|My two muscadine vines, a 'Cowart' and a 'Fry' cultivar, beginning to "color up" in late November.|
I grow muscadines in my garden more as an homage to my childhood than for any actual use. Muscadines grew rampantly in the area where I grew up and I used to look forward to picking them in the fall and eating them right off the vine. I also looked forward to the muscadine jelly that my mother made.
In truth, muscadines are not really that great for eating because they have very tough skins and are quite seedy, but I was not a connoisseur as a child and I loved them. They are probably best used for making jellies and jams, and, supposedly, they can make a quite decent wine, although I can't say that I've tried that.
|Here are a few of the fruits of my two vines, muscadine grapes.|
In addition to providing food for the animals, the vines also provide shelter and a hiding place for the birds. They are located quite near my backyard feeder system and I cannot begin to count the times I've seen the birds at the feeder suddenly dive into those vines to escape an attack from a Cooper's or a Sharp-shinned Hawk.
As for me, I just enjoy looking at the vines, watching as the leaves turn yellow and the grapes turn purple. They add a lot of fall color to my garden.
|A cluster of muscadine leaves in late November is a bouquet of gold.|