Friday, April 26, 2013


Vines are great in the garden.  They expand the  garden space by lifting the eyes and soften the hard edges. They can provide a screen or be used as ground covers on steep or eroded areas.  Vines climb by tendrils, by twining or by clinging. The gardener will often train vines that twine or grow long stems on a structure.

Purple hyacinth beans (Lablab purpureus) were planted in the spring at the base of this inexpensive arbor and by mid-summer began to bloom and attract butterflies (picture from August 2011).
tomatoes are vines

English ivy (Hedera helix) climbs by aerial rootlets and so needs no help to cover fences, walls, or trees

Our property came to us with lots of English ivy.  I have gotten rid of much of it over the years, but I have encouraged the growth on our back chain link fence and it has made a wonderful year round green back drop to the gardens.  I am careful to keep it in check and continue to whittle away at the ground area the ivy covers.

Cross Vine (bignonia capreolata) and Carolina Jessamine (Gelsemium sempervirens) share an arbor by my back gate. 

 The native cross vine is really putting on a show right now.
  Cross vine "tangerine beauty" that I put in last summer is covered in blooms.
     The native red honey suckle is a real beauty and attracts hummingbirds. Light regular pruning keeps it blooming throughout the summer (not as heavy blooms). This vine grows very quickly and is easy to train up a hook or pole.

"Ouchita" blackberry is a vertical growing plant, so it might not technically be called a vine, but it does like  something to lean on. (don't we all, from time to time?)

There are some vines that are invasive and you should really steer clear of, such as japanese honeysuckle, wisteria, and autumn clematis.  I think particularly if you have a small lot, as I do, that you have to be careful when you choose vines so that your property is not totally overrun. And you really want to stay away from the vine I wrote about in a previous post.

Virginia creeper appears on its own on the fence here and there.  Never invasive and beautiful leaf color in fall.

These are the vines that I presently have in my gardens.  I haven't been too successful with clematis, but maybe someday I'll figure out the perfect spot for one.

I am joining Tootsie Time for Fertilizer Friday!  Happy gardening dreams!


  1. Hi Beth....I love your Crossvine! I have a couple but they've never looked as beautiful as yours does! I also really like that red Honeysuckle. I bet the hummers go crazy for that vine!

    1. Christy - the hummers do love the red honeysuckle, but so far this year we haven't had any visit. Keep hoping they'll be around soon.

  2. I love vines in the garden!
    I am so happy that I had some time to pop over here today and see what you shared! It is great to finally be able to flaunt some of my own spring blessings and get inspired by some of the best gardens online!
    Thank you so much for joining in on my little party this week! I hope to see you again soon! Have a great weekend!
    Your post today has been shared to the Tootsie Time Facebook page!

    ¸.•´¸.•*¨) ¸.•*¨)
    (¸.•´ (¸.•´ .•´ ¸¸.•¨¯`•.

    1. Glenda, I'll check out your facebook page. Happy gardening!