Climbing Vines with Flowers – Climbing Flowering Vines

Climbing Vines with Flowers

Although it often seems like it, clematis are not the only climbing vines with flowers that give a glorious display and have lots of different uses at the same time.

Passiflora sanguinolenta - climbing vines with flowers

There are many places where clematis may be the worst choice of plant. In hot, dry positions, for instance, where only copious amounts of water and large amounts of time will give clematis even half a chance, then plants such as abutilons and jasmines come into their own. Both these plants do especially well in full sun, both being climbing flowering vines: the abutilons bear their strange flowers similar to Turk’s cap, while the jasmines carry small, starry flowers in a variety of colours, producing one of the most lovely of perfumes on a warm summer’s night.

A constantly wet, shady spot is ideal for the climbing hydrangea (Hydrangea petiolaris), especially if you need it to cover a large area. Once established, this vigorous plant will quickly cover a large wall, and with its flat white clusters of flowers in June it looks superb growing up and through a tall tree. This is also one of the few climbing flowering vines that will adhere to its host by means of sticky pads, which tend to appear after a couple of seasons.

For their sheer profusion of flowers, and a scent that says everything there is to say about the British summer, you don’t have to look further than the honeysuckle (Lonicera spp.).

The many forms of the common native honeysuckle (L.periclymenum) which are now available look superb when allowed to scramble over tree stumps, or up and over arches and pergolas. Hawk moths and bees also find these flowers irresistible, and the added sound of these insects going about their business can add yet another dimension to the garden.

Among the only drawbacks with honeysuckles are that the evergreen forms, although sweetly scented, tend to hide their flowers under a thick canopy of foliage. The foliage is also somewhat liable to mildew which is worse if the plant is growing in a dry situation. The best varieties for growing in shade unfortunately don’t have any scent, but their flowers tend to be even more exotic, especially with Lonicera tragophilla.

For a really exotic, indeed almost tropical, effect why not try the passion flower (Passiflora caerulea). This very vigorous climbing flowering vine is perfectly hardy in all but the very coldest aspects. Given a sunny wall to grow on, it will produce masses of curiously formed purple-and-white flowers every year. Because of its vigour it needs to be pruned back quite hard each year, especially if it’s growing in fertile soil. This is a plant to starve if you want lots of flowers, but alas it is not the species which bears edible fruit. Passion fruits come from P. edulis – the granadilla – which requires the protection of a conservatory in order to produce anything worthwhile.

The main advantage of climber plants is that they tend to occupy vertical rather than horizontal space. If more gardeners thought in these terms, then they would grow far more of the vigorous climbing roses. Rosa pipes ‘Kiftsgate’ and its companions are often avoided because of their undoubted vigour. Yet half a dozen of these varieties can been seen growing and flowering to perfection in a medium-sized garden. Such varieties include R.’Frances E. Lester’ with flowers coloured like apple blossom, R. ‘Treasure Trove’ with its scented apricot blossoms, and the pure-white R. ‘Niagara’ . All three are an amazing sight cascading down like a multi-coloured waterfall through a variety of mature trees, some of them 50 ft (9 m) in height.

25. September 2010 by Dave Pinkney
Categories: Climber Plants | Tags: | Comments Off on Climbing Vines with Flowers – Climbing Flowering Vines


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