A few months ago I planted some Jasmine beesianum (I’ll call her Jasbee for short) near one of the the wooden trellises with the hope of having her “delicate pink trumpets and a heavenly scent” (oh the come-hither descriptions of plant packaging blurb!) complement the deep purple of summer delphiniums, Cosse Violette climbing beans and their pale, maize-yellow cousins, the Neckargolders. As the Jasmine plant was a wee one, I didn’t provide any support for her, just into the ground with lots of compost and good drainage, and off we go.
Some weeks later: fantastic growth spurts. Look how Jasbee had seemed to work out her own system of self-support with no help from me or anyone else. This consists of three or four stems winding themselves around each other, and creating a strong, banded together reinforcement by which to hoist herself a foot or two closer towards the sky.
Cleverly, this should also allow her at some point to hit a supportive branch or another taller plant through which she might be helped upwards.
Today, I see that these braided stems are starting to droop and fall back to the ground. Unattached, self-support systems it seems can only get us so far, both in the plant world and outside it. For a climber like Jasbee this is not a catastrophe, as I have no doubt that even without me and my garden wire, she would trail around in the dirt for a while until horizontally, as opposed to vertically, she’s able to reach the Aquilegia, delphiniums, and bean trellis growing close by.
Less so for us.