On Climbing Vines: On Rampant Vines and inspiring DIYers
Editor Scott Omelianuk on climbing vines
Don't know about you, but sometimes I think home-improvement projects exist to strangle us for time and money and sanity like some sentient science-fiction vine.
Or maybe kudzu. Me, I've got my own vine problems. There's the Virginia creeper that doesn't creep so much as sprint—usually across a row of hedges, up a nearby tree, and into the neighbor's yard. That's me having it out with the creeper in the photo, there. And then there's the honeysuckle, which offers the sweet gift of a fragrant yard along with the tart price of a knotted mess of brown, dead branches that each spring need to be teased out of the creeper and the ivy. Yeah, the ivy; that's vine problem No. 3. That was planted to grow up a back fence but consistently avoids the climb and instead tries to sneak across the garden bed and gravel patio toward the house. Fortunately, I move somewhat faster than it does, so I manage to whack it back before it gets me in my sleep.
Lucky for you, that worry can be avoided by checking out one of my favorite stories in this issue, "Quick Climbers." I could have avoided so much had I read it before planting, but there's enough in it to fix my problems. You know, a bit of vine-dication.
Meantime, my other favorite story in this issue takes us back to home-improvement projects—odd how things come full circle around here, huh? It's almost like we're playing a game. Which we are. It's called the This Old House #DIYDare Challenge. In it, five teams of TOH staffers were tasked with turning a collection of random project leftovers, a couple of newly bought items, and whatever tools they needed into a handsome bit of DIY. The results impressed us enough to extend the challenge to you. Can you improve on Sal and Allie's window box? Or Nate and Lyndsey's kitchen island? Or the umbrella stand Bob and his daughter, Ivy (no relation to my ivy), built? Or, better, can you create an entirely different—and cooler—project from what you've got lying around the house? Give it a shot, snap it with your phone, and upload it to social media with the hashtag #DIYDare. We'll feature the best of them in TOH and, hopefully, discover a couple of readers so talented that they become regular contributors to This Old House. And that's no fiction—science or otherwise.