Friday, October 8, 2010

When life hands you Virginia creeper, make baskets!

In which Truffula looks on the bright side, and gets creative.

Slowly, but surely, I've been trying to go more native in the garden.  When I noticed that birds had gifted us with Virgina creeper, I thought "Great!  Ground cover!"  I'd heard about its beautiful red leaves in the fall, and looked forward to seeing them.  Wherever I saw the characteristic bunches of 5 leaves, I happily let the (then) little plants carry on.

This spring, the ground was nicely covered:

What I didn't fully realize (I should have done my research!) was that this was not only a ground cover, but a fence cover:

And, not too long after that, it became a tree cover:

Oops!  That was not quite the effect I'd been going for!

I remembered going to the home of a friend about five years ago.  At the time, her teen-aged son was making baskets out of kudzu.  Why not, I asked myself, try to do the same thing with this out-of-control Virginia creeper?  With my garden clippers in hand, I headed outside to cut some proof-of-concept pieces of creeper.

The leaves stripped off easily from the vines.  The little feet with which the vines attache were more hardy to remove, but nothing which a quick snip of the clippers didn't solve.

I sat outside on the front porch, making up the design as I went along.  When I ran out of "raw materials", I went back to harvest more.  What fun it was to figure out how to proceed!  Even better, one of my TruffulaBoyz wanted some of the weaving action.

He and I are not done with our project, but it's coming along nicely (sorry, the photo doesn't do it full justice):
  
My little basket-weaving partner has grand plans for making further creeper creations.  Hmm... maybe I had it backwards... maybe I need to start growing Virginia creeper not as a ground cover, but as a valued craft ingredient for ourselves!   And maybe, St. Nicholas and Santa will be delivering some handmade baskets from us in about two months...





3 comments:

Carmen said...

Love that idea! Please post the finished product when you get there :).

Green Bean said...

Now that is cool!! You always amaze me with your creative ideas.

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