Every spring, the leaf tips emerge on the Boston ivy vine that now covers much of the house. The tips are bright red and as they are attached to a finger-like sequence of nodules (one for each year the tip has produced a leaf), they always remind me of dragon claws. The vine branches may be grey and gnarly-looking during the winter and early spring, but soon sprout to life.
The transformation is nothing less than magical…
The vines keep the house cool in the summer by providing an extra space where air can be trapped between the walls and the leaves. Leaves also hang across the top and along the frame of the living room window, providing a natural valance that filters the glare of the sun in the late afternoons. Small birds will often hang on the vines. One year, a bird’s nest was made on the window ledge behind the leaves.
In the fall, the leaves turn a brilliant red and then pink, providing a beautiful tapestry over the grey brick and white siding. The color is spectacular.
This vine was planted about 12 years ago. A similar vine was planted on the other side of the house about 8 years ago and is slowly beginning to bring to life a bare wall of vinyl siding. I don’t think I’ve ever planted anything that’s enhanced the appearance of my home as much as these vines.