Ball of fun

My five-leaf Akebia vine is a wreath- and sphere-making materials factory.

DIY vine sphere akebia vine lightThis is the better part of the summer’s harvest of vines from one Akebia vine – Akebia quinata  (Chocolate Vine). It has little dark purple flowers that look like popped popcorn – but close to black.

It’s a vigorous vine and the flowers supposedly smell like chocolate. It’s considered invasive in the Eastern U.S. I now know why.

Here’s a finished wreath ready to dry over winter.

I can usually get two or three wreaths made from the vines that travel along the ground, snaking out in all directions. This time I made a sphere – with plans in the spring to turn the vine sphere into a hanging light to use outdoors someplace on the deck, or elsewhere.

Not sure if I should use a conventional (outdoor) single bulb, or Edison-type bulb, or just wrap it in white string lights. It might depend on where it’s going to go.

Next year’s vine project might be a different shape – maybe a star, maybe a large cone shape, a basket, peace sign, bow tie, flower shape – maybe a birdhouse! What would you make?

DIY vine sphere akebia vine drying
For the winter it will dry in the potting shed.

I have a long-time garden blog, a popular garden on America's largest garden tour, and have co-written a book on garden design titled, "Buffalo-Style Gardens: Create a Quirky, One-of-a-Kind Private Garden with Eye-Catching Designs" When I'm not doing all that, I am an advertising designer always out looking to design things to promote your business. Look me up at #jcharlier.

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