Vines

Recently I removed some cypress vines from my coneflowers, as they were getting out of hand. I've mentioned before that I love growing flowering vines, and let them climb just about every structure I can. Today I thought I'd show you more of them.


All of the vines are really starting to go crazy now. They seem so well-behaved for most of the summer, almost "slow". Deceptively slow, to the point of making you plant more vines than you'll need to make sure they "fill in". I always forget that a single cypress vine will produce dozens (hundreds?) of separate "branch" vines, so I end up letting three or four plants grow, and pay for it with a huge tangle later in the summer.


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I like the tangle though. I like the way the "arms" are searching for something to grab onto. The flowers are just starting to emerge, but soon these will be hummingbird heaven!


I've got several different types of flowering vines in my garden. Besides the cypress vines I also have Hyacinth bean vine on this same small pergola:


Spanish flag vine on the large pergola over the patio:


There's more Hyacinth bean on that pergola too (I love these flowers!):


Vigna caracalla (or "snail vine") is climbing the railing of the deck stairs:


This provides a little bit of shade on the stairs, where I have several potted plants. I love having the vines on the railing -- there's more Hyacinth bean on the railing that's on the other corner of the deck.

You'll notice that I have several different plants of each type of vine throughout my garden. That's because once I find a vine I like and does well in our climate, I keep on using it. Plus at some point the deer or other critters are going to decide they want to start eating vines, so I need to have extra plants around.

Besides all of these desirables, there are also some unwanted vines like this wild grape:


It's smothering the bushes and trees in the strip of common ground behind my yard, and is getting up into my trees. I'll take care of this later this year.

Back to the good vines -- this trellis has all three on it: Hyacinth bean, cypress, and Spanish flag:


I only planted the Hyacinth bean here -- the other two reseeded from last year. This is a really hot location, but these plants are doing fairly well.

The Spanish flag vine has really nice flowers:


Besides pergolas, railings and trellises, I've got a simple method to add a vertical element to any bed: I use a single 10' pole of metal electical conduit and let vines grow up it.


It's super-easy to do, and adds so much to an otherwise low-growing bed. They won't get as dense as they will on a more complex structure like this tripod trellis:


But they will definitely hold their own on a single pole and be beautiful.

Here's Spanish flag that hasn't started flowering yet:


The Spanish flag is probably the best of the vines I grow for a single pole, although the deer ate quite a bit of this last year. Luckily they don't eat the stems, so the leaves will grow back quickly if removed. No deer damage on this one yet though.




Flowering vines -- they can turn a hard, cold, boring structure into a soft, living wall or tower of foliage and flowers. One of my favorite plants!

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