Artful ways to grow ornamental vines in the landscape

Ornamental vines add color and interest to a landscape or a structure, like the side of garage. Ornamental vines may include blooming vines, like clematis, or instead of flowers, the vine may show off uniquely colored leaves, like sweet potato vine. Consider these artful ways to grow ornamental vines in your landscape.

Trellis on a Wall

A trellis made of metal, vinyl or wood and secured to the side of a structure, like a shed, garage or house, can add color vertically in the landscape. The trellis should project several inches from the structure to allow for air circulation. The trellis may be a decorative, curving design or may be lattice formed with horizontal and vertical slats that create the cottage country type of grid or the lattice may be slats angled left and right, creating an X pattern.

Use a single trellis to balance a wall that has a window or door. For a totally blank wall, several trellises can be used side-by-side. The color of the trellis can nicely impact the value of this landscaping idea. If you want the vine to be the focal point, then the color of the trellis should closely match the color of the structure to which it is secured. If both the trellis and vine are functioning as focal points in the landscape, then choose a color for the trellis that goes with the color of the structure and goes with the color of the vine and its blooms.

Patio Privacy Panels as a Standalone Trellis

Take the trellis on a wall idea and convert it to a standing trellis to create a privacy panel. The trellis may be rectangular with a flat top or try a more decorative approach, like a trellis that has a curvy top or a trellis with a unique design in the body of the framework. Paint the standalone trellis a color that goes with the surrounding vegetation and the design statement of the landscape. For instance, a turquoise, pink or yellow standalone trellis could nicely compliment a cottage garden. In a traditional or formal garden, a standalone trellis may be a neutral color, like white, beige or gray. Place a bench, fountain, statue, large potted plants, or other large piece in front of the trellis to soften the image of a sudden vertical "wall" in the landscape.

Hanging Vines

We often think of vines creeping up a structure but vines will gladly grow in any direction, including down. Suspend large pots filled with ornamental vines from the interior corners of a pergola or on a porch. Convert an antique bird cage into a planter and suspend it inside a gazebo. Use sturdy plant hangers that extend out from a vertical surface to hang a potted ornament vine to a support beam or wall.

Arches and Arbors

Arches or arbors forming an entrance to special area in the landscape or over a walkway offer beauty and shade when covered with vines. These four or more legged vertical landscape structures are a great place to display highly fragrant flowering vines. Vines that are highly fragrant will attract more bees that less scented flowers or bloom-free vines, making them better for a non-eating area where fear of bees may detract from the beauty. In addition, fragrance-free or minimally fragrant vines are more suitable for an area where diners may sit to reduce interference between food and flower scents.