Monday, January 14, 2013

Vines, the right way!

I recently visited the campus of Colorado State University and came across this relatively new hardscape/planting.  I was pleased to see the perfect pairing of support to plant.  This young wisteria vineWisteria sinensis, will continue to develop and form a massive, woody structure.  The arbor — although it looks like wood from a distance — is actually welded steel (with a powder-coat paint finish).  It will be a durable partner to this vine for years to come.  This type of heavy-duty construction would also be best for the ever popular trumpet vine, Campsis radicans, and even grapes.

A lighter weight vine gives you more options when you're selecting supports.  Here is Kintzley's Ghost honeysuckle vine, Lonicera reticulata 'Kintzley's Ghost', three ways:

This is another example of a heavy-duty arbor (at Denver Botanic Gardens);  it's a bit more traditional/formal  in style, and higher maintenance, too.

Same plant, also at Denver Botanic Gardens, on a highly decorative and lighter weight metal structure created by Denver's 23rd Avenue Sculpture Studio.

A lath-type trellis is also an option for a light weight vine.

If you want to keep your wall or fence free of plant material, but still want a vertical accent, consider a pillar type of structure:

Matching the appropriate support — both in strength and style — to the vine you wish to grow, is just one of the many details that will make your garden function beautifully.


Les said...

Good thing that pretty new arbor is made of welded steel, it will need that strength to handle Wisteria sinensis.

David Cristiani said...

This is a very-needed post. In the dryland west, people forget that wood doesn't last for supports to many larger vines. I like the variety of materials and design styles...very appealing!

Susan ITPH said...

I love Kintsley's Ghost. I've been meaning to plant it for awhile but never saw enough of it to inspire me to do it. This may push me over the edge.

Jocelyn H. Chilvers said...

Les, EXACTLY! It can be a rude monster, for sure.

David, without the proper maintenance wood will deteriorate faster than one might think. Wise to think long term.

Susan, the more I see this vine, the more I like it! Hope you will give it a try.

Shona Martinez said...

Before I read this post, I am actually not in favor of the clingy vine as a part of my landscape design and my garden. With the various species posted here and the way the pictures here conveyed the beauty of the vines, I think I could try including one in my garden now. :)

-- Shona Martinez

Jocelyn H. Chilvers said...

Shona, as long as you make a thoughtful pairing of vine and support, I think you'll be happy. Vines are an essential part of every garden!