Extra Opportunity: Onwards And Upwards


Every summer my neighbour’s mile-a-minute creeper scales fifteen feet of wall, gallops across the top and heads for this lamp-post where it continues enthusiastically onwards and upwards. I’ve noticed that plants generally seem to like going up, rather than sideways, even when there’s little competition and plenty of light. I watch it with fascination and wonder how much higher it would grow if it had the chance; if I planted a bit at the foot of a radio mast or an electricity pylon, would it go on and on skywards, like Jack’s beanstalk? There must be records for such things. Apparently a giant wisteria in Sierra Madre, California has already engulfed one house and is encroaching rapidly on another, so this russian vine is no more than a garden weed in comparison.

You can see why they say it’s no plant for a patio, but I love what it does to the lamp-post.