Wait For It.

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Every time I make a new garden, I struggle with the desire to see it look like it does in my mind. Instead, it’s all naked. I like naked but sometimes, it’s dissappointing.

This week, I spent lots of time with Andy Adams who was finishing up structures in a garden we’ve worked on together for a year. We did it all, from clay hillside to cool place; including plants, wood, stone and even fabric for the chairs and it’s amazing for a new place.

But I want vines on those structures now. The conundrum never changes: Plant fast growing annual vines for shade and flower this summer or plant slower, woody vines that will be there for years.

You can’t have both. Plant both on the same trellis and the annual always wins, inhibiting the growth of the woody.

These Vines are Worth the Wait

Luckily, in this garden we have two structures. Next time, I’ll write about the fast growing annuals that will go on the strucure in the picture with Andy and me (above). But this time, here’s the list of woody vines that take time, will work on a large fence or trellis behind a perennial border, and will pay off big with fruits or flowers:

Kiwi Actinidia arguta ‘Ken’s Red’ (don’t forget you have to have a male)
Rose Rosa ‘Crepescule‘ (for some reason, men love this color)
Cross Vine Bignonia capreolata (I still love the old Tangerine Beauty)
Carolina Jessamine Gelsiumum sempervirens (nothing says spring like this medium sized vine)
Creepers Parthenocissus of any species (most cling to and climb without damaging any kind of wall)
Redwing Heteropterys glabra (yellow flowers, red maple like fruits)
Yellow Butterfly Vine Mascagnia macroptera (Zone 8 and warmer only)
Woodbine Lonicera sempervirens (lots of different colors)
Farge Sausage Vine Holboelia fargesii (best on trellis)
Carolina Aster Aster caroliniana (don’t cut it back every winter, even though it looks like you should)

Notice what’s NOT there: Confederate Jasmine and Banksia Rose! I love them both but unless you have an interstate or old factory to cover, these are booth just way too big and will create way too much root and light competition for other plants. And too much work for you to keep them in check.

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