Smart Plant Choices For Vertical Gardens
Shade-loving English ivy is a fast-growing woody vine that can reach up to 100 feet! Its evergreen leaves add interest to walls, fences, and trellises year-round. Don't plant English ivy in an area where it could climb a tree—the dense foliage blocks sunlight to the tree, eventually killing it.
Like most annual vines, cardinal climber prefers to be in full sun. This easy-growing vine bears masses of scarlet-red flowers that look like miniature morning glories from summer to frost. These gorgeous red flowers are favorites for hummingbirds.
Editor's Tip: The seeds of cardinal climber are poisonous if ingested.
Moonflower's large, trumpet-shape flowers unfurl in the evening and stay open until the sun rises. Several varieties of moonflower also give off a lemon fragrance when its flowers are open. Moonflower vines climb 15 feet or more and grow best in full sun.
Scarlet Runner Bean
This fast-growing vine produces colorful blooms in shades of blue, purple, pink, and white. Some varieties of morning glory offer extra appeal with bicolored flowers or white-variegated foliage. As its name implies, the flowers only open in the morning. The vine climbs to 15 feet or more and grows best in a sunny spot.
Purple Hyacinth Bean
Purple hyacinth bean offers fragrant, lavender-colored flowers all summer long. These blooms become stunning burgundy-purple seedpods. The foliage is often tinged with purple. The vertical plant can climb to 15 feet or more and grows best in a sunny spot. In frost-free areas, hyacinth bean can be a reliable perennial vine.
Black-Eyed Susan Vine
Kiwi vines are perfect for growing over an arbor or pergola, as they will cast deep shade on the area below. It takes several years for a newly planted vine to come into production, but the wait is worth it. The vine features white blooms that precede the fuzzy brown fruits.
Hops is widely grown as a key ingredient in beer making, but this perennial vine is also beautiful, making it an excellent vertical garden design idea. The lime-colored seed heads add texture and color to any garden. Hops is generally low maintenance and does well in partial sun when used ornamentally.
Junipers are interesting evergreens for several reasons. Their foliage has a delicate texture that adds interest. Some have small, sharp needles; others have scalelike leaves; some have both. They also come in multiple shades, from chartreuse to a silvery-blue. They can be used for topiaries or hedges to add height.
These slow-growing trees create dense evergreen foliage that can provide privacy and height in the garden. Some varieties take on a bronze cast in the fall and winter, so be selective when picking an Arborvitae variety to plant in your yard. These trees stand up well to trimming and can be made into whimsical topiary plants.
An adaptable vine, Dutchman's pipe seems to thrive just about everywhere and in any light. It creates a rich curtain of big, heart-shape leaves that usually hide the fragrant summertime flowers. This low-maintenance vine grows to 20 feet or more, and rarely attracts pests.