Vines have particular qualities that make them perfect for using in the garden, especially in confined spaces.
Their colors, textures, and forms, as well as their seasonal aspects, make them wonderful additions to your planting design palette.
Here are a few of the ways you can use vines in your favorite garden.
- Vines are perfect for shading outdoor gathering areas like arbors, trellises, patios, pergolas, and private nooks
- Plant a vine in front of a building’s wall to soften its aspect
- Break up the monotonous line of a fence or low garden wall with a rambling vine
- Creating ever-changing patterns against architectural elements
- Use vines to screen objectionable views
- Define outdoor living areas with dense-foliage vines
- Shade south or west facing walls and create cooler indoor temperatures
- Slope eroding? Use sprawling vines as ground covers to control erosion (make sure they don’t migrate, though)
- Have trouble growing grass under trees? Replace the grass with a vine like Vinca minor
- Vines can be used to trim support posts of porches, or window and door frames, even window boxes
- Use vines as container plants to liven patios or porches
- Want to create a sense of continuity in adjacent planting beds? Plant a vine and let it wander through the shrubs. Instant unity!
- Plant your vine in a hanging basket suspended from a Shepard’s hook or a post. The vine will grow full and dense, hanging down and making a great vertical statement.
Beware of invasive vines like English Ivy. Vines with aerial rootlets can damage wooden walls, so you might want to plant these against a lattice frame set a foot or so apart from the wall. And some vines, like the beautiful Gelsemium sempervirens, are poisonous. Use these with care.
Vines are perfect for the small garden. They take up little space for the great benefits that they provide.
Plant a vine today, and reap the rewards for a lifetime.