Monday, July 20, 2009

Vine Dilemma Across the Street

Here's where most of the free mulch we got the other day ended up. This is the front of my garden across the street.

Going in, to the east, the Mexican sunflowers are growing taller than the zinnias now, but aren't blooming yet. These were planted from seeds in the ground. The 2 I started inside are blooming in the front yard bed at home, but aren't getting as tall. The nasturtiums are a peach colored one. I planted the seeds when I thought the fennel I'd planted wasn't going to come up. Some of the fennel came up, too.

Continuing to go east, the potatoes are starting to die back, but when I dig, I'm not getting many decent sized potatoes. I hope they are still growing. To the right, along the fence, are some perennial geraniums I moved from my home curb bed, because there is supposed to be work done there this summer, and I'm supposed to take things out 2 feet from the street. At the end of the row, are 2 trellises I bought at a garage sale recently.

The viburnum and deutzia bushes seem to be growing. Now, I need to plant something on the trellis.

We picked up this bench 75% off at a local garden center. I need to figure out if this is where I want it. I'd thought about putting it next to the trellises, but decided I didn't want it right next to the neighbors' yard, plus, I had already planted some things in that area. It's currently in an area I'm further behind in weeding than the rest. It hides the compost pile from the rest of the garden, so I'll probably keep it there, and want to plant something that will climb on it, too.

Here's the dilemma. I bought this Dutchman's Pipe because butterflies are supposed to like it, but when I searched for information on it, found out it's poisonous. The neighbors behind the trellises have dogs, so I decided I better not plant it there. I think I'll plant it on the fence by my compost pile.

We had a trumpet vine growing on the fence to a dog run the first place we lived. I loved it, and don't remember it sending runners, but Larry kept the area around it mowed. I found this on the $5.00 table at a different local nursery. My thinking was that I already battle sumac and other weeds, so I can handle the trumpet vines coming up. But, then, I realized the neighbors on both sides of the garden would also be forced into doing battle, too, and at the one place, they could end up with trumpet vines taking over the whole yard, so I think I'm going to try to give it away, unless someone tells me they don't send as many runners in partial shade, or gives me good reason to grow it.

This is Elegans Porcelain Berry Vine, that was also on the $5.00 table. I'm finding out the birds spread the plants after they eat the seeds, and it is considered invasive. Oh, dear! What to do, what to do!

Please let me know what experiences you've had with these plants, and what ideas you have for vines to grow on the trellises. The birdhouse trellises are about 6 to 7 feet high, and 2 feet across each, and since they are a few inches apart, the total width is about 4.5 to 5 feet. The fence nearby could handle some of a vine. The chair is only about 30 inches wide, and 5 to 6 feet high. I am willing to keep a vine pruned to keep it a good size for the space.


  1. Hi Sue,
    Not that you would want to brew beer, but Hops are a pretty vine. Mine are miniscule, but I hope they fill in!
    You are the sale QUEEN! I am jealous of your good deals, makes me itch to go shopping.

  2. I'm fond of my silver lace vine. I haven't had any problems with it (except the Japanese Beetles seem to enjoy it too)and it has lovely white flowers in late summer. BTW, I've dedicated a posting to you and your love of skywatching. Come visit.

  3. Hi Sue~~ My Porcelain Vine is about 8 or so years old. It was first situated in full sun. Wrong. The leaves burned. Now it's housed on a six foot wire trellis and doing wonderfully with mostly bright shade. The vine grows from old wood so if you cut it down in the winter [it's deciduous] it will have to start over at the base or crown. I don't cut mine so new growth emerges along the woody stems and it is still not a huge vine. I give it a decent soaking every few weeks and it doesn't complain about the poor, dry soil. Birds don't eat mine. [I can email a photo if you like.]

    I've always been much too fearful of Trumpet Vine and its prolific nature.

    Cool garage sale finds. You rock!

  4. Hello Sue girl !
    Yes , Jill has a post to both of us on the sky obsession we have ? LOL
    I have Porcelain vine like Grace ... but I have it in full sun .. and so far after about 5 years I guess, it is fine .. no burning unless we get very hot dry weather .. it is a gorgeous vine with the variegation and tiny berries.

  5. Climbing roses - slow and always lovely.. says the lady with 5 invasive vines..

    love the bird house trellises..sandy

  6. In my experience the porcelain vines are very beautiful but they do seed--a lot. Trumpet vines seem to sprout up everywhere within 50 feet of the original.

    Many of the new honeysuckles attract butterflies and humming birds. I saw one earlier this year in lovely shades of pink and cream.

    I like clematis too, and there are so many different flower types to choose from. I have found some really inexpensive clematis from time to time but you can never count on a sale when you are looking for one particular item. Unfortunately I've never seen a butterfly on any of my clematis.

  7. Hi, Sue,
    I agree with Marnie ... honeysuckle or clematis. It depends how much sun the area gets ... clematis needs full sun with shaded feet; honeysuckle does not need so much sun.

    I love the trellis with the little bird houses.

  8. The bird house trellises are very unique, handmade I bet. You can ship the 75% off bench directly to my house....I like, I like. My sneeze weed plants are poisonous if injested but that hasn't stopped the rabbits.

  9. The gardens look great, so full!
    The only vines I grow are Clematis. I've never tried the other three but my sister told me never to plant trumpet vine because it comes up everywhere. I'm sure in the right place it would be great. I hope you find a spot for all the plants. I love the bench!

  10. Love the bench and trellises!! Grow a climbing rose and clematis together. No way to go wrong with that.

  11. Hey
    I have an award for you

  12. I don't know anything about the vines you have, but if you want a lovely vine that gives you blooms late in the season, I'd recommend Sweet Autumn Clematis. It grows about a dozen feet a season, but at the end of the blooming season you cut it back to 1 foot, so it never gets invasive. Smells good too!

  13. You have been busy. I have had very good luck with clematis. I am in zone 4.

  14. Hmmm...I introduced some Dutchman's Pipe to my garden a few years has not been such a great vine to make friends with. And can have some invasive tendencies...and no butterflies...
    GartenGrl at Loved it! Totally inspired and an interesting site.One of these days I am going to build a vertical herb garden...
    GartenGrl at
    Planning Plants to Plant

  15. Sue, I live in zone 7, so many of the vining plants that die back in your garden...get pretty invasive here. I am partial to natives like honeysuckle and non-natives like clematis. be careful there are a few clematis that are real climbers and reseeders. gail


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