An Experiment with Grapevine

Last year, my mother and I discovered a most amazing creature: the grapevine. While clearing a thicket of invasive Honeysuckle and grape vines, we carved out a flower bed and created a path. We had long, thick vines drying next to our house and soon knew how we would use them.

My mother, a creative and resourceful person, thought that we could use the grapevines in several ambitious ways. I, a bit skeptical but wanting to learn everything I can from the older women of the world, listened to her thoughts. I have learned a lot from my mother about critical but open thinking. So, we made a few wreaths from the thinner vines, and played with the larger pieces for a few days.

Inspiration finally struck, and this is what we created.

A fading echinacea and some hosta are enclosed by grape vine hoops.

It is important to note that I cut these vines in the fall, let them dry through the winter and early spring, and pushed the bent vines into the ground after heavy rains.

When cutting the grape vine, we looked for natural curves or particularly bendy pieces and cut the bottoms at angles (to make them easier to stab into the dirt). We were very surprised that this worked and most of the vines, those that are not battered by my son or the dogs, have remained in the ground.

We were even more surprised to see new, green tendrils sprouting from the old vines and curling around other hoops. The vines pictured above have been “pruned” twice this year. The grapevine grows fast and I know how difficult it is to remove, so I am a bit stern with the new growths.

I love to recycle and reuse things of any material so this was an exciting project. My mother’s creativity really shines in the garden and I have learned a thing or two about grapevines, thinking outside of the box, and giving others space to create.