Walking down the 1800 block of Capistrano Avenue this morning, I stopped in my tracks at the sight of what appeared to be a fence, constructed of intricately interwoven jasmine vines, with no apparent beginning or end, yet 100% alive, dotted with green leaves and fragrant open blossoms.
I was absolutely fascinated and spent several minutes examining it and trying to figure out how anything could possibly be grown in this pattern. Some of the shoots looked young and green, yet interwoven with others that, while alive, looked many years old, and all of it threaded through by wooden pickets which themselves had clearly not been disturbed for many years. Nearby stood another fence, blanketed by more jasmine vines, but with these ones growing in their typical wild and exuberant fashion.
Eventually I could not contain my curiosity, and knocked on the door of the house. The very kind homeowner came out, and he explained that over 25 years ago, when he and his wife purchased the property, he planted 3 jasmine vines at the base of 3 different fence posts. As the vines grew, he began to thread the shoots in and out along the pickets. Year after year, as the vines matured, he continued to thread and loop, finding new gaps for the green shoots in spring, clipping and unthreading old and spent shoots as needed. As we spoke, he grasped a 6” sprig, created a new gap with his finger, and wove the sprig into the tapestry.
The effect is breathtaking, and if you are walking around Solano Avenue, I suggest you walk down Capistrano near Colusa for a look – and a whiff of wonderful perfume!