Be Careful What You Wish For….


I once remember reading that a landscape architect was so enchanted by the virginia creeper parthenocissus quinquefolia) that he bought the house it was growing on.  Cool, I thought at the time. I have some virginia creeper growing here.  I’ll just let it grow.

As you can see by this very dark photo backlit by the sun, grow it does!  It is a native plant, native even to my part of the country, so I’m a bit torn about it.  Here it’s rambling over a wood pile stored between some eastern White Pines, and of course climbing their trunks.

It does have lovely reddish foliage in the fall–blazing scarlet in full sun-and purple berries that the birds enjoy.  That, of course, is how you get more virginia creeper.  That is how you get too much virginia creeper, in fact!

Here it is scrambling through some hinoki cypress.

Here it is snaking its way out of a brownstone wall.  This one is just about impossible to get rid of because its roots are somewhere inside the wall.  We have to just keep cutting off the vegetation and hoping for the best.  Since you see that the vegetation is so healthy, it will take several years to get this one to die!

And here is the piece de resistance!   Try as we might, we cannot find the roots to this baby!  Maybe they’re in the wall as well.

See how it emerges from the flashing?  That’s 10′ above a little roof over a basement walkout.  The real problem?  Above the roof are shutters next to a window and behind the shutters is a wasp’s nest.  So there’s no getting up on that little roof to cut the vines because the wasps will come out from behind the shutters to defend the nest.  You can see the shutter in the above photo.  Talk about a sticky situation!  The vine wins here.

At least it’s shading the house I guess–this is the south side.  And before winter really sets in–but after the wasps are dead–if the timing is right–we’ll have to get up there and cut those vines.

Or we can just try to find that landscape architect who likes the virginia creeper and offer the house to him at a good price, I suppose.

2 thoughts on “Be Careful What You Wish For….

  1. gardeningasylum June 14, 2011 / 7:12 pm

    It’s interesting how this plant has escaped the wrath of the invasives people – I’ve had to saw it off of hemlocks it was about to kill!

    • gardendaze June 14, 2011 / 7:37 pm

      Yes, this one really is aggressive. But the invasive folks would tell you that as a native, it can’t be considered “invasive”–they’ll tell you that about poison ivy too! But I’ve had vines thicker than bittersweet vines that I’ve cut down out of my woodland so I know exactly what you mean! They were heading for the canopy of my maples–thank goodness I found them before they got there! Thanks for commenting–and sharing!


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