Double Your Flower Power With Vines

There is always something new and exciting to learn at Chanticleer Garden, in Wayne, Pennsylvania. The entire garden (40 some acres) is like an artist’s canvas, only it evolves and changes over time, each visit different from the one before.

On a recent trip to Chanticleer, it didn’t go unnoticed how they repeatedly used vines to extend the flowering season, or create more visual impact, making the most of vertical space, even when space is not a limiting factor. Take a look at how they applied vines in different situations.

An often overlooked way to use ‘well behaved’ vines, is to grow them up trees. The Clematis (pictured below white) makes up for the Spruce’s lack of flowering, while the spruce acts as a support for the Clematis.

Alternatively, combining plants that flower simultaneously adds surprise. Take for instance this American Fringe Tree, Chionanthus virginicus (pictured below), and notice the climbing rose subtly growing through it, almost as if orange birds perched upon the branches.

Some vines will need added support to grow upwards, including our native honeysuckle, Lonicera sempervirens. I’ve grown this beauty up fences, trellises, and even cascading over walls, but at Chanticleer, they built a trellis and attached it to a large canopy tree, so that the honeysuckle could add some color in the understory (pictured below).

Why stop at trees? How about growing a vine through a large shrub? A stunning combination included the purple foliage of Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Diablo’, with the neon magenta blooms of a flowering Clematis. Truly breathtaking in person.

A closer look…

Finally, one of my favorite ways to utilize vines is to grow them simultaneously on one trellis. At Chanticleer they grew a rose with a clematis, both of which were flowering at the same time (pictured below).

This concept can also be used to extend the flowering period, by growing vines together that bloom at different times. For example, Jasminum nudiflorum, a late winter to early spring bloomer, interplanted with a later blooming Clematis (pictured below).

Another prized combination, includes American Wisteria as seen blooming below with the annual vine, Hyacinth Bean. They both have blue to lavender blooms, but one flowers in spring while the other blooms summer until frost with the added bonus of purple foliage.

The combinations are only limited to your imagination. Use both perennial and annual vines to achieve desired effects. Finally, take a trip to Chanticleer, you may never look at vines the same way again.

Vines to avoid:

Ampelopsis brevipedunculata (Porcelain-berry), Rosa multiflora (Multiflora Rose), Celastrus orbiculatus (Oriental bittersweet), Lonicera japonica
(Japanese Honeysuckle), Clematis terniflora (Sweet autumn clematis), Ipomoea alba (Morning Glory), and Wisteria floribunda (Japanese Wisteria). These vines are all invasive species. Native vines to avoid for this application include Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper), Campsis radicans (Trumpet creeper), as they are too aggressive for this application.

Well Behaved Vines to try:

Clematis Hybrids,  Rosa species (excluding multiflora), Bignonia capreolata (Crossvine), Wisteria frutescens (American Wisteria), Jasminum nudiflorum (Winter Jasmine), Lonicera sempervirens (Trumpet Honeysuckle), and Gelsemium sempervirens (Yellow jessamine). Don’t forget about annual vines such as Lablab purpureus (Hyacinth Bean), and Phaseolus coccineus (Scarlet Runner Bean).


About The Giving Garden

Shane Morgan is a landscape designer specializing in eco-friendly and edible gardens. A trained ecologist, she understands how to provide clients with beautiful, natural gardens to enjoy all four seasons, installed and maintained with minimal impact on the environment. She is an avid home gardener, committed to sustainable agriculture, native plant gardens, and helping others reduce their Carbon footprint.
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