Monday, July 6, 2009


Here are a few glimpses at the local vines--Wisteria, Virginia Creeper , and a couple of Poison Ivy. I do cut back some of the wisteria as it will completely overtake a full size oak or maple, essentially killing it off within a few years. I've also had to repeatedly cut back a mischievous wisteria that snakes around the power transformer on the pole across the street. For too many years during the summer, I'd hear a loud explosion as the pole breakers blew and the neighborhood blacked out.

Interspersed below are snippets from Vines and How to Grow Them.

"As I look over some of the fine country places, I cannot but think how neglected are the vines. These estates usually have lovely, rolling lawns, beautiful shrubbery borders, and many other prominent features; but the only point where you will find any vines is on the side of a building or on the pergola, if, perchance, there is one. How it would relieve these long stretches of lawn to see a rock jutting up somewhere, with a vine or two clambering over it; or even the stump of a tree, with some vines planted around it!"

"Why allow these long, almost endless shrubbery borders to have nothing in them but trees and shrubs? Pick out a corner somewhere and turn it into a "rangle-tangle." To make this take two or three dozen ordinary bean poles and put them in the ground about two feet apart. They should not be equidistant, however, nor should the poles be all of the same height. Make the arrangement appear rough, plant some vines at the base of the poles, and in the course of a couple of years you cannot but be pleased with the result."

"Another place where vines can be used to great advantage is in the event of a tree dying in a very conspicuous place. Do not chop it down, but remove some of the soil at the base of the tree, replace it with fresh loam, and plant a few vines. The vines produce a very pretty and interesting effect growing in this manner."

McCollom, William C. Vines and How to Grow Them. New York, 1911. 4-5. Web. Google Book Search. 4 Jul 2009.

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