How To Use Vines In Landscaping Your Home
By Paul Curran
Vines can be the quick salvation of the new home owner.
Fast-paced annuals will twine up a hastily erected pergola almost
before summer starts, providing a cool, fragrant and beautiful
awning. Annuals and perennials (or hardy vines, as perennials are
called) are an inexpensive way of softening the lines of new
buildings, linking them to the landscape.
Decorative and functional, vines are often the answer for older
homes as well, the ground-covering varieties serving as cover for
foundations and banks, others spreading a carpet of flowering
greenery over walls, making fences seem friendlier and stone
buildings less harsh.
The methods by which vines climb will necessarily influence and
determine your selection. Some vines, such as grape vine, have
tendrils which reach out and grasp small objects to hold on to;
these vines need a lattice or fence. Others, such as Boston ivy,
have adhesive discs that fasten on to a brick or stone wall, and
still others, such as the climbing hydrangea, hold to a masonry
wall with small, aerial rootlets.
Finally, there are those that climb by twining around other
branches or poles, climbing from left to right, or right to left
(like honeysuckle). This type can be parasitic in the worst
sense, climbing over small bushes and trees and completely
No vine should be unsupported, however, and attractive vines are
those which are carefully trained and held up. Supports such as
arbors, trellises and per golas need not be elaborately
constructed, since their function is to display the vine, not
themselves. Wood or other material that does not require painting
is ideal, for the natural woods are really more suitable as a
background for vines than are the painted ones.
If you have a wooden house and want vines on the walls, it is a
good idea to construct a detachable trellis, hinged at the bottom
so that it can swing outward when painting is going on. There
will be sufficient flexibility in the tendrils to allow this.
If you are planting annuals, ordinary digging in well-drained
soil should suffice. But if you are planting perennials, you will
want to plant them as well as any shrub; remember that if they
are planted close to the foundation, the soil may be poor
initially and may need preparation. The hole should be at least 2
feet square. Break up the bottom soil and mix in bone meal, peat
If you are planting near the house, be careful to place the vine
far enough from the overhanging eaves so that water will not drip
on the leaves. In winter weather, wet leaves can freeze in the
evening and crack. Also, if the vines are placed against a sunny
wall they will get reflective heat, and so they should receive
extra watering in hot weather.
About the Author
Paul Curran is CEO of Cuzcom Internet Publishing Group and
webmaster at Trees-and-Bushes.com, providing access to their
nursery supplier of a range of quality plants, trees, bushes,
shrubs, seeds and garden products.Visit their
vines section now to find a great selection of vines for your