Hop Vine at Main Street Trees Nursery
Hop vines are a treat in any garden and very easy to grow. This photo shows how big my vines are now—these are already 12 feet tall! This variety is Nugget Hop. I’m also trying out 8 other varieties.
Multiple uses: Hops are of course an age-old key taste ingredient in beer brewing. I like to trade some dried hop flowers with my home-beer-brewing friends—in exchange I get a taste of the beer! The full bunches of greenish flowers are also worth the effort just for themselves. They can be dried for an arrangement or used herbally as a sleep aid, either in a tea or stuffed into a pillow.
Hops will get very tall and harvest can be done after the vines are brought low. Later in the year I’ll post harvest photos of the part that is used—the fragrant, sticky flower. Over the winter the rhizome is dormant underground and the last year’s dried vines are clipped off. Then in spring, the new vines quickly shoot up the string or wire used to train them upward.
Black Bamboo culms — Phyllostachys niger
No need to fear bamboo—it isn’t going to “take over.” Now that gardeners are finding out how useful bamboo can be for staking up peas, beans and tomatoes and for making a more private garden yard, they can see that the effort to keep on friendly terms with this big grass is well worth it.
Bamboo can be either “running” or “clumping” and both do fine in a container. The running style gives the look many of us are trying to achieve and provides plenty of 3-year and older canes for uses such as curtain rods, fishing poles and trellises. Supervising the escape-artist rhizome is worth planning a strategy to contain it.
Bamboo comes in many sizes and colors. It is also useful as an evergreen hedge and for shading your property. Bamboo canes (culms) can be used as poles for temporary structures such as yurts, tents and tipis, if one knows how to harvest and dry them. Pictured is a Black Bamboo which is a running style and very pleasant. Very young culms are edible!
Click here to go to the Bamboo Section of the Main Street Trees website, for photos and descriptions of more bamboo species.