I really liked my Fiveleaf Chocolate Akebia vine (Akebia quinata) at first. The purple popcorn-looking flowers are nice, and it fills in great on the arbor where I have three other climbers (Dutchman’s Pipe, honeysuckle, and clematis). They supposedly smell of chocolate, but you’d have to be really close and expecting it in order to find it.
But then it had to go rogue. It isn’t taking over the arbor (that’s the Dutchman’s Pipe job), but it has runners and runs along the ground along our fence, and, presumably, into our neighbor’s yard.
They’re easy to wrangle up, these rope-y thin strands. And strong. And vigorous – in a summer they can easily grow 20-25 feet long. A couple years back I collected them and made wreaths out of them. After a winter of drying, I wrapped them with Christmas lights and made two “chandeliers” for the shed. Because my shed deserves chandeliers.
I made a couple more this year so far. It’s really not much more work than reeling in an extension cord. Not sure what I’ll do with the two I have now, but there’s yards and yards of them out there right now and I think my next project with them will be to make a sphere. Adding a few lights to a ball of vines and I’ll find a place for it to hang.
So as the Akebia vine has grown, and become a plant from which I can harvest wreaths, I’ve grown to like it more.