Climbing plants are ideal for landscaping because you can effectively plan for and limit their size. Their eventual heights and widths are determined by the structures on which they are grown. The structures themselves fill the space before the vines or climbers have reached full growth. Be careful not to let vines escape their bounds by climbing into nearby trees. Clinging vines can damage the house structure by working their roots into the mortar, if it is weak. It's better to train vines up trellises set about a foot away from the house.
There are many different kinds of vines, and they climb in different ways:
- Twining vines need something to twist around. The new growth twists onto supports as it grows. Sturdy poles and pergolas make good supports.
- Vines with tendrils need slender strings, wires, or narrow supports to grasp onto. Examples are clematis, passionflower, and grape. They are easy to train, but do not let them start climbing into trees. They can be used to beautify chain-link fences but need additional wires or trellising to grow on wooden fences.
- Clinging vines stick to solid objects. These vines work their aerial roots into the smallest of crevices in solid walls. They can damage some kinds of walls, especially brick walls with old mortar that is beginning to weaken, but are safe to grow if the wall is sound. Do not grow them on surfaces that need to be painted from time to time. Clinging vines are fine on other walls and sturdy supports.
Visit these links to learn about a few vining annuals to consider for your garden. Before buying, talk to your local garden center about whether these plants will thrive in your climate.