Useful Vines

Vining plants are a useful commodity and gift from nature. They can be utilized for several different projects, from making wreaths and other artful decorations to more utilitarian uses such as making cordage for rope or even weaving them into bowls and containers for carrying and storage.

I have two vining species that grow in my yard in the village. I’ve been fighting a well established and aggressive Virginia creeper for many years, as it makes valiant attempts each summer to completely take over my deck and even climbs up the side of my home. It attach to anything it can find, and seems to grow a foot or two a day during the warm summer months, weaving its way in and out of the trellis and deck rails and making it more difficult to remove. It is supposed to flower and develop fruit but mine never has.

Last year I started pulling the vines in the springtime before leaf development when it is easier to pull, and discovered that the vines make great wreaths.

The other vine that grows in my yard is a wild grape vine. It did not seem to be too adventive for the first six or seven years I have lived in this home, but last year the vine really took off and choked out a hedge in my back yard. I decided to pull it all off the hedge the other day and let it start over, mainly because it has never produced any fruit. It may need to be relocated. I decided to turn the grape vines into wreaths for now, although this may be just a good way to store the vines until I find time to work them into something more useful.

I cannot get over how amazingly innovative and intelligent the grape vine is. It develops little tendrils that wrap around other plants and even itself in order to grow and support the weight of the vine. These tendrils are absolute works of art.

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