May 21 – Vines

I love vines. My husband does not.
If I could have my way, my home – a nearly 70-year-old Cape (brick, as they are in this region…but I can overlook that) – would look more like the painting hanging in my living room. The art is from my grandparent’s home – I have loved it since I was a little girl – it hung over their living room couch and I could get lost in it. It features an old cottage from some New England town, probably from the turn of the century, judging by the clothing on the pedestrians. The scene shows a rainy day – not my usualy favorite, but this charming old house is dripping with vines. I just want to move right in and be surrounded by a cottage garden – it is so romantic. I’ve tried to figure out who the painter might have been; it is not an original, shows a copyright so I figured I would be able to research it. The signature looks like, "A. Thienne" – unfortunately, Google has been no help. For some reason, my memory says the painting depicts Gloucester, MA. Not sure where that didbit came from, but I can run with it for the purpose of loving the scene.
So, while I will never be able to adorn my roof and outside walls with Wisteria (or any structurally invasive vine), I can enjoy this painting. And, I will try to slip in a few vines where allowed. Here is what I do have and what will be added:
  • Clematis – three varieties were planted to wrap my lamppost (another romantic notion…) but only one really won; I had hoped that I would have a spring, summer and fall flowering variety but Fall Clematis took over – silly me to not research its invasiveness before adopting
  • More Clematis is planted around the deck but while these plants likes cool roots (good to grow something around it to "mulch" it), it needs more sun than I can provide under a maple tree that is probably as old as the house… I get a little burst of a few flowers each year, but not the raging overgrowth I so desire
  • Morning Glories – annuals to be added to the trellises that support my perennial Trumpet Vines at the entrance to Big garden
  • Cardinal Flower – something I have tried to "start" for years – finally got one of five seeds to sprout; now to find it a home that Donny won’t fuss about
  • Trumpet Flowers – but, I have written about that love/hate relationship before…(not that I would take the originals out – I just have to keep them under control…)
  • Beans – I found a Long Bean variety that is actually Asian and they grow to 18+ inches quickly. Yummo and so much easier to clean – snap off two ends and then but into 3 or 4 long beans for about 1/3 to 1/4 the work… Stir fry with soy sauce or check my recipe section for another treatment.

If I could, I would love to add a little pergola to the back of the front garage (where there is a small landing, 3′ x 6′ before stepping down to a path); this is the spot that I want to drape in Wisteria. So far, the idea has been vetoed – scariest reason to not do this (besides the strength of Wisteria and its reluctance to bloom effortlessly in our Zone 6…) – snakes…. More on that subject later too!


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