the grape bush

Greetings and salutations everyone; yes, once again it is I, Chess the purebred border collie. You may remember me from such posts as “May Day” and “Pictures Of Me”, among so many others.

Here’s another picture of me, in what the guy I live with says is the most characteristic pose of all.


Well, so what if I lie around a lot. Someone has to do it.

There’s not much to talk about today, anyway. Here’s another picture of Crocus kotschyanus ‘Reliant’.


The guy I live with says that the name ‘Reliant’ sounds like a British dreadnought. He’s so funny. It’s really called that because some forms of this species rarely if ever flower.

The big deal right now is the grape bush, Vitis acerifolia, which is new to the garden. I’m going to call it the grape bush because that’s what my mommy would have called it, and the guy I live with would have countered with bush grape, which he would say is what it’s really called, and then she would have said grape bush, and he would have said bush grape, and on and on. Finally he would have stood out in the middle of the yard, turning all purple and stuff just like a grape, and yelled bush grape at almost the top of his lungs, and then after the echo died down we would have heard a tiny little voice from another part of the yard say grape bush and it would have started all over again.


You can see it’s already turning color from the cool nights. Very autumnal, I say. An autumnal grape bush.

The guy I live with says it’s also called the “panhandle grape”, which could either mean the Texas Panhandle or the Oklahoma Panhandle, depending on which panhandle you were standing in, I guess, because it comes from both places. Also southeastern Colorado. It’s not a vine, either. It’s a bush, which you might not have known if you started reading the post way down here.

You might also not know that the garden is filled with grape vines; mostly the native grape, Vitis riparia, and some regular grapes, and the canyon grape, Vitis arizonica. Raccoons get all the grapes, though the guy I live with says he might make dolmades some day. (Not after the leaves fall off, though.) But the one that’s turning all golden right now is a bush. A grape bush.

So that’s the big news on this very busy day. Until next time, then.

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12 Responses to the grape bush

  1. Ian says:

    Never knew about this plant until now – very cool.

    • paridevita says:

      Weber says it’s a fuzzy V. riparia (V. longii), but it’s accepted by Flora of the Great Plains and Correll and Johnston’s Manual of the Vascular Plants of Texas.
      I’d never heard of it either. There were a few at Timberline, and, of course, I had to have one. So I bought two.

  2. Vivian Swift says:

    I took a walk yesterday and came upon some little flowers and I actually counted the stamens to see if it was a crocus or that thing that is not a crocus. I know from you that three stamens = crocus. It was a crocus.

    Now I will share with you the cost of a tulip tree in London in 1740. It was 21 pounds, one of which pound is equal to 117 pounds in 2011. Tulip trees were all the rage back then. The oldest tulip tree in England is at Esher Place in Surrey and the oldest in Scotland is allegedly in Edinburgh but I have my doubts that it’s really 300 years old. I might have to go over to take a look at it myself because you can’t really tell from pictures and the last time I was in its company I don’t have to tell you that I barely paid it any attention. Now that I’m a gardener (kind of) I count stamens and actually care whether or not a certain Linriodendron tulipifera is c. 1700 or not. WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME?!?!?!

    • paridevita says:

      Probably a slow and gradual metamorphosis into a gardener, like what happened to people in the movie Attack of the Mushroom People.
      Lucky for you, there are a few exceedingly well-written and enjoyable books on trees. Anything by Donald Culross Peattie. Meetings with Remarkable Trees by Thomas Pakenham. And then Remarkable Trees of the World and In Search of Remarkable Trees by the same author.
      Most incipient gardeners start with trees (usually the first thing they plant in their yards, and the first thing they resent in later years), then their gaze drops lower, to the earth itself. The Essential Earthman by Henry Mitchell is wonderful. Anything by Elizabeth Lawrence, too.

      • Ness says:

        Meetings with Remarkable Trees and Remarkable Trees of the World have been among my great treasures for many years. On the list of “What would you save if……?”
        Had no knowledge of Henry Mitchell but have just ordered The Essential Earthman.
        Nothing surpasses the joy of receiving garden books in the mail!

      • paridevita says:

        Very true. I just ordered “The New English Garden”, with fairly high hopes.
        Better get In Search of Remarkable Trees, too, if you don’t have it.

  3. While that may be a characteristic pose, Chess – and who could object? – I have imagined that the facial expression you’re sporting more likely is characteristic of your person.

    The crocus, fully open, is enchanting.

    • paridevita says:

      No, it’s really me, looking pathetic and sad, and in need of a biscuit, but too lazy to get up. The guy I live with says I lie around an awful lot, instead of doing things. Lying around is doing something.

  4. Knicky Twigs says:

    Since I had not seen your posts May Day and Pictures of Me, I visited. Pictures of Me first, posted on May 14th: everything is green and colorful; tulips, creeks, grassy paths, mowed and otherwise. Then to May Day: featuring a lovely movie of bird song and sparkling snow; snow white everywhere. Wait a second! What happened??? Then I found Reaching a New Low on May 2nd. Wow! Blink and the season changes.

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