Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Keep it cool - a Virginia creeper tunnel

My favourite way to start the day : cats - cup of tea - blog.
The room I worked from , used to be very hot, with the sun streaming into it all day- and I just wanted to share the super simple way I created an awning which has made it into such a lovely and cool room to work from.
You can see the greenery  at the other side of the window at the top , in the picture below.

This is red-leaved vine or Virginia creeper that becomes a blaze of red in autumn.

Really handy for super simple table decorations, by the way.

I first grew the Virginia creeper against the house itself.But I wanted the room to be pleasant to be in, and not sweltering hot in summer.
So I came up with the idea to grow the Virginia creeper and the Wisteria that is growing from the other end of the house, to form a tunnel over the path next to the house.
I was really inspired by Rosemary Verey 's laburnum tunnel- and the way the flowers all hang down vertically. So decorative !

Instead of an expensive fabric awning- the Wisteria and the Virginia Creeper now create  a green and natural awning together - that is around when you need it most ( in summer ) and absent when you don't need it ( in winter ).
This is how I did this :
I put three heavy duty screws in the wall of the little shed  and attached three very thick wires  to the screws  .

The shed is in a straight angle to the house by the way. I then strung the wires
( which are  with  about a foot  distance between each other )paralel to the house, and attached them all the way at the end of the house to a tree.
I then first took the tendrils of the Wisteria at the one end and started to weave the long strands up and down the wires, at a straight angle. I did the same with the Virginia Creeper at the other end.

Here you can see the way it has been woven up and down- a view from inside.


The Wisteria has these long strands of flowers which then hang down vertically which eventually will give you a flower covered tunnel in early Spring .

Here is a detail.

You can see the awning , because of the wires, sticks away from the house..
The Wisteria gives the flowers in Spring, and the Virginia Creeper colours the whole area bright red on Autumn, as  they are now interwoven with each other. So a two- season tunnel with a bit of ingenuity!

Lovely and cool! even keeps you dry when it rains :-)
So now for more relaxing indoors...

Have a great rest of the week !

linking to

 wassup wednesdays
Bromeliad's July Inspiration party
Tablescape Thursday
Centsational girls 's garden party


Mariette VandenMunckhof-Vedder said...

Dearest Bea,

What a super smart and Eco-Friendly way to cool your home! Here we could not do that in this climate as the wisteria would take over and cover the house. We had a pillar that humongous that we had to take it down. The wisteria had already suffocated the tree it was growing up on. So with a dead tree standing as a tall pillar I invisioned poor Pieter riding his lawn mower and being crushed by it... but yours looks so lovely. I LOVE those long trusses of flowers and the fragrance!
Your cats are super smart; they know how to spot the coziest 'sitting areas' in the house!

Lots of love,


Samantha said...

Gorgeous. Love Wisteria and the Laburnum is inspiring.

Sanghamitra Bhattacherjee(Mukherjee) said...

This is so gorgeous! What a beautiful way to keep your home cool! The Eco-Friendly style is the best!
I love your creative, so unique!
Hope to see you on my blog:)

Anita @ GoingALittleCoastal said...

That is so pretty. I'm sure it smells wonderful too. And the wire is sturdy enough to hold up the thick vines.

virginiacreeper said...

Wow, I love it.... Do u still keep it this was all these years later (2014)?