Now is a good time for the gardener to consider a vine or two for his property. Vines are versatile enough to cover a variety of purposes. Consider bare fences, either wire or wood. A simple vine planted at intervals will soften the straight lines of the fence without hiding its complete surface. Metal fences are often made more aesthetically pleasing when partly covered with a pretty vine.
Other spaces that may be enhanced by the addition of a vine are trellises, summer houses, a lamppost, porch, lattice screens, steep embankments, and large boulders.
Vines may be perennials or annuals, depending on the effect you want. Most perennial vines are hardy and can supply not only handsome foliage but color ful flowers and fruit as well. There are specimens to plant in both sunny and shady areas.
Other than pruning to contain them within bounds, vines require little maintenance. Many of them are clingers and need no artificial support.
Among annual vines used to cover fences, walls, and trellises, the morning glory is probably the most popular. It thrives in full sunlight and blossoms continually, once it starts. Heavenly Blue is a favorite variety, but there are white and pink morning glories, too.
A guiding string is often attached to start the vines in the right direction.
Moonflower is a pretty annual, with showy white blossoms that open as evening approaches. It has the added advantage of being fragrant.
Thunbergia, the black-eyed-Susan vine, is a dainty plant with a not-too-heavy growth. it bears yellow or white flowers, many with dark-centered eyes. For scarlet blossoms, there is the cardinal climber. And for partly shady areas, the canary creeper with its clear yellow flowers is a choice.
Perennial vines tend to be heavier than annuals and are best when grown on strong supports. Honeysuckles (Lonicera)m are fragrant in early summer and can be planted as climbers or as ground covers. English ivy, an evergreen, can beautify a lamppost throughout the year with its rich, attractive foliage.
The Boston ivy clings equally well to brick, stone or wood, and is valued for its dense growth of glossy green leaves that turn red in the fall.
Silver lace vine (Polygonum)m is a fast-growing one that is admired for its profusion of fragrant white blossoms which bloom most of the summer. Once planted, it is a surprise to most gardeners with its speedy development. As the name suggests, the white flowers present a dainty lacy appearance. This vine favors a sunny site.
Trumpet vine (Bignonia)m is an old-time favorite and is useful where a heavy covering is desired. It clings naturally where it grows. Its orange trumpet-shaped flowers are colorful in July and August.
Wisteria is a graceful vine most often used to cover arbors. Caution is advised in planting it at porch posts, however. It's an exuberant grower and, unless curbed with annual prunings, can become too heavy and a liability rather than an asset. The pale lavender flowers grow in cluster form and are beautifully showy in May and June. Japanese gardens feature the wisteria wherever a vine is needed.
Clematis is an old-fashioned specimen that has developed into one of the most planted vines in the garden. Its advantage is that it bears large, often-spectacular blossoms. Colors of the flowers vary from red to blue, and there are pure white varieties as well.
There are other ornamental vines to consider. Victorian porches were screened from the sun and the street by the thick leaves of the old-fashioned Dutchman's pipe. The cultured orange berries of bittersweet are showy at stone walls, which can bear the weight of the vines with no effort.
Sweet-pea vines like a wire or string to grow on.
There is, however, one objection to growing sweet peas. The blooming period is short and the foliage is not attractive after the flowers have faded.