fun to grow, even if it’s not an heirloom plant, because of its fluffy, swollen seed pods, each of which contains a number of distinctive seeds – each with a tiny beige heart, hence the name. Of course, it’s not for everyone, as it can look overgrown or too random for many. But I love it because I’ve seen it grow so well in the urns in the centre of the Hudson Valley Manor herb garden and on the lattice in a friend’s garden. You just have to be prepared for its crazy growth, which is kind of elegant, and know that people grow this plant not because it has nondescript little white flowers, but because of its seed capsules, and its overall effect- the tangle of stems and leaves, which looks attractive in the right setting.

Love in the Puff Vine is perhaps the greatest name of all vines. It gets its name from the seeds, each of which has a tiny white heart on its black surface. However, the seed capsules appear first, like inflatable lanterns, and that may be the most attractive part.
Cardiospermum can be beautiful in the right environment. But don’t forget to grow it for its flowers, which are so small as to be almost unnoticeable; it’s the inflated seed capsules that make it visible, as does the casual elegance of the stems.
The pots of vines placed side by side are also attractive. Each year I lay out several walks and paths around the garden or leading to the greenhouse where potted vines are planted on bamboo tents. I’m allowed to grow many vines in a small space, and I know I can cut down on any vines that are too unruly. In the pots the flowers are brought up to eye level, but I have to say that I am more and more attracted to the foliage than to the flowers.

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