Invite these social climbers into your garden

If you have an ugly fence or a bare expanse of wall, a lush, green vine might be the answer you’re looking for.
The word “vine” once referred only to grape plants, but now in American English usage, vine can include many varieties of climbing and creeping plants.
I know some people are hesitant to plant any kind of vine as they fear its potential to become invasive. However, if you are aware of this potential at the outset, you can either select varieties that are minimally invasive or decide to control the spread of your vines to keep them manageable.
Most vines are remarkably versatile plants, able to grow vertically if given a trellis or wall to cling to, or to spread horizontally across the landscape, creating a dense and verdant groundcover.
Let’s take a look at a few vines so you can see which ones might work best for you.
Climbing Hydrangea A good choice if you will be planting away from direct sunlight because Climbing Hydrangeas are tolerant of shady areas. Actually, they prefer at least partial shade in hot areas of the country. However, they bloom more profusely when exposed to a fair amount of sun.
In early summer, Climbing Hydrangeas produce fragrant white groupings of blooms called lace caps, each about five inches across. The dried flower heads and reddish brown, peeling bark are attractive in winter. Climbing hydrangeas prefer moist but well-drained soil that is at least moderately rich.
Wisteria sinensis Also known as Purple Wisteria, due to the color of its blooms, this is a fast-growing vine that is ideal for trellises and arbors. You can also train it into tree form if you prefer. The bright purple flowers are about one inch long, appearing in late May, borne in dense, 6 to 12 inch long racemes.
Wisteria is actually a member of the Pea family and is named after an eighteenth century anatomy professor named Caspar Wistar. You can read a helpful fact sheet titled Growing Wisteria, published by the Ohio State University Extension Service at http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/1000/1246.html
English Ivy Yup, this one really can be invasive, so understand that you will probably need to keep an eye on it and be prepared to take steps to contain it if it begins to spread beyond your desired area. Having said that, English Ivy is a very attractive plant (except to those who consider it a pest) and its dark green, glossy leaves, growing vertically in a dense mass can add an established characteristic quite quickly to new construction.
Baltic Ivy As much a spreader as a climber, Baltic Ivy is often used as a groundcover in northern zones as it is an evergreen with remarkable cold hardiness properties. In fact it was brought to America from Latvia in 1907 by Alfred Rehder, curator of the Herbarium at Harvard University, who gave it the name “Baltic” Ivy.
A university bulletin, published in March 1932, stated that the plants: “have grown into a solid mantle of green reaching well above the second story windows.” As a consequence, in 1937, a journalist coined the term “Ivy League” to describe Harvard and seven other northeastern universities.
Purple Wintercreeper Although it certainly can climb, given the opportunity, Purple Wintercreeper is seen most often as a groundcover. It can spread almost indefinitely by way of rooting stems, and thus it could be a good choice for an edger alongside a path or driveway that would act as a natural container.
Purple Wintercreeper can be a useful plant to battle erosion on slopes and hillsides and I have seen it climbing walls and the outsides of chimneys. It works equally well in the sunny or shady areas of your landscape.
Just a reminder: as I’ve mentioned before, a product that can be effective in controlling spreading vines is an herbicide called Vine-X Vine and Brush Control. Vines can be a pleasing addition to your landscape when kept properly under control. The Plant Man is here to help. Send your questions about trees, shrubs and landscaping to snipped-for-privacy@landsteward.org and for resources and additional information, or to subscribe to Steve’s free e-mailed newsletter, visit www.landsteward.org
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snipped-for-privacy@Greenwoodnursery.com wrote:

Creeping is an understatement for most of those you listed. I have won the battle with my last vine, because there will never be another vine planted on my property!!
Tom J
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