As soon as I knew that an illustration would be the centerpiece of the header for the redesigned Gardening Gone Wild, the first person that came to mind was Steve Asbell. I had become a big fan of both his illustrations and writing. Working with Steve was a pleasure. He was responsive to my suggestions and persisted until he got it right. The passiflora he created is magnificent – and it has a feeling of magic to it. – Fran Sorin
Steve says: What plant do you think best sums up the name ‘Gardening Gone Wild’? My own answer hit me square in the nose one day when Fran informed me that I couldn’t draw a Gloriosa lily for the header because it was too exotic. Brainstorming for a native and temperate alternative, I came up with what I believe is one of America’s most beautiful natives: Passiflora incarnata, AKA the Maypop vine.
Those of you who have ever grown a Maypop vine will nod knowingly when I say that you don’t own a passionflower so much as it owns you. The Passiflora incarnata vine starts off as an innocuous potted plant or self sown seedling, but by the end of summer its tendrils and runners run rampant over nearby shrubs and flowerbeds with the kind of fervor that only hedge clippers and a horde of caterpillars can contain. You’ll rue the day you planted that passionflower vine.