Maureen Gilmer / Scripps Howard News Service file

Trumpet honeysuckle is a good choice for a fence or trellis.

A well-chosen climbing vine can beautify your fence or trellis

Published: Saturday, Apr. 27, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 3CALIFORNIA LIFE

If you build an arbor, fence or trellis, a vine or climber will give it life, soften the structure and enhance the sense of space. Some vines and climbers are effective within two or three years – or with annual vines, the first summer.


• "New Dawn" rose: This variety is the workhorse of climbing roses: vigorous, black-spot-resistant and with creamy pink flowers set against blue-green foliage. Its main flush of bloom is in May, but it repeats well through the season.

It needs an annual prune to keep it in bounds. It is a particularly thorny rose, so place it where it won't snag you or your clothes.

• Trumpet honeysuckle, Lonicera sempervirens: Spring flowering vine (not to be confused with the weedy Japanese honeysuckle) with tubular flowers in reds and yellows, depending on variety. Blooms in April.

New spring growth attracts aphids, which can be hosed off with water. Will grow in some shade.

• Anemone clematis, Clematis montana "Rubens": This vigorous, spring-flowering clematis is raring to go after three or four years, and the flowers are pink and fragrant.

• Crossvine, Bignonia capreolata: This is a valued and robust native vine with trumpet-shaped orange flowers in spring.

A good choice for a shadier location, though it will need pruning once established to keep in check.

• Confederate jasmine: This produces a mass of small, fragrant white flowers that open in June.

Somewhat tender and suited to sheltered gardens, it is a great, fast-growing vine for shadier areas. As with crossvine, it will need pruning and trimming to keep in check.

• Annual vines:

Sown every 2 to 3 feet, the hyacinth bean will provide a thick canopy by mid- to late summer, along with pretty purple flowers that develop into shiny purple seed pods in September.

The moonflower vine, morning glory and cardinal flower vines are all related tropical vines that will provide a good show by August. Moonflower vine is noted for its large, white trumpet flowers that bloom in the evening, fragrantly. The cardinal flower vine has soft, feathery foliage.

The unrelated black-eyed Susan vine provides blooms all season on vines that grow to about 6 feet.

Unsuitable vines

These grow too slowly, are invasive or are too messy and pest-prone: grapevines, English ivy, trumpet vine, climbing hydrangea, schizophragma and wisteria.

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

Read more articles by Adrian Higgins

Sacramento Bee Job listing powered by
Quick Job Search
Sacramento Bee Jobs »
Used Cars
Dealer and private-party ads


Price Range:
Search within:
miles of ZIP

Advanced Search | 1982 & Older