New Foreigner Book!


a few hardcovers and pbs available from Closed Circle, signed. Latest: Moonlover and the Fountain of Blood, Jane Fancher short story. Chernevog, part 2 of the Rusalka trilogy co-written by CJ and Jane; and Orion's Children, a tetralogy from Lynn.

Jane’s getting a surprise prezzy—well, she’s had the surprise…

…after yanking that hops vine I planted. Lord! They make a beautiful shade, but they are not friendly to touch and they grow like mad here in Washington. We had to yank Audrey’s butt before she ate the gazebo…

and after Jane ripped up both arms yanking that, and thought maybe we should go to a friend and borrow a truck to get two hinoki cypress she saw at Lowe’s and has been lusting after—

I went and ordered them delivered. They’ll come Thursday. That’ll give time to dig two pits, either side of the moon gate.

The long junk-piled ‘south 40’ is going to be beautiful soon, with a meandering stream, a lotus pond, and the moon gate, with rhododendron and weigela.

24 comments to Jane’s getting a surprise prezzy—well, she’s had the surprise…

  • had the hops vine flowered? If so, the flowers would have been a key ingredient in beer, unless it was a male hop vine. In Germany, male hop vines are required to be destroyed….. (just another vendetta against us males).

    I think I asked once before, and perhaps you did know which variety of hop it was, but I’ve forgotten and have no idea where the original question would be.

    Did you leave any of the vine to grow back or is it gone?

  • CJ

    Oh, it was female. I assure you it was female. I hope it’s all gone: it had really, really huge roots in only two years, and it flowered two years. I was going to brew some into tea this fall, but this year—snow happened first. If you have a real desire to have prickly, stickery hops plants—we could trim the root and mail it to you, but I promise you, this is a real mean vine. I had no idea how fast-growing, how large, and how stickery when I planted it, in chancy soil, to see if ANYTHING would grow there!

    Hops is a major crop in Washington…we have wineries, breweries, distilleries, and hops of course for the breweries, —hops is shipped from here to breweries all over the world.

  • I have purchased my share of hops from Washington. Whether it be in whole leaf, plugs, or in pellets, I’ve used them extensively in various permutations of the ales I brew every so often. I don’t know if hops would grow in our soil here in Ohio. Do you happen to know which variety it was? I have my favorites, Cascade being #1 for bittering hops, and then I sometimes use Willamette for aroma hops…..then there are the reeeeeeaalllyyy strong ones, like Chinook, Columbus, Amarillo…..which I’ve never used. I like hops in my beer, but there is a point where your taste buds go into shutdown because the concentration of alpha acids is over their limit. Kind of like Stone Brewing Company’s “Ruination IPA”.

  • CJ

    Lol—well, I fear I’m too late to rescue it: Jane took her vengeance on that critter, can’t say as I blame her. I’d say it was probably Willamette, considering where we live…but if you’d like, I can look about and see if I can find you a plant. 😉

    • I had my monthly beekeepers’ association meeting tonight, our guest speaker works out of the Ohio State University Extension Office program, he’s a horticulturalist, as well as a beekeeper, produce farmer, etc. His office is located on a research farm near Wilmington, OH. They’re experimenting with growing hops here in Ohio. He said that so far, they’re looking at Willamette, Columbus, Amarillo, and that at one time, Ohio had a thriving hop farming industry, but the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution destroyed that industry, along with a lot of breweries in Ohio. We have a sizable German-descended population in the region of Ohio where I live, and they brought their crafts to Ohio.
      I might have a place to plant some rhizomes if/when I buy any, so, no need to worry about sending me a piece.

  • Ouch! She didn’t nickname it “Pegleg Pete”, by chance, did she?

    No, you won’t have to scare up a plant. I don’t know anything about growing hops, except that you need something for them to climb. I don’t have anything yet, and I’m afraid it would overrun my Roses of Sharon in the garden at the back of the yard, or if I planted it up next to the house, attack me while I’m in the hot tub…..;)

  • We’re in Madison, Wisconsin. A friend grew hops for just a few years. She had a very strong, very tall metal trellis designed and constructed just for the hops (it was supposed to look like a wave when the vines filled in).

    Well, the plant completely overgrew the trellis really fast — the “wave” grew up, over, and then down to the ground, and sought to take over other parts of the garden. It was pretty, but rather overwhelming!

    I helped her with some yard work a few weeks ago, and the hop vines are proving remarkably tenacious and difficult to remove. She cut them down to the ground in the fall, but the shoots popping up now have very well-established roots.

    I think hops are best grown where they have a lot of space. I don’t plan to add them to our garden any time soon.

    The new additions (and revisions) to the garden sound wonderful, but I hope you’re feeling a lot less beaten up by all the hard work!

    • paul

      Glyphosate/”Roundup” would be my first choice, on mild toxicity grounds. If they are resistant to that, I’d go for something stronger, 2,4-D/”Crossbow”, carefully.

  • chondrite

    Who invited the triffids?

  • If I had friends who brewed, I’d consider growing hops, but the problem with a vine that grows like that and flowers so profusely would be that you would soon run out of space to store the flowers. When I buy hops from the suppliers, they’re packaged in nitrogen and the bags are heat sealed. I wonder if one of those food-storage vacuum-and-seal devices would work, especially if you froze the bag afterward. The alpha acids tend to break down over time, and oxygen just accelerates the process. Freezing helps, but any remaining oxygen would still react with the lupulins in the flowers.
    We’ll see, I might still consider it, but not this year.

  • smartcat

    Odd! Yesterday we spent a lot of time walking around the yard deciding on a location for a lotus pond. Do you know of a good source for info on depth, size etc.? I’d also like a vine to go by the raised swimming pool deck. NOT hops or honeysuckle , which I have seen kill forty foot oaks! I’ve read too many warnings!

  • Two trees…doorways…did you get a Mr. Fusion pack for your new car? Have you seen any eccentric home scientists lately?

    Great Scott! That’s tremendous!

    The trees sound like they’ll be really pretty.

  • kokipy

    We used to have wisteria near an in ground vinyl pool and we were always concerned that its roots, which spread invasively, would puncture the vinyl. We had to root prune it periodically. We also had to prune the suckers aggressively to get it to bloom. I wasn’t so good at that but in our last year at that house I finally got it right.

    • Maybe I haven’t been pruning the suckers aggressively enough. We’ve yet to see a bloom. If you’ve any suggestions, I’m all ears! 😀

      • kokipy

        We lived at that house for about six years in all and for the first five I didn’t do much and saw not too many blooms. By the fifth year I had gotten tired of the nonblooming plant and basically cut it back to the trunk (it was an old one). Thinking if it died I would not be so sad. The next spring it was covered with blooms. Now, I don’t remember what time of year I pruned it. But I bet it you googled you could find some good info. You must prune the suckers for sure but I think you have to be even ,more aggressive than you could imagine.
        Sorry so late responding! I just noticed this.

  • Here’s a pic of one of the hinokis we already have next to the hops. The hinoki began to suffer last year and seeing the roots of that hops, I began to understand why. I fear I’ll be working those things out of the ground for the next ten years!

    The hinokis are incredibly cool and pretty trees. They are a bit twisty, and just make beautiful shapes. They’ve become my tall evergreen of choice, and one thing we’ve gotten in the back is deciduous-heavy. I’m getting a little scatter hinoki forest back there. 😀

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