Our house sits on 1.2 acres. If you are a gardening-type of person, you might think a yard that size is amazing. I agree it is amazing, but I am completely overwhelmed.
How is it that we live 7 miles from Washington, D.C. and have a yard this big? I blame science.
In 1910, the USDA established the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center or BARC, and Beltsville became a hub of agricultural science and research. This area attracted botanists, plant researchers and scientists, and created a community of agriculture around the research center. There were competitions between neighbors for who had the earliest and best looking corn, and the area is full of strange plants. For example, the Thorn-less Blackberry is alive and well, right here in Beltsville.
This brings taming the Wild Kingdom to a whole new level. Which are the weeds? Which are the valuable & rare specimens belonging to Beltsville? I have been at it for a couple of weeks, with the help of an old friend, neighbors and my mother-in-law, working like field hands. I suppose you could call it a bonding experience and the yard is beginning to show some progress.
The climbing Hydrangea, or Hydrangea anomala petiolaris, is a beautiful, low-maintenance, woody vine growing on the front of our house. This vine is safe for brick surfaces and I am happy to have inherited it.
You can achieve that English-ivy, hidden-castle look, guilt free, if you use a climbing Hydrangea instead of ivy. How many ivy plants have I ripped off, coupled with a dose of sad, because it is so pretty? This Hydrangea is a wonderful substitute. It likes full-sun to part-shade, and once established, requires little maintenance.
Now that is my kind of plant.
© copyright 2013 Mariam d’Eustachio.