July 14, 2020

Hearts and Kisses

Polygonum orientale - Kiss-Me-Over-the-Garden-Gate

Janine Pineo Photo | Polygonum orientale - Kiss-Me-Over-the-Garden-Gate

THE WEEKEND EDITION (So big it covers two days)

Few plants are as romantic as Kiss-Me-Over-the-Garden-Gate, Polygonum orientale. The descriptive name of this towering annual is understandable once one has stood next to a planting of it. The arching stems can reach 6 feet even in a Maine summer and are covered with drooping beadlike flowers in a rich pink – the ladyfingers of one common name. And those are all set above the heart-shaped leaves. A planting of this near a gate would, indeed, create a romantic bower. Records of this plant in America date back to 1737, when one John Custis planted it in Williamsburg, Virginia.