Growing Vines on Garden Structures

Trellises, pergolas and arbors are common garden structures which are used to beautify and add style to landscape designs by providing support for all kinds of flowering vines, ivy and climbing roses. By planting flowering vines, these garden structures can create a colorful focal point in garden. They’re also effective when used to provide privacy, shade or to break up a large patio or lawn.

Pergolas are often used to define a sitting space. Vines growing on a pergola provide shade for a gathering area and create a respite from the hot summer sun.

Arbors are those garden structures which one can walk through. Serving as a gateway, arbors are a wonderful way to create a transition from one garden space to another. Arbors with an attached bench can provide a resting spot along a garden path. A rose covered arbor at the front door of a house is an ideal way to frame an entryway.

Trellises are vertical garden elements on which vines and other climbing plants can grow and are often used to add color to a plain wall. Standing alone, however, can provide privacy by acting as the wall itself. Supporting a Climbing Hydrangea (Hydrangea petiolaris) or Pyracantha (Pyracantha coccinea), a vine covered trellis can provide year-round interest to outdoor living spaces through color, texture and fragrance.

Garden Structures and Plants

PergolaDifferent types of climbing plants have different ways of attaching to garden structures as they grow. Some plants, such as English Ivy (Hedra helix) and Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia), attach themselves with aerial roots, some twist and wrap themselves around the structures, such as Wisteria (Wisteria sisensis), Honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica) and Morning Glory (Ipomea sp.). Be aware that some twisting vines wrap themselves loosely around the structures while others, such as wisteria and honeysuckle, are quite vigorous and require very sturdy support systems. Clematis (Clematis sp.) and Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus) have tendrils, or twining leaves, which attach to slender wires, string or twigs. These require a thin enough support for the small leaf stem to curl around. Climbing Roses (Rosa sp.) are considered ramblers as they are basically propped up against and on garden structures. They are unable to climb on their own and attached to structures with garden twine. Ramblers sometimes have thorns which help them grip neighboring stems. Boston Ivy (Parthenocissus) employs adhesive pads which are able to stick to garden structures allowing it climb.

Be sure the garden structure you choose is compatible with the climbing vine you plant. For instance, a large wooden trellis would not be suitable for growing morning glory. Likewise, an inexpensive plastic structure would eventually collapse under the weight of wisteria. If the space allows combine two or three climbing vines with complementary colors on a large garden structure for a stuuning display throughout the growing season.

Be sure your garden structure is adequately secured to the ground or surrounding structures to support the weight of the plant.

Related Articles: Patios, Paths, Garden Walls, Garden Design, Vines & Ivy