Stretch your roots

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My dad once told me that the roots of a grape will go down as far as 30 feet in search of water. We have five grape plants on the south side of the house that I let run wild. In summers before I’ve harvested handfuls over my shoulder thrown into baskets and the grass behind me. This year, the deer were quicker and I didn’t see as much as a single grape. Since grapevines are vigorous growers and overtake the fence line when left unkempt over the summer, my husband suggested that we get rid of them in favor of allowing some fruit trees to grow larger. Once I learned how hard the roots of a grape worked to find water, I had a new admiration for them and have never forgotten it. Every time I pass them in the yard I think of that miraculous fact. Quietly, beneath the earth, searching deep within to find what they need.

I do not have copious amounts of time on my hands, nor am I adverse to splurging for the $3.99 to buy a grapevine wreath at the craft shop down the street, but grapes or no grapes, anybody who works that hard in my yard is going to have some celebrating. I’ve never made a grapevine wreath before but that never stopped me with anything.

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I began by tearing the vines off of the fence, leaving only the base of the plant in tact – about 2-3 feet high.

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I stripped the leaves from the branches. The larger branches are drier and brown, while the younger shoots are still green and fresh.

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Once stripped of the leaves, I brought the branches into the garage to begin wrapping the wreath. I started with the thicker branches for stability. It’s entirely green – the grapevines themselves weave naturally together and I did not need to use anything to anchor them.

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I started with one large branch and braided the offshoots together to have a skeleton to work with. I kept adding additional branches and worked to give it the desired shape. It’s fairly pliable at this point so I shifted and tried to picture my ultimate shape. Don’t be discouraged at first if it’s lumpy bumpy- it will even out.

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Somewhat improved shape taking hold. Just keep weaving together until you have the thickness or you use all of your branches.

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I used every shred of grapevine that I’d cut and I ended up with a very full grapevine wreath. I added some pampas grass and a wired white polka dot burlap ribbon for fall. Since the pampas grass may shed, I hung it above the kitchen sink for quick clean ups. The seasonal additions can be changed but the grapevine wreath is a great base for different color schemes. The best part is it’s mine and in the season of gratitude I’m thankful for my grapevine’s hard work.

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