This section is from the book "How To Make A Flower Garden", by Wilhelm Miller. Also available from Amazon: The Well-Tended Perennial Garden: Planting and Pruning Techniques.
What vines shall we grow? This will depend chiefly on location and aspect, but to a considerable extent also on the character of the object to be covered, whether of brick, stone or wood. Vines may be roughly classified by their manner or habit of growing.
In this group belongs the native bittersweet (Celastrus scandens), which has inconspicuous flowers, but bright orange capsules with ccarlet berries inside. Long strings of bittersweet are often used for home decoration, as the berries last all winter. The plant is hardy everywhere, and is desirable for covering low objects or latticed verandas. The Dutchman's-pipe is a rapid grower, and can stand thirty degrees below zero. It has large, heart-shaped leaves and odd flowers. The native and Japanese hop belong to this class; also moonseed. Actinidias are attractive twiners, free from insect diseases, and useful for covering arbours.
Here belongs the Ampelopsis Veitchii, commonly called ampelopsis, Boston ivy, or Japan ivy. This is by long odds the most popular vine for stone or brick walls. It reaches a great height, colouring beautifully in autumn. There is a form of the Virginia creeper which has discs instead of tendrils; the nurserymen sell it, and it is sometimes found wild.
English ivy (Hedera) is a slow grower, but lives long. It is practically our only evergreen climber, though Hall's honeysuckle holds its leaves well into winter. English ivy succeeds on north and east brick or stone walls in central New York; farther north it is likely to winter-kill. The trumpet creeper (Tecoma) also climbs by aerial roots. It reaches the top of tall buildings, but it is more suitable for lower stories. In its wayward, strolling habit there is much that is artistic. If one would have bloom, annual spring priming is desirable. 4. Requiring support. Among the numerous vines of this class are clematis, notably C. Jackmani and C. paniculata. They climb fairly well after receiving some encouragement, and are attractive in fruit as well as in flower.
A pergola at Biltmore.
Arbour covered by one of the matrimony vines, Lycium barbatum.
Honeysuckles and roses are general favourites. The evergreen character of some types of the former, and the free-blooming habits of the ramblers and Wichuraianas, make them favourites with rich and poor alike.
The matrimony vine (Lycium barbatum) has neither tendrils nor twining habit, but when trained to supports on a veranda the general effect is gracefully artistic. Nor should we overlook the wistaria, richly tropic in the luxuriance of its flowers.
Rose arch at Mr. W. C. Egan's.
Ampelopsis on a wall.