Vines to soften those bare lines
Vines are very versatile, and may be right at home as an ornamental asset in many areas. Consider bare fences, either wire or wood. A simple vine planted at intervals will soften the straight lines of the structure without hiding its complete surface.
Metal fences often are made more aesthetically pleasing when partially covered with an attractive vine.
Other spaces that may be enhanced by the addition of a vine are trellises, summer houses, a lamp post, porches, lattice screens, steep embankments, and rocky boulders.
Vines may be permanent perennials or annuals to be changed each year for different effects. Most perennial vines are hardy and can supply not only handsome foliage but colorful flowers and fruit as well. There are specimens to plant in both sunny and shady areas.
Other than pruning to contain them in bounds, vines require little maintenance. Many vines are ''clingers'' and need no artificial supports.
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 as well.
A guiding string is often attached to start the vines in the right direction. Moonflower is a pretty annual with very showy white blossoms that open as evening approaches. It has the added advantage of being fragrant.
Thunbergia alatam, 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 partially shaded areas, the canary creeper with its clear yellow flowers is a good choice.
Perennial vines tend to be heavier than annuals and are best grown on strong supports.
Honeysuckles (Lonicera)m are fragrant in early summer and can be planted either as climbers or as ground covers. English ivy, an evergreen, can beautify a lamppost with its rich, attractive foliage throughout the year. 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.
The silver-lace vine (Polygonum aubertii)m is a fast-growing vine admired for its profusion of fragrant white blossoms that bloom most of the summer. Its speedy development, once planted, is a surprise to most gardeners. As the name suggests, the white flowers present a dainty lacy appearance. This vine favors a sunny site.
Trumpet vine (Bignonia capreolata)m is an old-time favorite useful where a heavy covering is desired. Its orange, trumpet-shaped flowers are colorful in July and August. It needs no support as it clings naturally where it grows.
Wisteria is a graceful vine often used to cover arbors.
Caution is advised in planting wisteria at porch posts for it is an exuberant grower. Unless curbed with annual prunings, it 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.
Most of them start blooming in June and continue on until frost.
The size of clematis flowers varies from small to gigantic blooms. Most of them are star-shaped and may be either double or single. No garden should be without at least one clematis.
For best results, clematis should be planted in a spot where the flowers will be in the sun but the roots in the shade. Such a situation can be enjoyed if the vine is planted among low-growing perennials. Another method of providing shade for the roots is to mulch the site heavily or to plant a ground cover over the roots.