Is your garden looking a little flat? Bring some of those blooms up to eye level with an arbor and flowering vines. Many flowering vines are easy to grow and can bring a huge visual impact to an otherwise one-dimensional landscape. Spring is a good season to get started on an arbor and plant a beautiful vine.
Arbors take many forms. They can be as simple as a sheet of lattice attached to a wall or as complicated as the builder’s skill allows. There are numerous plans available online, some are available for free and some for a fee. Alternately, you could check out your local library or home improvement store for building plans. If you don’t happen to have construction or carpentry skills, the home improvement store may have some ready-made options or contractors available to hire.
The first task is to choose where you want to place your arbor. Traditional placement is often arching over a path or a gate. You can also have a flat version dressing a blank wall. Putting one over a patio can provide a bit of dappled shade to relive the summer heat. Just don’t forget that your arbor will also be visible in the winter so make sure it will look appealing in all seasons.
The spot you pick should have good soil for the vines that will soon be growing over it. You can provide this with large pots or planters at the base or by amending the soil. Don’t till up the earth so much that you no longer have a solid foundation for your arbor.
This is probably the most fun you’ll have in this process. The variety of vines is amazing and each one seems more beautiful and fantastic than the next. From low maintenance ivies to fragrant yellow jasmine to the showy purple queen bougainvillea, the choices seem endless. Here are a few things to take into consideration before making a purchase.
- Soil conditions
- Light requirements
- Care and training needs
- Hardiness and viability in your zone
- Required support
Vines for Shade
- Purple Wisteria. Fragrant with masses of lavender blooms.
- Star Jasmine. Highly fragrant with small, waxy white blooms and shiny dark leaves.
Vines for Full Sun
- Henryi Clematis. Stunning brilliant white blooms in a fast growing vine. This one likes its top in the sun but its “feet” in shade.
- Scarlet Honeysuckle. Exotic fragrance, fast growing and attracts hummingbirds.