Vines - help me make a decision

ianna(Z5b)June 8, 2012

I'm considering 2 different vines for the purpose of providing my deck with privacy. My neighbor 2 houses away has built a deck with a direct view into my low deck. I feel like my privacy has been violated although these are nice people.

I've narrowed my choices down to the following:

A euonymous that will remain evergreen during winter. I just don't know about the growth rate. It does look very classy - especially if I use the variagated variety.

or a dropsmore honeysuckle which would develop a woody trunk as it matures. Will attract hummingbirds so this would be a plus. Downside would be in winter when it drops it's leaves but by then I won't need the deck.

I had wanted a wisteria but it's just too aggressive and it takes years to bloom. And Roses are out of the question because of the thorns. It's going to be in an area where children will play a lot.

All I want to do is to block their view but not completely. So the objected is to keep the yard open while providing a good screen.

So what do you think of the choices?

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I have grown the honeysuckle and it is lovely although I think mine tended to be bare toward the bottom you might need to prune it to keep it full. It is lovely, though.

Sweet autumn clematis is such a nice plant for privacy although you cut it down in the spring it grows really fast and would make a full screen in a month or so. I had a friend who had a row of tall narrow rose of Sharon in a lavender outside her pool fence and sweet autumn billowing on top it was a sight to behold.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 8:46AM
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I love my honesuckle and it is fairly full. However, I do have to spray it every few weeks or it seems to get a disease and lose its leaves. I don't know what kind of honeysuckle it is, but it does have a woody trunk.

Also, I just thought of it because I looked out my sunroom window... Grapevines make beautiful privacy. I don't get many grapes because I don't spray them with fruit spray, but the cones themselves are pretty and give the side of my house a very tuscan feel.

I'm not familiar with the other vine you mentioned.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 10:16AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

The best way to block the neighbours' view might actually be to plant a tree so the canopy is what they see when they look down, not your deck. A vine might provide privacy if they are looking horizontally across at your deck, but if they are looking down on it you need the screening to be overhad - which means either a tree or a pergola over the deck. Is there room to plant a small ornamental tree?

    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 10:32AM
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midnightsmum (Z4, ON)

Interesting Ianna - I am helping a friend with a similar issue!! We are going to put up some closely spaced lattice panels first. I think they will do about 80% of the job. There is already some Virignia Creeper there, so we'll probably encourage it to continue over. imho, the euonymous and the honeysuckle are slow-growing, but attractive. I have no practical experience with them. If it were my fence, and I had sun, I'd put hops to 30' in a growing season), dense and very attractive!! And you could make pillows with them to cheer everyone up!!


    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 12:25PM
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Cindy, I do want the bottom to be bare. IT's only the top that would help block the view.. So in that sense, the honeysuckle dose work. I do not want to use a clematis because I need the plant to 'spray' out maybe 2-3 feel to give good coverage. Clematis doesn't do this. I have several clematis around the area.

However, as Scully just reminded me, it suffers from mildew and from aphids... So now I have to think about this carefully. Grape vines is not a bad idea. I'll look into that.

Euonymous may be slow but it's results are very rewarding. I'm pretty patient anyway and so I won't mind.Slow means controllable. I like to prune plants into shape.

midnightsmum - hops is just far too aggressive and unruly for what I had in mind. It;s a lovely vine though. Virginia Creeper can be hard to manage as well.

Woodyoak - any tree would not work out. First because it would cast a permanent shadow on my garden bed. Second because it would have to be a very tall narrow tree otherwise a tree with a large crown would overwhelm the entire yard. Besides I already have 3 trees in the yard.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 5:52PM
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Ianna just so you know, sweet autumn is way different in growth than the mid season bloomer clematis. Here is mine by the front door earlier this spring. It gets really dense and the white sprays of bloom in September are fragrant and fresh when everything else is fading...

    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 6:00PM
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Oh what a lovely area, cindy.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 8:22PM
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Cindy, That's lovely. I know what you meant by using clematis. I have about 5-6 of them in my garden, 3 of which are growing on a trellis at the side of my house.

I am however very attracted to the evergreen,shiny leathery leaves provided by the euonymus..see what I mean by clicking the Link below:

And now I do like the idea of grape vines.

What I hope to do is to pleach the bottom, clean of foliage. I did not want to provide a dense coverage but more like just breaking the sight line. This way, it creates the feel of privacy without feeing claustrophobic.

Here is a link that might be useful: euonymus vine

    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 11:34PM
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Cindy- I'd love to grow a sweet autumn clematis, but I don't believe they're hardy in my zone 4 winters! While regular clematis do fine here, it would be nice to have those white blooms, in September :)

Ianna- You seem to be leaning towards the euonymous, so what about some morning glories or other annuals, while the euonymous is maturing? While they don't do well for me, my mom is in zone 5a and she's had beautiful morning glories, by the end of July/early August.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 10:29AM
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Very interesting discussion here. That euonymous is very attractive.

I get that mildew on my honeysuckle, too, now that came up and it does really detract from the beauty. I keep wanting to grow a climbing hydrangea in the right spot they are slow growing, too but gorgeous when well done.

One other though is grapes are Japanese beetle magnets. I don't have them by the house but they are a mess by the vegetable garden really ruined them as a crop for me, we didn't have them until 5 years ago and my life was so much better.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 11:52AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

If you like the look of Sweet Autumn but need a hardier plant, you could consider 'Summer Snow' (a.k.a. Paul Farges) which looks a fair bit like Sweet Autumn but is hardier. It is VERY vigorous and gets much woodier than Sweet Autumn at the base. The oldest stem on mine are about an inch across! I cut it back in spring but not to the ground, as I find it blooms best on growth arising from older wood - so I keep a few of the reasonably thick stems.

Here is a link that might be useful: Paul Farges clematis

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 12:15PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

I love euonymous for the glossy green evergreen leaves, but have the shrubs, not a vine. One vine that I would love to try is a climbing hydrangea. They are beautiful in the pictures I've seen and everything I have heard or read is positive, so maybe that would work for you.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 2:00PM
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I do have a climbing hydrangea by the fence line. It's a good idea I haven't considered before. My vine is now flowering. Thanks for the point about Japanese beetles. I have a mild problem with them.

I would caution anyone from using a climbing hydrangea against the house though. It's got destructive root systems that can damage bricks and wood structures. They are slow growing but could take off after a few years.

Woodyoak - I'll look into your suggestion. I've never tried this plant before. My concern is that does it reseed? I just don't wish to have to deal with countless seedlings scattered about.

Lavender, fo the area I had in mind, morning glories would not work. It's not deep rooted enough. I have to have plants that will last even if I don't water for a week.

BTW - ladies I've discovered a long forgotten vine that I had planted and it's now growing larger and larger. For the longest time it was a tiny plant hidden among taller plants. Now I cannot even remember the name of this vine. A clue is that it's got heart shaped leaves. It's not the vine that would help with my privacy needs, but It sure would be great if I know the name of it.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 12:56PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

I noticed a few seedlings last year for the first time - I usually clear off the fluffy seedheads in the fall but I had forgot to the previous fall. The seedlings were within 6' or so of the 'mother' vine and pretty obvious and easy to remove. (Nowhere near as pesty as morning glories! I find quite a few clematises produce seedlings in my garden...)

Could your mystery vine be schizophragma hydrangeoides?

Perhaps this picture might interest you... This was taken a few minutes ago from our home office, where I'm typing this post. One window in this room overlooks the patio of the house to the south. When the vines are not in leaf, there is nothing that gives privacy; even in leaf all of the patio and much of the yard is visible any time I look up from the desk. The vines on the fence are 'Paul Farges' (planted on our side), a Jackmani clematis on a fan-shaped trellis on their side (you can see the slightly taller bulge in the center of the mass of vines...), a variegated euonymus which grows through the fence in places but not above it, and ivy (which comes through the fence and is a pest on our side! Also, some of it has got tall enough to now be setting flowers - we reach over the fence and cut them off to prevent it going to seed!) The only way they could have privacy on that patio is to plant a tree with a rounded , shortish canopy across from our window - or erect a pergola over the patio.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 2:08PM
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I guess then that vine which produces seedlings would not be suitable for me (or for my neighbors).

Re your neighbor. In their case, they need a canopy, pergola, or a couple of trees to provide them with privacy from all angles. In my case, I've already erected a crossbeam trellis which together with a low growing chanticleer tree, provided privacy from the neighbors immediately to the back. It's the neighbor 2 doors away and to our right that has a direct sightline into my yard. I was observing it yesterday and realized the only way I might be able to address this issue, with all the limitations of space and sunlight needs. is to erect a tall post with a crossbeam (think telephone pole-lke) to have a vine grow on it. It solves the problem of having a tree. it will train a vine to grow upwards and splay out. At it's location, it would not block sunlight (for my yard at least). So now I've solved the problem of location. I just have to solve the problem of suitable vines for this location. I'm veering towards the euonymous now but still undecided yet. I plan to go to the garden store to examine the choices upclose.


    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 3:56PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

The limitation of most euonymus is likely going to be the more limited height they might reach. I've been debating that issue too. We ripped out a way-too-vigorous honeysuckle on the iron arbour in th front garden this spring. (We were never sure exactly what it was because it originated as cutting from a vine outside a store in Niagara-on-the-Lake a few years ago. The store didn't know what it was. As it grew, so did our conviction that it was probably Hall's honesuckle - beautiful but much too much a PITA to control!) We've planted a combination of 'Emerald Gaiety' euonymus to be trained as a vine and Henryi clematis to grow with/into the euonymus to make it look like the euonymus blooms. If it works, it should be very nice I think. But the big doubt is whether the euonymus will be able to make it up and over the ~8' tall arbour. It certainly can easily go 6' - as it is on a neighbour's fence. Most sites give height as in the range of 5-6'/2 meters, so it might be iffy on the arbour - plus I don't know how long it'll take to get tall. The clematis grows 3-4 meters tall so it shouldn't have any problems. I might end up with only clematis on the top and the two on the sides. Time will tell... experiment, experiment... :-)

    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 4:26PM
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Woodoake, Good point. I saw a eunonymous grow about 7 feet. I could take cuttings of that plant but it will take too long to grow out. An alternate then given the height needs would be a tree. I might have to consider a beech to be exact. I've seen these used as hedges. the only problem then would be to make room for this thing and in order to do so, I would have to remove a limelight hydrangea which is now 5 feet tall.

BTW -that's a lovely iron trellis. Is that one of the cusomized trellis you had made.

Does anyone have any idea if a mature hydrangea can survive transplanting? I would need to cut it down considerable too.


    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 4:44PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Yes, that arbour is one of the things Mario, a local iron craftsman, made for me. Unfortunately, he's now retired - so no more iron things for me! :-)

In what direction does this structure - or whatever - need to be placed? If it can be placed to the north of your garden area, it should not cause problems re shading things. My large, full-sun front bed has two (young) magnolia trees, a ~ 12-15' Heptacodium tree, a young serviceberry tree and a mature cedar clump (one trunk; 5 tops!), all on the N-NW side so they do not shade the garden from the strong sun from the south. Would a tree placed like that and limbed up at the base block the neighbour's view without shading the garden too much?

There are nice beech trees - and my DH wants one - but I'm wary of them because of their reputation as mature trees as having greedy, dense roots and casting dense shade that combine to prevent anything from growing under them! You do see them used a lot as hedges in English gardens, so I wonder about that reputation. I wonder if there is a particular type that is used for hedges. I'd be inclined to go for a smaller ornamental tree if I was in your situation. Actually, the neighbour to the north here has much the same view of our patio as we do of the neighbour to the south's patio. I don't worry about it because the $#@! mosquitoes are so bad in the evenings that we rarely entertain out there! That neighbour is also a fellow avid gardener and our gardens sort of merge across the fence :-) and we're always checking out each others garden - and chatting across the (4' chainlink) fence.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 6:01PM
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Woodyoak, I think any tree are water suckers anyway which is why I had been considering a vine in the first place. The beech I am thinking of is a purple kind. There are several in a nearby neighborhood that do not seem to cause problems. In anycase i can these trees are excellent pleaching materials and thefore I can limit its growth.

Magnolia i do like but I want something with a leathery leaf for contrast in my yard. I also like a pagoda dogwood.

The area I'm considering is in the north end corner. It won't cast shadow on my end but it might on my neighbor;s yard. He doesn't have a flowering bed anyway.


    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 9:51PM
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Hi Ianna,
I am in a very different zone than you but I do grow honeysuckle and virginia creeper together on my back fence. The fence is about 8 feet high. I love this combination-covers fast in spring.
Sweet smelling blooms in spring and then fiery red leaves in fall.
Its easy to control, my dh takes takes the electric pruning shears to it once a year.
Good luck-I like my privacy too

    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 12:07AM
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Thanks Teakettle. I'm not a big fan of virginia creepers. They have destructive roots and would just rot out my fence in time. I still like honeysuckles despite the mildew problem.

Recently though I was walking about an area near my workplace and I discovered a euonymous (yes this again) growing all the way up to the roof of the house. So once again this is back into consideration.

Who knows, I may end up with all the vines and tree I want to use for this part of the yard. I can't make up my mind until I get to see what's available and up close.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2012 at 4:09PM
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I have honeysuckle vine that covers a small arbor and is beautiful, however if we have a dry year, I need to water it or it just looks sad and loses a lot of its leaves.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 2:49PM
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