Grow Up! – Blooming vines for the garden
By Amy McDowell
Heighten the drama in your garden with in-your-face blooming vines. For shady spots, plant silver lace vine or climbing hydrangea. For sun, plant clematis, wisteria or trumpet vine. If you are used to having flowers at your feet, you will soon be into flowers over your head as these climbers reach for the sky.
Clematis is the star of the climbing show. Clematis needs full sun and a couple of annuals or perennials around the base to shade the ground around the root system. They come in all shades and combinations of red, purple, pink and white. By planting a variety, you can have blooms from May through September. Clematis does best on a wire trellis; the leaves and stems tendril around the trellis for support as they climb.
Silver Lace Vine (Polygonum auberti) is a little-known vine that offers a gorgeous show. From a distance, it looks like a waterfall with masses of delicate draping white panicles of blooms. It will grow and bloom in shade. Silver lace vine grows quickly to 20 feet and blooms in August and September. It will climb anything except a flat vertical surface.
Wisteria is a behemoth—no ordinary trellis or latticework will hold this woody monster. A solid arbor with 4 x 4 or 6 x 6 posts and a sturdy canopy will make a good home for wisteria. Only buy wisteria that is in bloom or has evidence of spent blooms on it. Some gardeners struggle for decades to get wisteria to bloom. If it is blooming when you buy it, you can trust it to rebloom faithfully in the garden each spring. Wisteria bloom lavender or white in May.
Climbing Hydrangea take a season in the ground to get established before they really leap with new growth. Elegant flat white panicles of blooms appear in June and last for nearly six weeks. They have dark green glossy foliage and attractive bark during the winter months. Climbing hydrangea can grow to 60 feet and will adhere to any surface. Plant them in shade.
Trumpet Vine (Campsis radicans) is an aggressive and rampant grower. Plant one of these and you’ll forever find them running out from the base and sprouting up in the garden. Hummingbirds love their red, orange or yellow blooms. Trumpet vines need full sun and grow to 30 feet. They will climb anything, using aerial roots to grasp and adhere like glue on surfaces.