Have you ever looked at the morning glories or black-eyed Susan vines in the garden center and thought, “I wish I had an arbor to grow those on…” From sweet peas to mandevilla, there are several annual vines that plant lovers lust over. You don’t need to have an arbor to raise these plants, however. Here are some suggestions for growing annual vines.
- A-Frames of Canes Build a structure out of bamboo canes. As in the photo below, several simple A-frames, connected on the top with another pole, creates a lovely support for small vines.
- Circles of Canes Place five or more canes in a circle and tie them together at the top, tee-pee style. This is especially attractive if the canes are over six feet tall once they’re stuck into the ground. Vines can be grown over the poles as is, or a twine or cord can be spiraled up the structure for additional support and change of appearance.
- Arborize Them Make a small tree for a support from a large branch or actual dead tree. The best way to be sure such a support stays upright for the summer is to anchor it in a large pot of cement. This can be buried in the ground for additional support, and the vines planted around it.
- Vine Down! Instead of growing vines up a support, consider growing them in the opposite direction. Hang pots of annual vines up high and run strings down to the ground. Tie the strings onto a board or pin them into the ground with u-shaped wires. Cut up wire hangers work well for ground pins. As the vines grow, wind them around the cords down toward the ground.
- Cover Objects Do you have an old rusty bicycle, leaky wheelbarrow or other object that you’ve hesitated to toss out because it has “potential?” Use it for a vine support! Hang the bike or garden tools on the side of the garage or shed, and run cords from the ground up to the wheels or tool handles. Put that old wooden chair or tea table in the garden and grow the vines up the furniture. If the surface is too slick for vines to get a hold on, use dark colored craft wire to create a support that’s nearly invisible.
Knowing you can grow a vine over just about anything puts every location in your landscape in a new light. You say your brother-in-law wants to park his car in your driveway for the summer? Hmmm….