Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Manhattan Terrace Vines

Question:
I'm a first-time gardener. I need an advice on perennial (flowering) vines for the terrace. Privacy is a priority, but beauty and fragrance are almost as important. I love morning glory but was told it's annual. Any advice will be much appreciated.
Also, what's the prevailing opinion for the jasmine on the terrace?

Answer:
Let me ask you a few questions so that I can best help you.
What direction does your terrace face and how is the sunlight throughout the day? Do you have strong winds or salt spray exposure?

To begin, morning glories are annuals, and even though they can fill in a small fence or railing quickly in one season they are not expected to come back. As far as jasmines, they too are mostly annuals, at least the climbing species that you are most likely referring to. I once wrote a quick document of some of the most popular vines here in the city, and they are the following:

Clematis sp. - clematis - climbing vine to 10’
Sun to part shade; moist organic soil; vine does best with sunny stems and protected, cool roots; known for vast color variation to cultivars; Clematis montana grows tall with small white flowers mid-summer; Clematis x jackmanii popular for large violet flowers; Clematis tangutica has yellow flowers and fluffy seed heads; plant clematis on a North, East or West exposure on a narrow-spaced trellis system

Hydrangea anomala var. petiolaris - climbing hydrangea - climbing vine to 50’
Full sun to part shade; dry soil; good on north or east exposure; wind and salt spray tolerant; white flower clusters mid-summer; woody cinnamon bark when mature; grows by aerial roots, best planted up cable system off separate from building exterior

Lonicera sempervirens - scarlet honeysuckle - twining vine to 12’
Sun to part shade; moist organic soil; plant on a South, East, or West exposure; must be trained at first then climbs well on its own; scarlet flowers followed by small red berries; gray-green leaves; exfoliating bark at maturity; North American native

Akebia quinata - chocolate vine - climbing vine to 30’
Sun to shade; dry organic soil; spicy vanilla scented pinkish-purple flowers in spring; nice rounded leaf is palmately compound;

Parthenocissus quinquefolia - Virginia creeper - climbing vine to 50’+
Part shade to shade; moist soil; excellent red fall color; very aggressive grower, requires maintenance; grows by adhesive sucker, train up trellis system; North, South, or East exposure

Parthenocissus tricuspidata - Boston ivy - spreading vine to 70’
Part shade; moist organic soil; glossy foliage; good fall color when planted in some sun; very aggressive grower, best trained up a trellis system; will perform well on a North, South, or East exposure

Schizophragma hydrangeoides - Japanese hydrangea vine - climbing vine to 40’
Sun to part shade; dry organic soil; fragrant midsummer flowers

Pyracantha sp. - firethorn - woody vine to 15’
Tolerant of most soils and exposures; clusters of white summer flowers followed by fruit-set in fall; P. atalantioides has red fruit; P. coccinea has orange fruit

Lastly there is Campsis radicans, or trumpet creeper, and I discussed that in a blog spot from last summer that you can revisit here.

Please note that vines such as Virginia creeper and Boston ivy I listed as aggressive growers which need to be trained up some sort of system that stands off of the building exterior. These vines have such adhesive suckers that they really should not be planted right up against a building because they will cause serious damage to the fa├žade over extended periods of time.
Also, you should be aware of the HSNY Library here on West 37th Street. Open to the public and well over 10,000 volumes we have plenty of information to share with you when you feel like educating yourself further. You can find more information about the HSNY Library by clicking here.

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