Annual Vines For Japanese Garden Entrance

breezyb(z6/7VA)April 15, 2005

I'm planning a Japanese garden where the entranceway will be between 2 mature Hemlocks. I'm planning on putting a pergola there, & since it will be in fairly full sun, planting wisteria to eventually climb & cover it.

What, in the meantime, would you suggest as an annual vine for the pergola while the wisteria gets established? Pergola will have a southeastern exposure, so pretty much full sun throughout the day.

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If you want to try something different, look for a porcelain vine -- Ampelopsis brevipedunculata. It is native to the Southeast and grows well here. It's a member of the grape family with leaves like a small grape, and loose clusters of grape-like berries in late summer and fall. What's really unique is the berries, which are several different colors -- white, blue, pink and purple -- often in the same cluster. They look really nice hanging from an arbor. There is a variety with variegated leaves, as well, which is what we have planted in our garden.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2005 at 7:38PM
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I just noticed you are looking for an annual vine. Porcelain vine is a woody vine that will come back year after year. For annual vines, plain old blue morning glories are hard to beat.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2005 at 7:40PM
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Thanks for the suggestion. I know Porcelain Vine & agree that it's pretty - I just prefer Wisteria for a Japanese garden.

Do you think Morning Glories would grow tall enough to cover an approx. 10' high/5' wide pergola? Am also wondering whether or not they're "deer candy".

    Bookmark   April 16, 2005 at 8:40PM
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FranVAz7(Alexandria VA)

Porcelain Berry is not only perennial, it's exceedingly invasive, a rampant spreader by root and seed, right up there with oriental bittersweet and kudzu. There are lots of fun annual vines, not just morning glory, but it's a good choice.


    Bookmark   April 17, 2005 at 1:37PM
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davissue_zone9(z9 Sunset 14)

Well, how about annual variegated Japanese hop- it's a nice little annual vine that is quiet and tasteful, and can get big enough in a year to make some impact. seed can be bought at this source, unfortunately the operator of the company is a luddite and is not on the web. a packet of seed is two dollars, and a dollar handling.

The Fragrant Path
P.O. Box 328 Fort Calhoun, Nebraska 68023

    Bookmark   April 18, 2005 at 6:30PM
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A vine a bit out of the ordinary with simple green elegance is Lygodium japonicum, Japanese Climbing Fern. Mine grows outside year round in clay pot, and each spring covers an 8 foot x 6 foot set of metal plant shelves, up and over and down the opposite side to swirl thru other pots on adjacent table. In 15 years never had any "invasive" problem...just more shoots each year from roots in pot. (I understand it IS a problem further south in FL and LA.)

Easy to grow in sun or shade with average moisture. Never any disease or pests. In fall it persists with mostly green foliage thru light frosts, but when it does die, the creamy-tan fronds on almost gold stems are still beautiful to me. I usually don't 'clean it up' until new shoots start appearing in spring.


Here is a link that might be useful: Lygodium japonicum

    Bookmark   April 23, 2005 at 9:03PM
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ScottReil_GD(z5 CT)

Ampelopsis is Asian, not native and highly invasive as noted. Don't go there...

The morning glories are very traditional and a great idea for a Japanese annual...

    Bookmark   April 26, 2005 at 5:19PM
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