poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘vine

seaweed for gardens and vines for trees 6-11

with 10 comments


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greenery in a walled yard (image from Street View)


6-11 1 Logbook


6-11 1 map

map showing distance travelled (map from Google Earth)


I am nearing the end of Phase 6 of my virtual cycling trip through central France, but I am seeing so many interesting things, it is hard to look forward to the end.  Today I saw a man digging seaweed into his garden.  He had spread the seaweed uniformly across his garden and was slowly digging it into the soil …


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man digging seaweed into the garden (image from Street View)


I am interested in gardening, so of course, I stopped to talk …

Jane:  Bonjour.  ‘Qu-est-ce que vous ajoutez au jardin???’ (‘Hello!  What is it you are digging into your garden?’)

Gardener:  ‘Bonjour.  Ce sont des algues marines!  Il sont très bon pour le sol.’  (‘Hello.  I am adding seaweed.   It is very good for the soil.’)

Jane:  ‘Bon pour le sol?  C’est vrai?’   (‘Good for the soil.  Is that true?’)

Gardener: ‘Mais oui!  Ils ajoutent la nourriture et les matières organiques aux sol!’  (‘Of course!  They add nutrients and organic matter to the soil!’)

Jane:  ‘D’où est-ce que vous avez obtainer ces algues marines?’  (‘Where did you get the seaweed?’)

Gardener: ‘Ah, juste à côté de l’ocean! Ils ne coûtent rien!’ (‘Ah, just by the ocean!’ It’s free!!!’)


Using seaweed on gardens is common on this side of the Atlantic Ocean also.  For example, in his book Vineyard Chill (Scribner, New York, 2008), Phillip R. Craig opened his mystery novel with a family going to the beach to gather seaweed for their garden on Martha’s Vineyard.


There was lots of evidence of gardening and green thumbs on this part of my bike drive across Ile de Ré …

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greenhouses on Ile de Ré (image from Street View)


Best View: old trees, their trunks covered with vines  (I loved doing this watercolor so much, I tried three versions) …


'vine-covered trees #1'

June 17, 2013 ‘vine-covered trees #1’ Jane Tims


'vine-covered trees #2'

June 17, 2013 ‘vine-covered trees #2’ Jane Tims


June 18, 2013 ‘vine-covered trees #3’ Jane Tims


This is the view that inspired the paintings …


along the road

vine-covered trees (image from Street View)


Copyright  Jane Tims  2013

Written by jane tims

July 3, 2013 at 7:04 am

Partridge-berry (Mitchella repens L.)

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One of the evergreen plants in the spring woodland is a little vine called Partridge-berry.  It trails, low to the ground, in shady, mossy woods, sometimes covering moist banks and hummocks with its shiny greenery.

Partridge-berry (Mitchella repens L.) is also known as Twinberry, Snakevine, Running Fox and Two-eyed Berry. The word repens is from the Latin for ‘creeping’.

The leaves of Partridge-berry are small, ovoid and opposite on a vine-like stem.  The leaves have a bright yellow midrib and veins, giving them a clear outline against the background of dry leaves.

The flowers are white or pinkish, and bell-shaped.  They occur in pairs – the two flowers are closely united at the base, sharing a single calyx.  As a result, the bright red berries are two-eyed, each showing two blossom scars.

This time of year, in July, Partridge-berry has flowered and set its berries.  The berries are dry and seedy but edible, with a slightly aromatic flavour.  They are a good nibble along the trail or can be used as emergency food.  The berries are ordinarily eaten by birds, such as the Ruffed Grouse.

1. never eat any plant if you are not absolutely certain of the identification;
2. never eat any plant if you have personal sensitivities, including allergies, to certain plants or their derivatives;
3. never eat any plant unless you have checked several sources to verify the edibility of the plant.



common names

( Mitchella repens L.)



Running Fox


a glimpse of red

between hairmoss and hummock

the fox slips into shrewd spaces

seeks the vacant way





a twist and a Twin-berry

trail woven and worn

mottled and mid-ribbed

Mitchella meanders

over feathermoss, under fern





Ruffed Grouse pokes and pecks

tucks a Two-eyed Berry in his crop

lurches on



©  Jane Tims  2012

beneath the vine

with 4 comments

Vines sculpt spaces as they grow, clinging to and draping across the surfaces they choose to colonise.  

Telephone poles display armloads of Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia ( L.) Planch.)  …

The moose fence along the highway is softened by a curtain of Virgin’s Bower (Clematis virginiana L.) …

Purple grapes, ready to pick, fill the arbour with soft shade… 


ripened shadows


under layered leaves

marbled shadows hang

in cloistered dark


cool nonchalance

columnar grey intensifies

as grapes grow ripe


taut green ferments

to purple must

and effervesces air


even where no surface intercepts

clustered shadows

ready to pick


© Jane Tims  2011

Written by jane tims

October 17, 2011 at 7:05 am

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