A tapestry of vermillion, pomegranite, russet, amber & yellow-green

img_0156.JPGFence of Virginia Creeper
Fiery Virginia Creeper (10 October 2007, Vancouver, BC)

If you have a very large balcony railing and want some spectacular fall colour, you may want to try growing Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) along it. A few cautions: (1) it grows rapidly (2) its tendrils, if not confined to the railing, trellis or other support structure, can damage a building's structure and (3) it should be considered potentially poisonous. So in other words, this plant is not edible and you also want to think twice about growing it if you have children or pets.

Before publishing this post I checked a few "not all-inclusive" lists (1, 2, 3) of plants that are poisonous to pets and could not find Virginia Creeper listed. This does bring up an important consideration, though. Before you introduce a new plant into your home and garden, do check on its toxicology. Here are a couple of resources: Toxic Plant List, Health Canada pages.

With these caveats in mind, you may still may want to consider it as a tapestry behind a container arrangement of fall and winter greens. (This is an idea I'm filing away for next year.)

You can find helpful growing advice on growing Virginia Creeper here and here.


Autumn Psalm (excerpt)

by Jacqueline Osherow

A full year passed (the seasons keep me honest)
since I last noticed this same commotion.
Who knew God was an abstract expressionist?

I’m asking myself—the very question
I asked last year, staring out at this array
of racing colors, then set in motion

by the chance invasion of a Steller’s jay
Is this what people mean by speed of light?
My usually levelheaded mulberry tree

hurling arrows everywhere in sight—
its bow: the out-of-control Virginia creeper
my friends say I should do something about,

whose vermilion went at least a full shade deeper
at the provocation of the upstart blue,
the leaves (half green, half gold) suddenly hyper

in savage competition with that red and blue—
tohubohu returned, in living color.
Kandinsky: where were you when I needed you?

(You can read the rest of the poem here.)