Vines Give Almost Any Garden Color and Coverage
Do you have a spot in the garden that calls for a vine? Practically every garden does! At least a dozen or more types and varieties of vines merit consideration for use in the landscape. Some vines have evergreen leaves, while others are deciduous.
Here in the Northwest, the flowering vines are particularly popular trellises, arbors, downspouts, carport posts, pillars, old tree stumps and retaining walls. Vines can also be used in trees as a means of providing additional garden color. In fact, almost every garden has at least one area where a vine can be effectively used to provide color or privacy. Here are a dozen of the best vines to use in the Northwest landscape:
CLEMATIS - The deciduous varieties come in a broad range of flower colors and color combinations. Undoubtedly clematis are the most popular flowering vines for the Northwest garden. The evergreen variety Armandi has white flowers. Clematis need shade around the base of the plants-to keep the root zone cool. Evergreens or perennials can be used to provide the shade.
WISTERIA - Here's another outstanding deciduous vine. The blue flowering varieties are the most popular. They need heavy pruning of secondary growth in February. Give this sturdy grower plenty of room.
VIRGINIA CREEPER - This attractive deciduous vine has suction cup-like disks at the end of their tendrils. A prolific growing vine with nice autumn leaf color.
BOSTON IVY -Similar in growing habit to the Virginia Creeper and of the same family, but the leaf texture is bolder. Bright autumn leaf color. Deciduous, robust growing vine.
CLIMBING HYDRANGEA - Many people are not familiar with this vine, but it grows and flowers very well in the Pacific Northwest. Flowers are white. Grows in a semi-shady part of the garden. Robust deciduous vine.
HONEYSUCKLE - One of the most popular fragrant vines. Grows in full or part sun. Several varieties are popular here. Deciduous vine with flowers that vary in shades or combinations of colors including white, yellow, pink and red. Fast growing and needs yearly pruning to maintain good shape.
PASSION VINE - Most frequent variety grown here is Passiflora alatocaerulea. Unusual flowers are fragrant and in shades of lavender, purple, pink and white with a tinge of green. Grow this one in fait *Miller good drainage. Mulch the base of the vines with straw over winter.
AKEBIA QUINATA - Small, delicate leaves in clusters of five. Spring flowers are purplish, sometimes followed by edible fruit. Grows in full or part sun. Deciduous.
KIWI - (Actinidia chinensis) Attractive leaves and prolific deciduous vine. Will produce fruit here if male and female vines are planted nearby. Fruit is fuzzy brown outside, greenish inside. Prune the vines like you prune grapes, in late winter.
GRAPES - A very popular vine in the home garden. This prolific deciduous vine thrives on considerable neglect. Of course, the edible fruits provide a great bonus. Bold leaves provide a nice texture in the garden.
IVY - The English ivy has evergreen foliage. Although this is most often used as a ground cover, it can also be used as a vine on a fireplace, retaining wall, etc. Other varieties can be used as vines too.
FATSHEDERA - A popular bold leaf vine for the shaded garden. This plant needs support as it grows. Plant in well-drained soil, in .a protected area.
Upright vaieties of both cotoneasters and firethorns are often trained and used in places where vines might otherwise be used. Both of these evergreen plants do very well in full sun or part sun and shade.
Sweet peas, Scarlet runner beans, Black-eyed Susan vine and annual morning glory vines are among the most popular seasonal vines. (Bindweed is the nuisance morning glory vine. Do not use it.)
The best time to prune spring flowering vines is immediately after they finish flowering. Summer flowering vines are pruned in the late winter or earliest springy.
Fertilize vines in late February or early March. Use a rose-' type fertilizer to feed deciduous vines and a rhododendron-type fertilizer to feed evergreen vines.
Vines can be planted at almost any time throughout the year. Today with the advent of container-grown nursery stock, almost all vines are grown in pots. Prepare the soil by mixing generous quantities of peat moss, compost (if available) arid processed manure with your existing soil.