- Author: Aysha Huerta
Isn't it amazing how you can pass by something on a daily basis and never pay any attention to it but then once you do, all of a sudden you start to see that thing everywhere? That's my relationship with Happy Wanderer (Hardenbergia violacea). This beautiful flowering vine caught my attention at the Nut Tree playground. You can also see it growing along many busy streets and the walls of buildings all around Vacaville. Happy Wanderer blooms in late winter-early spring and they are such a welcome pop of color, almost a teaser that spring is near. Up close the tiny flowers have an Alice in Wonderland feel to them like they could burst into song at any moment which just adds to their whimsical charm.
The Happy Wanderer (also known as Coral Pea or Australian Sarsaparilla) is an evergreen vine with beautiful leathery, oblong leaves and tiny flowers in different shades of purple, white or pink. It's zone 9 hardy, prefers partial shade, is drought tolerant and grows well in clay soil, all things that lend to it thriving here in Vacaville. These plants are wonderful climbers that are known for growing up to 20 feet and are absolutely gorgeous grown over archways. I'm so happy to have finally opened my eyes and stopped to smell the flowers, literally and figuratively.