Will creeping fig on chainlink fence make the neighbors hate me?

steelglowApril 18, 2011

Does anyone have experience with creeping fig in climates like zone 5b? We recently bought a house in Michigan, outside of Detroit, which has a very ugly chain link fence around the backyard. We need the fence to keep our dog in, and replacing it is far too expensive, so I'm hoping to plant some vines to cover it up. After a lot of searching on this site and others, it seems creeping fig would give me the look I'm going for. My concern is that the fence is on our property line, and I imagine the neighbors wouldn't like their lawn and/or house swallowed up! If anyone could tell me whether they think this will be a problem or not, I would be greatly appreciative. Also, any other vine suggestions would be welcome.

I'm basically looking for a vine that will look good and provide decent coverage for as much of the year as possible. I do not need flowers. I have no problem keeping it trimmed and orderly on my side of the fence, but have no access to the neighbor's side, and don't want to be the evil neighbor! Our neighbor does not have any plantings on their side of the fence to be grabbed onto or choked out, just lawn. Thanks!

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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

No chance of swallowing the neighbours. Creeping fig won't survive the winter in your climate.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 4:55AM
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Shoot, I completely overlooked that, I could have sworn I saw some people growing it in colder climes. Oh well!
How about a native honeysuckle? Any other suggestions?

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 4:23PM
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david_74012(OK 7)

Why not ask the neighbors if it would bother them. They may think the fence is as ugly as you think it is, and encourage you to spend your own dime to make it look nicer.


    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 10:57PM
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The neighbors would love to see the fence hidden, but don't want to do any real work to maintain it, and can't/won't chip in for a new fence. They know nothing about plants, so they are trusting me to pick something they'll be able to handle. I am thinking that native honeysuckle may fit the bill. Anyone see downsides to this plant?

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 11:19PM
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How big is the fence?
Do you think you could afford a reed or inexpensive bamboo fence to cover it up? You just wire it right onto your chain link fence, it's easy.
Check at big box stores and online for one of those fences.
I had native honeysuckle, it was beautiful coverage for 3 years, I had to move, but my neighbor, like yours with just lawn, was so sweet and allowed me to trim the vine on her side when ever I needed to. We were friends.
THe vine will grow towards the sun, and if the sun comes from your neighbors side, it will grow that way.
If you don't want your neighbor upset about the vine hanging a couple feet over onto his side, opt for the reed fence, and plant shrubs in front of it on your side.
But, if you don't mind trimming it, yes, it is a good privacy screen and will grow rather quickly for you.
Train it onto the fence, they don't twine like other vines.
Good Luck!

    Bookmark   April 22, 2011 at 11:57AM
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david_74012(OK 7)

Even tho the neighbors won't chip in for a new fence, or help maintain the vines it seems you have plenty of freedom to do what you like with the fence. Maintain both sides yourself. Also, fence companies make slats to slide into chain link fences. These come in different colors. Remove the slats as the vines grow and cover the fence. May seem like you are putting lipstick on a pig, but vines do seem to make old fences look good.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2011 at 9:00AM
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