With Valentine's Day fast approaching, our floral designers are fluttering around with excitement and picking out the most interesting cut options for the plethera of flower love about to go out the doors. Amidst the frenzy there has been a newcomer to the floral equation that we are pretty excited about - Hardenbergia. It is a species of flowering plant in the pea family native to southern Australia, and sometimes called purple coral pea, false sarsaparilla or Happy Wanderer (my favorite name). This vigorous evergreen climber has dark, strong green leaves and groupings of smaller seductive flowers that are normally purple but can have shades of white to pink.
As a garden plant, the Hardenbergia prefers full sun and can tolerate a part shade but will not bloom as well in that light scenario. In warmer climates, free of frost, it can be grown in well drained soil. As it is a vine, it will take off running, climbing up walls and fences forming thick tufts towards the top of its incline leaving the bottom a little leggy as it does not get as much light. To keep it under control it will take regular prunings after flowering.
The architecture of the stem lends itself to creating a lot of movement in a floral arrangement, dancing from side to side and pulling ones eye around the bouquets composition. Try using this Happy Wanderer as a way to stretch the arrangment out and create motion. It is sweet and sexy, complex in form and yet simple at the same time, which makes Happy Wanderer quite the perfect name.
For more great ideas, be sure to look through Tara Heibel's Plant Of The Week slideshow below.
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