MORE VINES I LIKE ... BY GLADYS JEURINK
When you run
out of room in the yard to plant something new, there is always a
way-up. Vines climb by different ways. As they get taller the vines that
produce tendrils tend to swing their tips in a circular direction until
they meet something to wrap around. If you are patient enough to watch the process, set up a
chair near a pea vine that has started to put out tendrils. Place a stick near the vine and on a warm day with plenty of
water, it will take less than 2 hours for the vine to find the stick.
Sweet peas and clematis are examples of this.
My favorite clematis is “Ramona”. It can do well in light
shade and has a big blue flower. A
late bloomer is Mongolian Gold, an oriental clematis that has small
golden blooms and silky pods.
Grapes are in
this clinging group. Their
tendrils are amazingly strong. This last summer a wild grape appeared on
the fence of the dog pen and climbed into a blue spruce.
I hear they are very aggressive so it bears watching.
I have a
Wisteria (chinensis) planted on the patio that is a “twiner”.
In 2 years it had completely encircled a pole 5 times and was 7
feet to 8 feet high. The pole was set in concrete in order to hold it
but because of its growth, we put another pole in across the walk and
stretched some fencing across. Everything
has disappeared under the wisteria.
It is not a heavy bloomer for me but the long chains I do get are
are also twiners. In the fall it takes a while to get them off a fence as about
every circle has to be cut. On
the front fence is a twiner called the porcelain vine (Ampelopsis
brevipedunculata). It is known for its cluster of berries that change to
lavender, purple and blue in the fall and all colors may appear at the
same time. It will grow 20
feet in a summer. If your fence isn’t that high it will travel along
A weird climber
I have as a houseplant is the climbing onion (Bowiea volubis). When an
outer peeling of my onion came partially off, it developed baby onions
along the torn side so now I have several.
Its stem is leafless, a succulent with may forking stems that has
to be helped a little to climb. I
have it on a 2 foot trellis. When
it reached the top it fell back down to the onion and started up again.
It has a dormant season when it must be left dry.
It is not gorgeous, it is not useful, but it is very different.!!
vine (Gynura aurantiaca) is another houseplant I have never thought of
as a vine but rather a sprawler. The
first one I saw was at a ladies house, and was a soft, fuzzy bright
purple that had covered an entire dresser as she wound it around and
around. The under leaves
are green and the older ones turn dull on top so its best to start new
cuttings at least once a year in order to have the pretty color.
The purple is actually hairs on the surface of a green leaf.
They can be trained as vines and in their native country get as
long as nine feet.
can be used as vines or as groundcovers to control erosion.
Many of them are very fragrant and you can find one in red,
orange, coral, white or yellow and some have berries to feed the birds.
Halls honeysuckle, which has fragrant white blooms, is considered
a weed in eastern United States. It
will grow 15 feet in one season and branches root on the ground if they
touch. I have a yellow one
that was given to me that I cut back quite severely each spring. I hope
to get a Goldflame honeysuckle this next spring.
become quite popular as a potted tender vine here in Lincoln.
Most of the ones I have seen are pink.
Mine lived in the garage the winter of 2003-2004, and bloomed
last summer as if nothing had happened. You can take cuttings,
preferably in spring to maintain your plant.
I have a small one in the greenhouse that I will put on a trellis
in May. They can get 15 feet high but I cut the ends off when they
reach the end of the trellis.
On the west 6
feet of fence I have had the perennial sweet pea for 20 plus years.
It was given to me and grows almost under the big cottonwood but
blooms its heart out in pink and white for several months.
The pods split and send new seeds out so it is about 8 feet wide
with new plants each year.