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How Vines Can Improve Your Garden

vines improving the garden rdk landscaping


The vines are golden when covering bare fences and walls, but they can do more.

Climbing plants, also known as creepers, grow naturally in tropical and temperate forests. Some use tendrils to anchor to supports, while others, such as English ivy, use suckers to grasp. Many climbers must be trained to grow on a trellis or wire and often use plant string or twine to keep them in the right direction. As garden plants, climbers are useful for covering or camouflaging unattractive structures, but they are also invaluable for connecting tall buildings to the garden below and softening architectural forms.

They are also suitable for small gardens, balconies, city patios and other places where vertical space is one of the best options for planting. Vines are versatile above ground plants grown for their flowers, leaves, fragrance or fruit. And many can be trained to grow in other ways, for example as a shrub, standard or ground cover. Read on for some inspiring reasons to include this versatile vertical plant in your garden.

Connect to the garden.

Training plants over the pergolas strengthen the connection between the structure and adjacent buildings and gardens by softening the man-made material. Plants are a cost-effective way to create shade, and the light quality under green plants dapples nicely. Deciduous climbers still allow sunlight to penetrate underneath the pergolas during the winter. However, the downside is that when using plants, they provide little protection from leaf, flower and fruit droplets, insect attractants and rain.

Tip: Pergolas must be strong enough to support the climber’s weight.

Soften the wall.

Who can resist the beauty of a stone wall covered in beautifully blooming roses? There are hundreds of varieties of climbing roses to choose from, and some, like this ‘Lady Banks’, are more disease resistant than others. Some are fragrant and will produce long-term repeat blooms or blooms if planted in the right location.

Tip: Climbing roses should be tied to supports. Use flexible plant string, soft string or pantyhose strips.

Create a romance.

Wisteria is another popular traditional flower that decorates pergolas and walls, adding a romantic softness to gardens. Noted for their showy, fragrant purple, pink or white flowers, wisteria is deciduous, frost-resistant and very long-lived. However, it can be rampant in some gardens, so choose your species carefully. The Chinese wisteria is a very vigorous variety, while the Japanese wisteria variety is known to grow better. Wisteria can also be standard trained, which is a good solution in small gardens.

Specifies the color.

For long-lasting, dazzling color, you can’t beat bougainvillea. The showy South American native is another very hardy vine, but if you have the space and strong support to grow your bougainvillea, it will not only produce flowers in a variety of colors over a long period of time, but will also attract regular visiting butterflies and other pollinators.

Bougainvillea needs plenty of sunlight, shelter from cold winds, and well-drained soil. It is ideal for coastal gardens as it can withstand salty winds.

Tip: Some people also grow bougainvillea along walls for security purposes. Vines can be cut ruthlessly when needed.

Grow in a pot.

Bougainvillea is one of the more versatile vines, like star jasmine, that can begrown as a shrub and looks great in large containers on decks or patios.

Tip: Choose a compact variety like ‘Raspberry Ice’ for this.

Bring tropical beauty.

The bold and beautiful flowers of many climbing plants can add an exotic touch to your garden. Most satisfying are subtropical plants such as Passiflora, clematis, bloody trumpet vine and Brazilian jasmine.

Flowering vines to plant this spring for a tropical style

Add perfume.

The scent gives the garden an extra sensory dimension and there are many climbers picking its exquisitely fragrant flowers. Used extensively in gardens for its fragrant white flowersand year-round dark green leaves, southern jasmine needs little introduction. And the trumpet-shaped white flowers of the subtropical Madagascar jasmine are even more fragrant.

Many clematis produce fragrant flowers such as yellow-flowered Carolina jasmine, lemon-scented jasmine, snail flower, and vanilla-scented chocolate vine or chocolate purple flowers.

Go to ground.

In addition to covering walls and other structures, southern jasmine is often used as a ground cover or clipped shrub, as seen here.

The lilac creeper is another climber that happily crawls across the ground, covering hillsides and banks with rich purple flowers.

Make a pattern.

Many climbers are trained to grow around wires or other patterned supports. This can be a nice focal point for a bare wall in your garden. Here, Southern Jasmine has been trained to grow in a diamond pattern on the walls of this home in Buffalo NY USA.

Autumn colors are provided.

Many deciduous vines, such as the Boston ivy used here, have leaves that turn wonderful colors in the fall. Virginia vine and ornamental grape are other options.

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