Monday, June 2, 2008

Vines That Gobble Fences

In the deep South, if you don't cut your grass for a while vines and brambles will spring up from a seemingly perfect lawn. Vines are perfect for covering ugly chain link fences or scenting the air with perfume. Here are some vines I have in my garden.
Mini red heirloom roses bloom on either side of the gate. The ugly chain link fence is covered with passion and muscadine vine. The passion vine serves as a host plant for the Gulf Fritillary butterfly. Every summer the yard is filled with so many of them it is almost surreal and ethereal. Yes, you do have to put up with some of your plants looking like they have lace leaves, but the bright red, black spiked caterpillars is enough to compensate and the butterflies are roses on the cake.
This is a variegated Pandora vine. It isn't nearly as aggressive as muscadine or passion vine, but once it got a foot hold it took off. Birds love to build their nests in this massive vine, and Camira our puppy loves to wallow out a cool hole to lie in during the day under it's shade. For scent I have planted honey suckle, Confederate Jasmine, and Maid of Orleans Jasmine around the front porch. Most of the year at least one is blooming and releasing its heavenly scent. Some other vines I have planted and found useful: Miniature roses and loofah sponge on the chicken coop, bird house gourd and morning glory on the fence, cardinal vine on the porch posts, black eyed Susan vine on the fence (which returns reliably and aggressively every year), and Carolina Jasmine on the down spout. At least twice a year in spring and fall I prune each vine back fairly severely. They all return with more vigor the next year. I believe if these vines were left to their own devices they would embrace my home in a smothering grip. Some things just love to much, so I have to love them at arms length with a pruner in hand.


JeanSkirtGirl said...

I love the flower's in your garden!!


Miss Riya said...

Looking at your pics & then at my neighborhood makes me think of a song......We paved paradise and put up a parking lot!

Anonymous said...

My confederate jasmine is coming back even though my husband who hates it cut it down to the ground! HaHaHa revenge of the jungle!

Egghead said...

I also have passion vine and it has turned out to be pretty aggressive and invasive. But I love it when it climbs all over my trellis. You vines look amazing.