Wisteria can provide the perfect cover.

Beautiful fencing with vines

Looking for a simple but fast cover-up to screen an old fence or wall, an unsightly building or a nosy neighbour? Why not make good use of some interesting and attractive vines.

Looking for a simple but fast cover-up to screen an old fence or wall, an unsightly building or a nosy neighbour?  Why not make good use of some interesting and attractive vines.

Most folks plant vines, like clematis and honeysuckle, for their lovely flowers, but attractive, carefree foliage is also something to be considered.  One of the most unusual and attractive is a delightful kiwi vine that has dappled pink edges on its leaves all summer long.  The leaves come out green in the early spring, then turn white and, eventually, pink. It has small white flowers that can be pollinated by planting both male and female vines.  Its fruit, which is simply delicious, is very similar to the small grape-like kiwi.  Its proper name is Actinidia kolomikta.

For fast growing vines that are great cover-ups on chain fences or unattractive cement walls, try one of the many forms of Virginia Creeper.  Parthenocissus quinquefolia is the traditional large-leafed variety that turns brilliant red in fall.  The so-called ‘Boston Ivy’, P. tricuspidata ‘Veitchii, has smaller and more elegant foliage with all the same characteristics.  Its new growth is a purple red all summer long, and this plant is quite pollution resistant.  There are a few new varieties now available, like P. henryana, that have attractive variegated foliage. Even in winter, the massive network of vines makes them effective.

A very classy and elegant vine that is seldom used is a dainty small-leafed akebia.  It is a semi-evergreen vine that produces fragrant small purple flowers that are in bloom right now.  This Japanese native also produces small, sausage-shaped fruit.  It is an effective, fast growing vine that would be useful almost anywhere.

The vine being promoted in many magazines today is the ‘Hummingbird Vine’.  In our region it does not bloom until mid-summer, but when it does, its huge orange to scarlet blossoms are really quite something.  Its leaves are very lush and fast growing, making it an ideal cover for old stumps, walls or trellises.  There are many varieties available today, but ask for Campsis radicans or C. tagliabuana ‘Madame Galen’ for the bright orange flowers that appeal to hummingbirds.  The newest variety, ‘Indian Summer’, has a slightly lighter orange colour but blooms earlier and longer.  It’s quite amazing.  All campsis need little care but must have a hot, sunny area for the best performance.  They can be invasive, so root pruning is recommended to keep them well behaved.

If you want ‘fast’, then one vine I really should mention is the ‘Silver Lace Vine’, Polygonum aubertii.  Often called the Mile-a- Minute Vine, it is among the fastest growing, stretching up to twelve feet per season.  To cover a patio, pole, old fence or anything unsightly for that matter, it is the best.  I have run these vines up evergreen trees for a striking effect each summer as the lacy white blossoms provide a nice contrast.  It is the vine which seems to grow anywhere, with little care.

I once visited a gardener who smothered a rather unattractive old shed wall with several varieties of honeysuckle.  Not only did they look great, but their fragrance also filled his entire garden.  I was not the only admirer either, as several hummingbirds were sipping nectar from the long slender florets of a variety called ‘Dropmore Scarlet’.  My favourite variety is the soft yellow, very perfumed ‘Halliana’. There is a new variety, called ‘Honey Baby’, that grows only to six feet and has yellow perfumed flowers all summer long. All varieties can suffer from mildew and aphids.

Wisteria also grows quickly, and whether it be the white, pink or blue variety, is noted for its rapid growth and clean appearance. By the way, the Chinese varieties grow anti-clockwise, while the Japanese varieties grow clockwise!  The Japanese (floribunda) types tend to bloom far earlier than the Chinese (sinensis) varieties, which often take up to seven years for the first blooms to appear.  My advice:  purchase larger grafted varieties for earlier blooming.

If you have a really shady spot, then the climbing hydrangea is absolutely the best.  ‘Hydrangea petiolaris’ is an excellent, lush green climber with rounded, heart-shaped leaves.  Its large, flat white flower clusters look absolutely smashing in June.  Its newer, more dainty cousin, ‘schizophragma’ comes in both pink and white.

Another somewhat forgotten vine is the Porcelain Vine (Ampelopsis elegans) which has dainty white and green foliage that is a true class act in full sun or partial shade.

Vines are great, easy to grow, colourful and effective in solving so many landscape problems!  Take a good look around your garden and see if a few vines here and there wouldn’t improve the overall appearance, or at least cover up a few of those trouble spots.

Just Posted

Unique treasures to be found at Chilliwack Christmas Craft Market

The 44th annual event is the Chilliwack Community Arts Council’s largest fundraiser

Chilliwack toy drive brings in gifts, money to Ann Davis Transition Society

People dropped by Superstore to donate toys and more for those in need this holiday season

Chilliwack RCMP find chemicals and cannabis extract in illicit lab

Marijuana may be legal but altering it using chemicals violates the Cannabis Act

Chilliwack RCMP seek suspects in rash of poppy donation box thefts

Incidents at four different locations in Sardis in the days leading up to Remembrance Day

German-born British Columbian warns against a ‘yes’ vote on proportional representation

Agassiz realtor Freddy Marks says PR in his home country shows party elites can never be voted out

Trudeau offers to help Pacific islands face climate change impact

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with the leaders from the Pacific island nations on Saturday during the APEC Summit in Papua New Guinea

Price makes 36 saves as Habs edge Canucks 3-2

Late goal lifts Montreal past Vancouver

BC Minister of Agriculture loses stepson to accidental overdose

Lana Popham announces death of her 23-year-old stepson, Dan Sealey

Canadian military’s template for perfect recruits outdated: Vance

Gen. Jonathan Vance, the chief of defence staff says that the military has to change because the very nature of warfare is changing, particularly when it comes to cyber-warfare

‘Toxic’ chosen as the Word of the Year by Oxford Dictionaries

Other top contenders for 2018 include ‘gaslighting’ and ‘techlash’

1 woman dead, man in hospital after ‘suspicious’ crash: police

Homicide investigators and Burnaby RCMP are investigating the fatal collision

Canada defeats Germany 29-10 in repechage, moves step closer to Rugby World Cup

Hong Kong needs a bonus-point win over Canada — scoring four or more tries — while denying the Canadians a bonus point

Avalanche Canada in desperate need of funding

The organization provides avalanche forecasting for an area larger than the United Kingdom

5 B.C. cities break temperature records

Parts of B.C. remain warm, at 10 C, while others feeling chilly

Most Read