The South and the Pacific coast can rival England in luxuriance and variety, but the North cannot. In New England ivy must be covered in winter or else grown on the ground. East of the Rockies we may never have climbing roses growing up to the third story of a house and producing large, double flowers all summer. (See plate 76.) The great wonder-working genus Clematis is only partially available to us. England can grow anything which the North can and a great deal more. That is not strictly true, but it is exasperatingly near the truth.
It will be three centuries, at least, before America as a whole can be as beautiful as England. For, first, we must build our houses of permanent materials, next evolve a national style of architecture, and finally clothe our houses with the most appropriate vines.
Before we can grow the great variety of climbers that England does, we may have to build thousands of miles of high garden walls of brick and stone. But certainly we must plant Virginia creeper (plates 39 and 74) and Japan ivy by the million, especially in great cities, where no ugly wall should be left uncovered. And we must make every house beautiful the year round by growing on it evergreen climbers, especially ivy and euonvmus, which must be planted by the million.
But while the nation has long to wait, let no one be discouraged. The individual here can achieve during his own lifetime as much garden beauty as the individual in England. Americans are not deficient in originality and we may exercise that gift in devising different ways of training climbers — streamers, garlands, arches, wreaths, clouds, veils, bowers, arbours, pergolas, and covered ways. (See plate 75.) Moreover, the most progressive communities, in many cases, have been the ones that had the greatest natural difficulties to overcome.
It will be a long and hard job to find every plant that fits the climate of the Northern United States, but the longer our minds dwell upon questions of fitness the greater progress we shall make. And when at last we develop an American style of gardening, I believe the climbers will play an important part therein.*
• For descriptions and culture of particular vines consult Bailey's " Cyclopedia of American Horticulture." Among the best mgazine articles are: "The Decorative Value of Vines" by Frances Duncan, "Indoors and Out" igog, pp. 78 to 83. "How to Fit a Garden to a House" by Frances Duncan. Ladies' Home Journal, Feb. 1907, p. 24. "The Best Climbers South and North," by P. J. Berckmans. Garden Magazine, Jan. 1909, pp. 273 to 275.