Hello fellow gardeners! Hope you’re enjoying the fantastic weather this month and remembering to water your plants, especially those in pots which can dry out quickly in this warm, dry weather.
This week I’d like to talk a little about adding a vertical element to your garden and some of the varieties that I have found to do well here. Although the nights are chilly, the days are still quite warm and I believe many vines planted now will do well and really take off for you by late spring, early summer.
I’d like to mention that there are many vertically-inclined types of plants, from climbing roses to English ivy, and how they do or do not attach themselves to your structure is important to know. Many will require strong support that you have to build, some have “tendrils” or “sticky pads” and will attach themselves, others you just have to tie to your trellis for support.
Coral Vine, Antigonon leptopus – This is a great climbing vine for a large area that needs to be covered as it can grow to 40′ long. If I wanted to cover a chain link fence, this is the baby I’d pick! It’s a beautiful sight when in bloom with lovely racemes of coral pink flowers dripping from it. It can take just about any soil, but is deciduous so will lose its leaves in winter, which is good if you want to let the sun in at that time. This one has tendrils to twine around whatever you provide.
Lilac Vine, Hardenbergia violaceae – This beautiful lilac flowering vine is evergreen for the most part and flowers all winter long, which is a real bonus for those of us who would like to see some winter color. It needs support, can grow to 15 feet and is very tolerant of soils. It can take partial shade also. It needs tying up to trellis or structure. There is also a shrub form of this plant available, I’ll let you know how it does, I just bought one.
Bougainvillea – I almost didn’t put this on the list, but it has a tropical feel to it and many people want that so it’s here. I, personally, don’t much care for that bright magenta/fuchsia colored one which seems to be everywhere, but that may just be me. There are many varieties and colors to choose from however. There are thorn-less varieties, so look for them. They are native to Brazil, so for the most part they are not for the desert – they don’t like frost much, but will usually come back if they do get some damage. The variety “Thai Delight” is an especially beautifully colored one to look for – white with a blush of pink. They come in many different sizes so just make sure to read the labels when purchasing at the nursery to see ultimate size. You will need to provide support for these.
Climbing Cecille Brunner, Rosa – This is a beautiful climbing rose, all of which needs support and tying, with small, sweet smelling pink roses literally covering the plant in spring. It has a sporadic re-bloom and then another smaller bloom in fall. This is gorgeous trained over a pergola or trellis, as is Lady Banks Rose, a “species” rose with tiny yellow flowers that will scramble, climb, and cover just about anything with a little help from you.
South African Jasmine, Jasminum angulare – This is one of the best of the jasmine family. Its flowers are much longer than j. polyanthum and can take the heat. It is an evergreen vine also, twining, needs support. J. polyanthum is not a bad choice mind you, it flowers in late winter though and the fragrance is to die for, so you could have one of each if you so desire. Neither are picky about soil.
Trumpet Creeper, Campsis radicans, Bignonia radicans or Campsis tagliabuana – These are fantastic tropical looking vines, fast growing, semi-evergreen, prefers to be well watered, aerial rootlets similar to ivy that will attach to any surface, so be careful where you place this one. Large orange/red or salmon colored trumpet shaped blooms – you will have lots of hummingbirds with this vine in the yard, I guarantee it!
Honeysuckle, Lonicera supervirens ‘Trumpet Honeysuckle’ or L. Americana ‘Pams Pink’ – I prefer these two varieties as they don’t get quite as “out of control” as Japanese Honeysuckle which is planted a lot around these parts on slopes, etc. Both varieties, Trumpet and Pam’s Pink, have darker colored flowers that attract hummingbirds and need tying and support, can take partial shade and Pam’s Pink prefers it in the Inland
I hope I’ve given you some possibilities for covering some walls and fences around your house now. Until next time, feel free to contact me with questions and I am available for consultations and design work. Happy gardening!
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