Friday, June 22, 2012

Life Lessons Learned from Vines

First of all, on a personal note, today seven years ago I met my husband!  I'm so glad I did, I love you, Andrew!

Now onto the post.  When we moved into our home, it had had no one living in it for two years.  Here in Maryland, two years is just enough time for vines and over growth to completely take over bushes and trees.  Unfortunately, we have not had much time to devote to landscaping in our back yard, where most of the problem is.  As I have slowly used my two hands for this vine attacking job that really requires heavy artillery, I have had ample time to consider the lessons I can learn from observing these persistent plant pests.  Writing them down has been a fun exercise for me.  I have been able to see how in some ways I am a "vine," or things in my life are "vines."
  • Vines can't get up on their own strength--they have to use other plants' to pull themselves up.
  • Vines can't grow straight and tall.
  • There are many kinds of vines with many different characteristics.
  • Some have very beautiful flowers, but they're still vines!
  • When you're a new gardener, it can be very hard to tell the difference between a vine and a tree--something involuntary and something the gardener planted on purpose because it had a beautiful or functional use.
  • What starts with a single small coil can eventually take over a whole tree.
  • Most vines aren't very strong, but they grow very fast.
  • Just because you have identified and cleared out the vines once, doesn't mean you're finished; you need to be constantly watching for their skinny fingers.
  • The sooner you identify the vines and take care of them, the easier it will be to stay vine free.  Don't wait untill it's too late!
  • Vines and overgrowth lead to seemingly unrelated problems (like ticks).
  • To really take care of the vine, you need to get all the way to the roots--which is considerably harder than constantly cutting it back.
  • If the vines are too advanced, you might need outside help.
  •  Ignoring vines doesn't do anything to make them go away--it takes consistent effort and focus.
  • Only after you've cleared away the vines can you see the tree for what it is, and reveal the true potential of a garden.
  • After much sweat and hard work, it is very rewarding to find that all your vine-clearing effort had saved a beautiful flowering cherry tree!
Any lessons I missed?


  1. I think you covered the vines. :)

  2. I am one who has waited until it was too late! I think it would take more than a few glorious mornings to clear my yard of its morning glory.

    Vines are a test of true diligence.