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"When Epicurus to the world had taught
  That pleasure was the chiefest good
  (And perhaps was i' the right, if rightly understood),
  His life he to his doctrine brought,
  And in a garden's shade that sovereign pleasure sought."



TO DRAPE, to mantle, to conceal, to screen, to frame, to cover, to shade, to protect, to beautify, to transform how may not vines be used? How could beautiful garden pictures be made without them? Lacking their grace and mellowing touch, many buildings would be intolerable eyesores, but with soft drapery over them their crudities are mercifully concealed. Shady pergolas, leafy flowery arches, and pendant garlands from trees and over hedgerows make pictures complete in themselves. The returned traveller from England misses the ivy, probably, more than any other plant. There, its dark lustrous leaves clothe walls, houses, chimneys, outbuildings, tree trunks, banks, even the earth itself, with permanent green, toning the colour scale of every scene in town or country into richer, deeper harmony, clinging, as it were, to the very hearts of the people on their historic ruins, their churches and their literature. If the ubiquitous ivy were to be suddenly exterminated, what a raw, glaring, red-brick England it would be! Only when we realise what the Mother Country might look like stripped of it, and how lavishly blessed she is with it, do we pity our own poverty with no reliably hardy indigenous evergreen vine to take its place. From the artist gardener's standpoint it is one of our greatest lacks. True, the ivy will grow here, but only under certain conditions, and not as if it were really at home and altogether happy. The bright sunshine of Northern winters sometimes proves more damaging than our hot, dry summers, and even on the shady side of buildings, where it is always safest to plant it, it may be winter-killed after successfully reaching a chimney-top, won by ten years' climbing. While it seldom succumbs to frost in the Middle States, and never in the South, the protracted heat there curbs that half-wild luxuriance which characterises it abroad.

However, let us plant it much more freely than we do! Countless opportunities to use it pass unheeded, either because we do not rightly estimate its great pictorial value, or we too readily accept its limitations. If we cannot use it everywhere, as the English do, at least we can find a place for it somewhere about every home. But the almost universal painted wooden house in this country discourages the attempt to grow ivy on its walls. Brick, stone and stucco are its proper supporters; the coming building is to be made of concrete, we understand, and wherever one of these building materials occurs, there should the ivy cling. It does not make a house damp, for there is always a free circulation of air under the leaves; its aerial roots do not weaken walls, in spite of a popular notion to the contrary. In fact, the vine strengthens them. Many a ruin in England would have tumbled to the ground years ago had not the branching, tenacious ivy bound together the bricks or stones from which the mortar had crumbled away.

Protection from the sun in winter, such as widths of matting or braided straw tacked over them afford, would keep our ivies permanently green even in sunny places or on very cold northern sites where, in any case, their roots should be covered with leaves or stable litter. A mulch to keep the roots cool and moist in summer when they need to be encouraged to delve for food, rich in humus, placed below them by the thoughtful gardener when he planted them, will carry the vines triumphantly through heat and drought. They delight in moisture, too. For shrubbery borders, the ivy, clipped wherever it strays beyond a ten-inch limit, makes a most effective edging. Used as a carpet under trees where no grass would grow, it thrives in dense shade like that other charming evergreen trailer, the little purple-flowered periwinkle seen in every old garden. Fallen leaves and snow afford sufficient protection to the ivy where it grows prostrate on the ground. Special emphasis is laid on our only evergreen vine, except the creeping spindle, because, for people who live in the country the year around, the ivy's value is greater by far than any other's. And it is equally important for city dwellers, redeeming the sordid ugliness of many buildings; yet London probably contains more ivy than the whole North American continent.


So nearly evergreen that it might be almost counted as such is Hall's honeysuckle, well worth growing if only for its deliciously fragrant flowers and, on their account, it is one of the most popular climbers in cultivation. It needs wire netting or a lattice to twine about, which makes it a practical vine for piazza posts and painted houses, as the woven wire or other support may have its staples loosened at the top and be laid back on the ground when the biennial coat of paint goes on the house. Honeysuckle is cheap enough to plant at every post in the chicken yard and afford shelter and shade for the fowls as well as a screen for their not always sightly runs. It is one of the few vines that will thrive at the seashore, and it blooms all summer there because of the moisture in the cool air. Cold and want it can endure like a good soldier, but it well rewards a little care, especially thinning out of its old wood when the exuberant vine begins to smother itself with foliage. It is one of the best carpets we have for raw banks, and rooting as it runs along over the earth, as honeysuckle always does when growing wild, it is an excellent soil binder on steep slopes. Whenever it finds a supporting stem to twine around, up it goes into a bush or tree and tosses into the air long sprays of slender, tubular flowers set in pairs along the stem that, on opening at evening, are pure white and especially fragrant, to attract the night-flying moths; but after fertilisation, the corollas turn pale yellow. "Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine" was a reference to the honeysuckle, not to our five-leaved ampelopsis, in Shakespeare's "Midsummer Night's Dream." There is a coral honeysuckle, too, that caters to the ruby-throated humming-bird, which "likes any colour at all so long as it's red." This vine is particularly beautiful over rocks.

Although not entirely evergreen either, the Japanese akebia opens its five-fingered leaves so early in the spring and retains them so late into the winter that one can hardly grudge it a resting time. Its early flowers are insignificant -- small, curious, purplish, spicily fragrant affairs -- and it seldom fruits in this country; but it is very hardy, it is free from the attacks of worms and caterpillars, it grows rapidly and its foliage is charming. One admirer of the vine, which is by no means so much used as its merits deserve, speaks enthusiastically of the delicate silhouettes that its palmate leaflets form against a moonlit sky where he sees them embowering his porch. I know an old red picket fence around a farmhouse that is surprisingly effective because of its akebia drapery. Native clematis flings white, fleecy festoons over the vines' dark background in autumn. It does not resent a near neighbour.

Exquisite airy grace characterises most of the lovely clematis clan. To frame landscape pictures seen from porches and cover trellis and pergolas with clouds of misty bloom in early autumn, no vine can outdo the variety paniculata. Flammula is choice, it is deliciously fragrant, its bloom at midsummer is most welcome, but its constitution is rarely robust. It usually seems like the fragile sister of the family. The brilliant red-cupped coccinea is never more effective, perhaps, than when used with the fleecy flowered kinds. Until one's attention is called to it, no one would believe how common is the custom of planting the large-flowered purple Jackman's clematis against red-brick buildings. Yet, when it spreads its royal bloom over them, nothing in the great range of garden possibilities is more excruciatingly awful. On a gray-shingled house or among the lacy foliage of a bowery pergola, the blossoms have a chance to show how really handsome they are. One of the most beautiful effects with clematis is remembered by any European traveller who has had the good fortune to be in Normandy when sprays of the white, foamy flowers of the native wild species toss themselves from the sombre green of the pine trees in the coniferous forests. Our Virgin's Bower rarely, if ever, climbs so high. But it flings out the right hand of good fellowship to every bush and low tree in the roadside thicket and hedgerow, and the feathery styles of its pistillate plants form hoary masses, more attractive than its flowers. Possibly the Japanese paniculata, which grows so luxuriantly here, could be induced to festoon our pines and hemlocks, but, so far as I know, the experiment has never been tried.


No one need be urged to use Veitch's ampelopsis, or Japanese ivy; already it is one of our most over-planted garden staples. The delicate traceries of its fresh young growth, clinging by little adhesive disks at the tips of its pink fingers to the sustaining wall, and its shining new leaves, that look as if they were covered with varnish, are undeniably pretty. The large overlapping leaves of older growth conceal, in time, any surface, rough or smooth, they may grow against, but the danger is lest they become too dense. Only when they occur on brick factories is one grateful if they do. Heavy and mat-like foliage effects are rarely wanted on dwellings, except on large ones, and chiefly about the foundations and lower walls of those. A vine-smothered house is most attractive to those pestiferous bird neighbours, the quarrelsome, dirty English sparrows, which is a sufficiently good excuse, if an aesthetic reason were rejected, for keeping this vigorous creeper clipped within bounds. There would seem to be no limit to its aspirations: a single plant has covered a stone retaining-wall over one hundred and fifty feet long and twenty feet high in twelve years. Because it has lofty ambitions, the vine is admirably suited to climb tall and leggy trees whose lower branches have died. Trunk and limbs are speedily overspread with its green mantle, gracefully fringed where the young shoots sway in the breeze from the tips of the branches. Planted on unsightly telegraph and telephone and trolley poles that disfigure the modern landscape, it takes off their curse for six months at least. The ampelopsis is rampant, it is ubiquitous; but when autumn sets it aglow with superb colour, as brilliant as the maple's, few would deny that it is the best all-around vine we have. As it loses its leaves in winter, giving any possible dampness they may have gathered a long chance to dry, there can be no reasonable objection to using it anywhere. As a matter of fact the wood and paint that have had the protection of its leaves all summer are found to be in a fresher condition than the exposed parts, a popular belief to the contrary notwithstanding. Would that all our prejudices might be so easily disproved!

Instead of chopping down a dead tree on your grounds, try draping it with the native five-leaved ampelopsis or Virginia Creeper, which delights to scramble over rocks, banks and bushes and up into trees, living or dead, wherever it grows wild in Nature's garden. Of looser, lighter, more graceful habit than its Japanese cousin, and better adapted to free effects, the naturalistic treatment best suits this vine that is much used on houses, nevertheless. It does not suffocate, it is airy, and its pendant sprays that hang from a veranda give a softening touch to hard architectural lines. It makes the poor man's cottage or cabin picturesque, and it costs nothing beyond the labour of digging it. On the rich man's pergola its graceful sprays, swaying in the breeze from the beams overhead, are as effective as those of its relative, the wild grape, which is one of the very best vines we have for Italian arbours.


A climbing tree in itself is the wistaria, one of the greatest of the many treasures that have come to us from the Far East. Some superb old specimens in Japan have trunks two feet or more in diameter. To complete a picture of mellow age there is nothing comparable to a fine old vine. Its decorative effect means far more than mere ornament. As about seven years must elapse before a newly planted young wistaria will bloom, it is a great advantage to start with vigorous roots without a tangle which will produce wonderful growth if put in rich soil and given an abundance of water. A friend who transplanted a gigantic vine from an old house to his new one was convinced that what the wistaria chiefly suffers from is a lack of moisture, so he invented a novel method of supplying it. A bottle sunk in the earth and fed from a hose overflowed into the soil about the roots only as fast as the water seeped away or was absorbed by the vine, and no faster. The wistaria never knew it had been moved, although it was not brought up on the bottle until it had reached its second childhood.

Commonly trained around piazza and pergola pillars (which it sometimes weakens), over arches and fences and along walls -- and it could not be less than charming anywhere -- this best of flowering vines never appears to greater advantage than when grown to trail its way at will among trees, for it has a half-wild luxuriance that seems to call aloud for naturalistic picturesque treatment. Of all the hosts on which it pensions itself, perhaps none is better suited to it than the locust tree. Before foliage appears on the locusts they are hung with long festoons of the wistaria's light lavender-blue racemes looped from branch to branch and from tree to tree in sweet profusion. A long line of such trees, such as one frequently sees along the boundaries of old Quaker homesteads on Long Island, where the locust abounds, is an enchanting sight. Later, as the wistaria begins to fade, the locust leaves appear, and by June the trees are again in bloom, but this time with white racemes of their own deliciously fragrant, papilionaceous flowers. As the wistaria and its host have similar pinnate foliage, it is difficult indeed to tell where the vine's leaves off and the tree's begins. When the white wistaria is used, even the blossoms on tree and vine are similar.

In planting the wistaria, or any vine, for that matter, to run up into a tree, do not set it close to the trunk, but at quite a distance from it, and layer the stem, letting several yards of it lie under ground before beginning to climb. Lay it in a trench filled with plenty of good food all its own. One could never hope to grow the wistaria among pines, as it tosses and tumbles with abandoned grace in Japan, lighting up the sombre trees until they fairly drip lovely colour and fragrant bloom, unless the vines were rooted beyond the harmful effects of the resinous pine needles.

Another hard-wooded vine from Japan is Celastrus orbiculatus, a relative of our less lusty bittersweet and, like it, best adapted to naturalistic effects on trees or hedgerows where its generous pendant clusters of coral capsules hang cheerfully all winter.


Among woody vines none, except the wistaria, is more valuable than the trumpet creeper. One wants it if only to attract hummingbirds to sip nectar continually from its deep orange-red tubes. How they dart and squeak among the flowers! But the seed that they play an important part in fertilising should be kept cut if the vine is to have a long succession of bloom. Red is irresistibly attractive to the ruby-throat, and orange scarcely less so, perhaps for the sake of the red that is mixed with the yellow. Such flowers as need the tropical sprite to transfer their pollen wear his favourite colours, but even this delicate attention is not enough. He demands that his refreshment be served to him in tubes so deep or inaccessible that only his long tongue, which may be extended far beyond his rapier-like bill, may lick the last drop of nectar away from his rivals the humble-bees, butterflies and moths. First the long-spurred red and yellow columbine, the painted cup, the coral honeysuckle, the jewel weed, the Oswego tea and the native trumpet creeper feed him successively in Nature's garden; then the cardinal flower has the honour of catering to the exacting midget before he returns to the tropics. Such flowers as gladioli, cannas, honeysuckle, nasturtium and salvia keep him busy about our gardens until after frost.

There are some exquisitely tinted large-flowered hybrid trumpet vines whose aerial roots will not loosen the shingles on buildings as those of the more vigorous Tecoma radicans sometimes do. They are particularly beautiful grown over rocks. Like the wistaria, this vine is sometimes used as a lawn specimen by attaching a single leading stem to a stout stake, cutting away all lower, suckering shoots and pruning back the top of the leader to a height of three feet to insure strong lateral branches. Before the stake rots away, the woody vine will have developed a trunk of its own capable of self-support. To make a superbly effective informal hedge, set out a long line of vines thus attached to stakes set three feet apart in light, rich soil and keep the wilful lateral branches pruned back and attached to galvanised wire strung from stake to stake until, in a few years, they become independently woody. As time goes on, the hedge grows increasingly beautiful, a dense wall of clean, handsome foliage and gorgeous flowers. It is a heritage one is proud to bequeath to one's children.

But not every one who wishes for the transforming results of vines may plant for permanent effects; and, even when these are planned for on new places, it is desirable to use some annuals for quick results. On rented places a special vine may be needed for one season only. Even in the midst of permanent planting it is pleasant to have variety from year to year.

If a vine be wanted to cover a porch or a high board fence in the shortest possible time, try the Kudzu. It is a twiner and needs wire or strings. Given good soil and plenty of water and sunshine, it will grow fifty feet in a season. When a dense screen is needed on a kitchen porch that is not always so tidy as it should be, or one for a lattice around a drying ground, the Kudzu is invaluable.

Another very rapid grower is the cup-and-saucer vine (Coboea scandens), that would climb to a tree-top before frost catches it if long enough strings might be supplied. Before its rather heavy-looking cups finally turn purplish plum colour they pass through green and lavender transitional phases. The San Salvador coboea has many-lobed, light-green leaves, lying flat, that introduce a welcome colour note in the scale of greens. Seed should be sown at least three inches apart in the hotbed in order that the roots of young vines may not be needlessly disturbed when they are lifted on a trowel and transplanted to the open ground after settled warm weather comes.

Jack's beanstalk probably grew no faster than some of the gourds. All their astonishing growth must be accomplished between the frosts of spring and autumn, as not a breath can they endure. For covering unsightly outbuildings, fences and palings, they accomplish wonders. Every old well used to have a gourd dipper hanging beside it; every housewife in the olden time darned stockings over a gourd. Some of the fruit grows to enormous size. Negro cabins in the Southern States often have large hollow gourds, with a side entrance cut in them, hanging from poles in the dooryard. Purple martins nest in these vegetable houses. The people know that where these handsome swallows once take up their abode the air is rid of innumerable mosquitoes, gnats and other insect pests caught on the wing as the birds dart and skim about in an ecstasy of flight.

Ash and garbage cans at the back door may be quickly concealed under a canopy of the wild cucumber vine's pretty leaves and feathery greenish white flowers. The Japanese hop skips and jumps up strings too, and its large, handsome leaves, splashed with white, are more decorative than some flowers. But if flowers are wanted, rich-coloured gay ones in greatest profusion, everyone plants the tall nasturtium. Rich soil is wasted on it, as it induces the vine to run to leaves. In cutting nasturtiums to brighten the house -- and they light up north rooms like sunshine -- do not be afraid to cut a quarter of a yard or more of stem. Branches grow again steadily and bloom till after frost if no seed be permitted to form. A mass of the gorgeous flowers alone is colour overdone -- too much of a very good thing -- but when nasturtiums are arranged just as they grow with stems, disk-like glaucous leaves and seed vessels attached, no spoils brought from the garden into the house are more decorative. They are lasting, too. Draped over stone walls the flower-decked vine shows to splendid advantage.

Let no one forego growing the perennial butterfly pea because it takes some trouble to start it. Seed should be soaked overnight in warm water to hasten germination before it is planted, three inches apart, in a hotbed. After a good beginning the young vines may be given a permanent place in the garden, with a wire netting or pea brush to climb up. Or well-started vines can be bought from a nursery. They may attain a height of ten feet in rich, moist soil, and if mulched and well watered during hot weather they will be covered with exquisite flowers like so many little butterflies fluttering over them. Although hardy, the roots need some protection in winter. Planted in groups at the back of perennials in the hardy border, the peas look more sightly scrambling over brush, which they presently conceal, than over wire.

On the shady side of a house, in cool, rich. soil, anyone who knows it will wish to grow the Alleghany vine, fumitory, or mountain fringe (Adlumia), as it is variously called, if not for the sake of the arching sprays of its delicate little pink flowers, like miniature bleeding hearts that have bled themselves almost white, then for its exquisite foliage, as finely cut as maiden-hair fern. It is a biennial, but when once established it sows itself, stooling the first summer and the next year climbing swiftly up string or trellis, which it festoons with lacy foliage of the tenderest green. But it is in the rock garden, perhaps, that the fumitory appears at its best. Planted in rich crevices in shaded places it drapes the stern boulders with delightfully contrasted delicacy and grace. Of all the vines, surely this is the daintiest. 



The best of the annual vines, including Nasturtium, Sweet Pea, Coboea, Hyacinth Bean, Morning Glory, Moon Flower, Balloon Vine, Cypress Vine, raised from seed each year, are described in the list of annuals. (See page 246.) 

AKEBIA (Akebia quinata). Best deciduous shrubby vine where dense shade is not wanted. Five-partite leaves, rich deep green, with clusters of brownish purple flowers in May, June. Quite hardy and free from insects and fungi. Prefers well-drained, peaty soil.

ALLEGHANY VINE (Adlumia cirrhosa). Very quick-growing biennial. Flowering first season. Delicately cut foliage like maidenhair fern. Pinkish white flowers in profusion in summer. Give cool soil. Transplant in fall. A weakling, requiring attention in training.


BITTERSWEET, FALSE (Celastrus scandens). Best for bright fruit effects in winter, succeeding in shady or sunny position. Capsule bursts, exposing crimson seeds. Attains a height of 20 feet. Propagates easily by seeds sown in fall. ---, JAPANESE (C. orbiculatus). More vigorous, but fruits are hidden by foliage till late.

CANARY-BIRD VINE (Tropaeolum peregrinum). Best annual yellow-flowered vine. Attaining 20 feet in hot, sunny location, and on dry ground. For bloom from July till frost sow indoors in March.

CINNAMON VINE, YAM (Dioscorea divaricata). Loose clusters of cinnamon-scented white flowers, borne profusely. July, August; 10 to 30 feet. Root a huge tuber, 2 to 3 feet long. Tubers produced in the leaf axils, and sown like seeds, will make root tubers in two years.

CLEMATIS, JAPANESE (C. paniculata). Best fall-blooming clematis for full sun. Profusion of white, fragrant flowers in September. Visited by bees. Prune severely in winter.---, JACKMAN'S (C. Jackmani). Best purple-flowered vine. Blooms 4 to 6 inches across. June, July. Also numerous varieties, varying to white and red-purple. The best white form is C. Henryi. August, November. ---, RED (C. Viorna, var. coccinea). Carmine or scarlet sepals. June, August. Flowers globular, about 1 inch long. All the clematises need heavy feeding and abundant water and severe pruning. See also VIRGIN'S BOWER.

CREEPING SPINDLE (Euonymus radicans). Evergreen. Compact growing, self-supporting on walls, trees, etc. Resists smoke. Hardier than English ivy, but slower growing. Very variable in size and colouring. Grows to great heights.

CRIMSON GLORY (Vitis Coignetiae). One of the best strong-growing vines, much like the fox grape, but becoming brilliant scarlet in fall. Best raised from seeds.

DUTCHMAN'S PIPE (Aristolochia macrophylla or Sipho). Best very large leaved vine for dense shade. Use for screens or arbours. Almost round leaves about a foot across. Flowers V-shaped, purplish-yellow, not showy. Grows anywhere, and attains great length. Vigorous grower.

FIRE BEAN (Phaseolus multiflorus). The scarlet runner bean. Racemes of bright scarlet flowers in June, July. Fruits edible, and usually grown as a vegetable in Europe. A tender annual with us although normally perennial. Sow when ground is warm.

GOURDS (Various species of Cucurbita, etc.). There are a great number of these grown for their brightly coloured and often fantastically formed fruits. They are all rather coarse, rank-growing annuals that will not endure frost at any time. Sow in rich ground after weather is warm. Give support. Good for quick screens and unsightly places.

GRAPE (Vitis vulpina). The river bank or frost grape. Most widespread native grape. Bright green, thin leaves. Good for pergolas. ---, FOX (V. Labrusca). Stronger growing, with hairy young shoots. Larger, thicker leaves, almost round, dull green; brown underneath.

HONEYSUCKLE (Lonicera periclymenum, var. Belgica). Most fragrant flowering deciduous vine for arbours and trellises. Flowers reddish all summer. The type blooms from June to September; yellowish white and less vigorous. Var. serotina blooms in the fall. ---, HALL'S (L. Japonica, var. Halliana). Half evergreen. Flowers white, changing to yellow. The type blooms June, August; 15 feet. Naturalised in some places. (var. aureo reticulata). Smaller leaves, netted yellow; sometimes used for ground cover, becoming a weed. Good for walls and fences.

HOR, PERENNIAL (Humulus Lupulus). Common hap, growing 15 to 20 feet. Effective when in fruit. Bold, palmate foliage, dark green. Herbaceous top, dying down annually. ---, JAPANESE (H. Japonicus). See ANNUALS.

HYDRANGEA, CLIMBING (Schizophragma hydrangeoides). Flower white in large, flat clusters when fully exposed to the sun. May, June; 30 feet. Very showy, often confused with Hydrangea petiolaris. Clings by aerial rootlets. Hardy at New York. Rich, moderately moist soil.

IVY, BOSTON OR JAPANESE (Ampelopsis tricuspidata or Veitchii). Best deciduous clinging vine for buildings. Sometimes injured in winter when young. Very highly coloured in fall. Rapid growing. Leaves normally entire, but occasionally three-partite. ---, ENGLISH (Hedera Helix). Best evergreen foliage vine, but liable to winter killing in exposed places north; flourishes with slight shelter. Dense mass of foliage. Self-sustaining. Any soil. Numerous varieties, varying in size of leaf and colouring; some quite dwarf.

JASMINE, SWEET (Jasminum nudiflorum). Earliest flowering slender vine. Fragrant, large yellow flowers before the leaves. March, April. Not hardy North. Native in the Southern States. (officinale). White, in summer. Requires protection at Philadelphia.

KUDZU VINE (Pueraria Thunbergiana). Best very rapid growing foliage vine with herbaceous top. Will cover enormous stretches in a season. Does not make dense screen. Plant the tubers deeply. In the South the top becomes woody.

MATRIMONY VINE (Lycium Chinense). 12 feet. Ovate leaves, bright green, 3 inches long with scarlet fruits. Has been used as a hedge on a wire trellis. (L. halimifolium). Less vigorous, smaller, grayish green; fruit orange.

MONEYWORT (Lysimachia nummularia). Evergreen ground cover. Good for banks and rocks. Sometimes a weed in lawns. Light green, nearly round foliage, half inch across, with profusion of cup-shaped yellow flowers in summer.

MOUNTAIN SPURGE (Pachysandra terminalis). Evergreen, with yellowish green, thick leaves, slightly toothed. Good for undergrowth in shrubberies. Flowers white, in small terminal spikes in May. Attractive to bees.


PARTRIDGE BERRY (Mitchella repens). The only hardy evergreen that carpets the ground and bears bright red berries all winter, and lasting till June. Native to the woods, but can be bought from the nurserymen. Shady places.

PEA, EVERLASTING (Lathyrus latifolius and grandiflorus). See HERBACEOUS PERENNIALS.

PERIWINKLE, TRAILING MYRTLE (Vinca minor). Will hold steep terraces. Ideal ground cover in dense shade, and where grass fails under trees. Purplish blue flowers in spring. Evergreen. Escaped from cultivation, and plentiful near old-time settlements. Several varieties.


SILVER VINE (Actinidia arguta). Best arbour vine. Free from insects and fungi. Twining, not clinging. Leaves dark green, quite tough, with reddish petioles. Flowers greenish white in June, followed by yellow fruit with fig-like flavor. Easily increased by seeds, cuttings, or layers. (A. polygama). Flowering in July. Lighter green, often silvery, variegated above the middle. A pretty plant, but attracts cats.

SILK VINE (Periploca Graeca). For arbours, trellis, and tree trunks. Fragrant flowers July, August, and retaining foliage to late in fall; 40 feet. Dark green, shining. Any well-drained soil in sun. Hardy even in Canada, on the ground, in sun, with light protection.

TRUMPET CREEPER (Tecoma radicans). Best orange-red flowered vine for arbours and rough places.  Tubular flowers 4 to 6 inches long, in clusters. Will climb trees.  Flowers only on parts exposed to sun. Beautiful varieties.

VIRGIN'S BOWER (Clematis Virginiana). For covering old stumps, hedgerows, etc. Fragrant, white flowers in profusion in July. Light, loamy soil and on limestone, but well drained.

VIRGINIA CREEPER (Ampelopsis quinquefolia). Most graceful deciduous vine for covering buildings, old trees and arbours. Perfectly hardy, thriving in any soil. Large, five-partite leaves. Usually needs training, but some forms cling. Var. Engelmanni clings better, and is much brighter scarlet in fall. Not quite so coarse.


WISTARIA (Wistaria Chinensis). Best early flowering permanent vine. Foot-long racemes of delicately scented mauve, pea-like flowers in May, before the leaves. Climbs and twines easily. Attains great lengths. For walls, trellises, trees, houses. Failure of flower is usually due to combination of sun and frost in early spring. Second small crop of flowers in August. Does best when left severely alone. Prefers deep, rich soil, but will grow elsewhere. Propagates by layers. Also a white variety. (W. multijuga). Has racemes 2 to 3 feet long, but smaller flowers. ---, AMERICAN (W. speciosa). Has shorter racemes and is less vigorous; attaining to 40 feet.

WOODBINE (Lonicera pertclymenum). See HONEYSUCKLE.

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