The vines are conspiring to swallow up my garden: Grape, bind, Clematis, Creeper, Hops, Dutchman’s. Out of all of them the bindweed is the worst (notice I didn’t even give it the honor of a capital B).
The best behaved is, believe it or not, Virginia Creeper, sticking to the chain link fence and not sashaying over to any trees or shrubs. The perennial star is of course, Coral Honeysuckle.
The slowest growing, but surely worth the wait if I can keep a clear area, Hydrangea Firefly.
Then there is annual Grandpa Ott’s Morning Glory that grows with abandon, reseeding itself everywhere.
And poor, poor Cardinal patiently waiting in “step land” along with a few others, to be planted. (I recently toured a garden that had a low wall of plants still waiting to be planted and I felt much better about my little step land).
Newly added this year Passion Flower, Gloriosa Lily and Corkscrew who is sporting buds (trying to contain myself!).
But I have to step back a minute as the realization dawns, when did I become such a vine addict? I remotely remember in some dark corner file of my mind, “vines bridge the gap between the mid layer of the forest and the canopy completing a layered habitat” or some thought similar. I associate vines with birds and I love the birds. (I also love this song “I Like Birds” by the Eels.)
I remember finding a small bird’s nest in clematis Comtesse de bouchaud when cutting it down one spring for regrowth. It is still running wild. And handsome Dutchman’s Pipe seems to be suffering this year. I would love to transplant him to the front porch.
Clematis Rooguchie is also running rampant among Bee Balm and Ninebark. Seems he prefers to ramble among the plants and not on the fence.
Clematis Claire de Lune has taken off this year and has also outrun her support.
Bindweed has plans to make me blue. The devil has wound its way up my Blue Spruce. The Grapevine is not far behind I see.
I will PAVE a path into this jungle so that I can keep the vines trimmed if that’s what it takes. My new strategy is to make a path with these 2 inch thick stepping stones. That old path of the nice river rocks? Not a trace of it left.
I know a man ain’t supposed to cry, but I fear I may. I’ve made so many mistakes. That bindweed? Oh, in my naive days I thought it was “wild morning glory.” It came bound with my Blue Spruce – irresponsible nursery I say. I have never been back to purchase from there. I actually “saved” it to grow on the then chain link fence. I remember writing on this blog how I would rather have bindweed than an ugly, bare chain link fence! Well, we all have our regrets. Another mistake; behold the Wall of Grapes on its second surge after being brutally cut back. Wouldn’t Dutchman’s Pipe be beautiful here instead? How I wish I could “plant it back.”
Admittingly, however, I love the grapes in winter (not that I’ll be here – ha!) with their cinnamon colored bark and deep, dark berries (if uneaten) drying on the vine. Plus when they flower the whole porch smells like fresh grape juice, kind of a nice feature. Forgiven.
Did I know that Trumpet Vine suckers before I planted it to grow along the rustic arbor? I am not sure but I am not one afraid to make mistakes, obviously. I am sure I would have planted it anyway because I find it so tropical and lush for such a cold, harsh climate. It seems almost a miracle. It is suckering of course, up through the garlic, the raised beds, and on. I still have the dream of it becoming an aged, living arbor kind of magic form in the garden. I may even lose my garage to Clematis Virginiana and Hops, if I believe half of what I see. The Clematis actually toppled earlier in the season but she is still loaded with blooms. I have to think metal support soon.
I still have grand plans for my favorite contractor to build a pergola across the garage above the door to support the Hops. Right now it is growing on parachute line strung up to the roof of the garage. The Hops is also loaded with blooms.
All these vines and this vertical stairway to heaven transport me. I often have visitors to my garden exclaim that it feels like we’re not even in the village – a very welcome compliment! It’s this surround sound of vine and bird that lose you in my garden. I can’t imagine not growing these lush ladders full of life.
Losin’ you would end my life you see, ’cause you mean that much to me … I heard it through the Grapevine.