By the cottage porch as well as the finished portico; by and in the rustic vase, as well as the marble fountain; everywhere that man seeks to decorate and adorn, do we find some variety of climbing vine. The showy and brilliant Tecoma, with its hundreds of scarlet trumpet-shaped flowers, attracts and commands admiration, to entire forgetfulness of the rude building which supports it; the light and airy Woodbine.

"That loves to bang on barren boughs Her wreths of remote flowery perfume," by its light, yet airy, negligent character, gives to the rustic porch an appearance of refinement, an impression that beneath its shelter there dwells a. mind alive to the emblems and manifestations of God's love to man. Everywhere, in the wild wood, on the mountain, and by the river-side, in the green-house, and the flower parterre; decorative of the brow of science, and clinging around the tomb of departed friends; everywhere are found vines, and everywhere do they so harmonize with either nature or art, that no harsh lines or thoughts intrude when viewing them.

In the formation of artificial rock-work, or over the edge of some bare yet needful excavation, a few vines relieve the want of taste or knowledge in the builder, or render what would be bare and harsh to the eye pleasing, if not romantically attractive. A few rocks, natural to the geological surface of the country, and thrown together void even of any taste and art, but covered with the Ampelopsis, or Virginian Creeper, will often give a better, more harmonious, and pleasing effect than any construction, no matter how artistic, of curious stones, slag of glass-houses, and scoria from blast-furnaces. The last two are ugly in themselves, unpropitious to the growth of plants, and only belong where an in-door mineralogical rock-work museum is desired.


Fig. 82. - Ampelopsis.

Among all the various vines and creepers, none possess such great luxuriance and beauty in foliage, more perfect hardiness or rapidity in growth, or so great a variety of colors and richness in autumn foliage, when it changes from a rich green to a mingling of scarlet, orange, crimson, an purple, as the Ampelopsis, or American Woodbine.

Next among our native vines we have the climbing Bittersweet (Celastrus), fig. 83. It is more woody in its character, and admirably adapted to the covering of rustic arbors, as its stems as they grow and increase in size from year to year serve to sustain and prop up any decaying post or arch. Trained as a pillar on the point of a roadway or in the shrubbery, where its deep green and handsome foliage, followed by the orange scarlet of its large clusters of seeds in autumn and early winter, makes it ever an object of beauty and attractiveness.

The Tecoma, or Trumpet Flower or Creeper, although of late years comparatively little used, because perhaps of its becoming so common, has claims for certain positions unequaled by any other vine.

American Bittersweet.

Fig. 83. - American Bittersweet.

Like the Bittersweet, its stems assist in the support of decaying wood-work upon which it may cling (fig. 84), while the great beauty and abundance of its trumpet-shaped orange-scarlet flowers in July and August, with its pinnate-shaped, glossy light green foliage, make it always a feature to which the eye turns in admiration of its splendor. For covering unsightly fences, to shut from view some rude outbuilding, or trained upon the body of some old tree, there is no climber so easily procured or grown, and few that possess more desirable qualities. It is occasionally a little tender while young, and in some northern locations it is well to cover, or in some way protect it for the first two winters.

Trumpet Flower.

Fig. 84. - Trumpet Flower.

Contrasting strongly in habit, period, and color of flowers with the last-named is the Wistaria (fig. 85), of which there are several varieties, the best among them being the Chinensis or Chinese Wistaria. This also has a woody stem, and when once established grows freely in almost any soil. It is a very rapid grower, shoots frequently, making a growth of twenty to thirty feet in a season, so that hi half a dozen years one plant will cover the whole side of a house, and with its hundreds of racemes of bluish-purple, sweet-scented flowers in May and June, can be considered one of our most magnificent climbers. There is a variety with white flowers, and when two or more are to be planted, it should be used. For training upon an architectural portico, or an iron balcony or rail, it is admirably adapted.

The Honeysuckle (Lonicera) is a class of climbing vines of easy culture; all are beautiful in foliage and flower, and some varieties have very fragrant flowers, like the bel-gica and japonica. This latter (fig. 86) has a slender stem or vine, with various color-ed flowers, very fragrant, and when not exposed too openly to the sun, retains its foliage all winter. It blooms freely from May to September, and is one most desirable of all the varieties. Grown and twined intermingled with the Wistaria, it adds much to the latter when in bloom. The orange-colored (fig. 87) is a variety with which we do not often meet; but from its broad, dark, coarse foliage and orange-red flowers is highly ornamental for covering arbors, etc. The old scarlet flowering, or coral, is also another of the good ones among this family, of which all are beautiful and appropriate for rock - work, arbors, or masses in the shrubbery.


Fig. 85. - Wistaria.

Crimson Honeysuckle.

Fig. 86. - Crimson Honeysuckle.

Orange colored Honeysuckle.

Fig. 87. - Orange-colored Honeysuckle.