Having a flat, level garden is not as interesting as one that offers vertical interest. Growing vines vertically in the midst of a garden can add drama, create a bit of privacy and utilize space effectively.
But what kind of support would be the best for your particular needs? Should it be permanent like a trellis or arbor, a tree or shrub that vines can scramble through, or something that can be less permanent or even movable, such as bamboo poles, branches, even pieces of rebar.
To create an inexpensive tripod, gather three or more long branches, bamboo poles or pieces of rebar. They need to be fairly long to ensure stability when inserted into the ground, and still have enough height above ground. Next, insert one end of each piece into the ground, creating a triangular or circular pattern. Gather the tops together and secure with a strong piece of rope, twine or even plastic zip tie. This creates a surface for the vines to quickly scramble upon.
Another support would be planting the vines near trees or shrubs. This is often utilized in European cottage style gardens and is very appealing. Consider using perennials like climbing roses or clematis, or annual vines like morning glory and moonflower. Real estate in a garden is precious, and to utilize one area for additional flowers and interest is all good.
Sometimes a bit of serendipity happens, as when a quick growing annual vine finds its way to a piece of garden furniture or a piece of garden art and happily winds its way around. This can be quite interesting, and one of the joys of gardening, being surprised when something beautiful just occurs on its own.
Annual vines can be grown from seed, such as morning glory, moon flower, black eyed susan vine, cardinal flower and vining sweet peas. What is very cool about utilizing annual vines, you can try something new every year, or keep growing your favorite. Perennial vines such as clematis or climbing roses should be planted as transplants or cuttings and planted in its “forever” spot where you can easily enjoy their beauty year after year.
Here are some on line sites for seeds and plants to climb, vine and add interest to your gardens.
Seed Savers Exchange, http://www.seedsavers.org
Completely Clematis at http://www.clematisnursery.com
Antique Rose Emporium at http://www.antiqueroseemporium.com/
Also local venues like Olbrich Botanical Gardens, Klein Greenhouses on East Washington Avenue and the Bruce Company in Middleton have a great selection of seeds, including seeds for vines and climbers.