Consider Vines When Planning Your Garden
Growing Annual and Perennial Vines
Vines are among the most versatile, interesting and independent plants on earth. Indigenous people in every part of the world use vines for building homes, vessels and even bridges. But most of us think of vines as vegetable or flower garden plants.
I love vines because they add height and depth to a garden and also cover unsightly or uninteresting surfaces. One year I went a little bonkers and ordered every vine seed I found in the catalogs. I then collected the seeds from those plants and still have new plants from them each year.
Vegetable vines allow a garden to produce more crops because they can be trained to grow up a support or fence. Beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, grapes, kiwi, squash and some varieties of melon all do quite nicely while growing up a vertical support. You can grow some veggie vines even if you have a very small garden by using a large tub and planting a trellis in it. Plant pole beans, cucumbers or patio tomatoes to climb the trellis. Add some herbs, like sweet basil, lettuce seeds and you're all set!
Flowering vines are wonderful for adding a more lush feel and height to a flower garden. Heavenly Blue Morning Glories are among my favorite, but I combine them with other flower vines for added color. The Canary Creeper e, an annual, is grown for its five-finger ‘paw-like' leaves, however the small bright yellow flowers that look like tiny angels to me. Cardinal climber vines have beautiful ferny foliage and small bright-red flowers that look like small red petunias.
Every year I grow Moonflower Vines with large, creamy white blooms shaped like Morning Glories. They need a lot of heat and sun. The fun part is that the blossoms only open after dark. It's a wonderful treat to One year they bloomed profusely and the kids loved going outside to watch them bloom. We have a long fence and I plant a six-foot section of Heavenly Blue morning glories, Canary creeper (I love blue and yellow together), Cardinal climber and Moonflowers. This keeps the fence in bloom at some point at all times in late summer.
All of the vines I've mentioned so far are annuals, unless you live in a very tropical climate. Perennials come back year after year. There are literally dozens of kinds and colors of Clematis, Climbing Hydrangea, Chocolate Vine (a good one for shady areas) and Dutchman's Pipe. Also, climbing roses are a beautiful sight blooming on a trellis or arbor. Heritage roses are wonderful climbers and hardier than hybrids and require less chemicals, so are more earth friendly. Perennials, given the right amount of sun and nutrients, via compost, will last for decades.
Consider vines when planning your garden and add another dimension and facet to your garden.