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 fun. 

          Morning Glories 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 the top.

          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.!!

          Purple passion 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. 

          Honeysuckles 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.

          Mandeville have 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.