Garden Arbor Trellis, Rose Blooming, Wedding Decorations

Garden Arbor Trellis, Rose Blooming, Wedding Decorations

Roses are unmatched for their striking beauty, variety of colors, and unforgettable fragrance. Climbing plants help visually “ground” a garden structure to the landscape. Ivys and creepers make beautiful walls of foliage that glisten in the sun and wave in the breeze. So add the two together and climbing roses are like blooming jewels to use with a garden trellis. If you are planning a summer wedding, consider using some real live rose plants as wedding gazebo decorations. For a home wedding you can easily plan ahead and plant rose bushes during the fall or two before the year of your wedding. The roses can winter over in the ground as normal and start the spring off with vigorous growth in anticipation of the big summer show. Another option for outdoor or even indoor weddings is to grow some climbing, standard, or tree roses in containers. Then you can move them to the wedding site a day or more before the ceremony or reception  The growing containers need to be large enough to provide ample area for root growth and the soil needs to have good drainage, water retention, and proper nutrients. Shrub roses and tree roses are more commonly grown in planters and containers. Climbing roses area bit more difficult to establish and control in a container but the added effect can be well worth the effort. All roses require a lot of sunlight and good air circulation to bloom properly and stay free from diseases. Climbing roses can be tied to the trellis or arch uprights with floral twist ties, ribbon, or other materials to match the decorations or structure. Make sure to wear garden gloves and long sleeves when working with the roses. You don’t want to show scratched up arms in the wedding pictures. It might even possible to dig up and transplant roses to use on a newly added trellis if they are not too old and well established. You don’t want to damage too many roots during the growing season especially if it is close to your wedding day. A wilted plant and floppy blooms is not what a nervous bride needs to see. Many old style climbers have been around for generations proving how reliable they can be. New hybrids seem to be introduced just about every year resulting in more color choices, improved disease resistance, longer blooming range, or better hardiness characteristics. One of the best and most trusted sources of rose plants is Jackson and Perkins. They have been in business for many years and have a large selection of rose varieties to use for in ground and container growing. Try planting some climbing roses on a rose garden arbor...

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Flowering Vines for a Garden Arbor

Flowering Vines for a Garden Arbor

Flowering vines can really add to the beauty and functionality of a home landscape. If you are considering using a temporary arch in your wedding plans, buy one that can be reused in your home garden. In a previous article we discussed three of the most common landscape vines used to grow on arbors, pergolas, and decks. There are many more beautiful flowering vines that can make their home on any garden trellis or support. Flowering vines not only add splashes of color to the landscape but also attract wildlife such as songbirds and hummingbirds. Here is a sampling of some of those beauties: Honeysuckle – (Lonicera)  There are many forms of the honeysuckle from spreading shrubs to vines. One of the most attractive and commonly used landscape honeysuckles is the Orange Honeysuckle (Lonicera ciliosa). This quick maturing plant blooms from summer until frost and can reach 15-20 feet in height. Honeysuckle vines prefer at least partial sun to bloom successfully. The vine can be used to make an attractive screen in most places with temperatures similar to US hardiness zones 4-8. It is no surprise that hummingbirds are attracted to sweet smelling nectar of the flowers. Other widely used species of Lonicera include L. periclymenum (Woodbine), L. japonica (Japanese Honeysuckle) and L. sempervirens (Coral Honeysuckle). These vines grow easily, provide quick cover with their dense foliage, and definitely put on a show with their trumpet shaped flowers. Several are considered invasive species if let into the wild and some have mild poisonous berries. But that should not stop most gardeners from enjoying honeysuckle vines in their gardens. Morning Glory – Morning glories (Ipomoea) are beautiful flowering annual vines that grow quickly on smaller trellises and arbors. As a result of their prolific blooming (and the help of a few visiting bumblebees) they will attempt to spread by dropping many seeds. Although some people report that the heavenly blue varieties are not as vigorous seeders. Moonflower – The sweet scented moonflower (Ipomoea) is another vine with a flower similar in shape  to the morning glory, not surprising as it is related. However its large white blooms open during the evening hours and remain open until dawn. The flowers are short-lived but worth the effort once you witness their magical opening. Moonflowers are used as annuals in the northern climates and are perennials in the more tropical climate south. Sweet Peas – The Sweetpea (Latyrus) is a quick growing tender vine with fragrant flowers that come in whites and shades of pinks and violets. It is a short vine growing into a waist or chest high flush of foliage and flowers, perfect for the sides of a garden lattice arch....

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Garden Trellises, Arbors, Grape Vines, and Fruits

Garden Trellises, Arbors, Grape Vines, and Fruits

Well supported trellised vines provide structure, visual interest, and protection in the garden. Structure as in a growing architectural element in the landscape – visual beauty of foliage and fruit colors, forms and textures – and protection in the sense of providing shade and windscreens. Grape Vines  – Many of us grew up with a neighbor or relative who had grape vines in their backyard, the vines often sprawling over a handmade pergola or piping framework. Who can forget enjoying their annual fall treat of sweet Concord grapes, squeezing the skins, and spitting out the seeds. And sometimes you were lucky enough to witness the making of grape jam and enjoy its sweetness for many months of the year afterward. Grape vines make good hardy vertical cover for garden arbors and pergolas and the canopy they provide can block the harshest of summer sun rays. It takes a few years for the grape vines to establish themselves but it is well worth the wait to have many years of foliage and prolific sweet fruits that follow. And if you enjoy wine and are a bit adventurous, there’s nothing like the satisfaction of making your own homemade wine using the literal fruits of your labor. Variegated Kiwi Vine – The kiwi vine (Actinidia kolomikta) is an attractive deciduous vining plant that is grown for both its foliage and its “kiwi” fruits. The foliage provides interest with its green leaves that change at the tips to whites, pinks, and rose colors as the leaves mature. Although not as tough and foolproof as a grapevine, you should definitely consider using the kiwi vine in your landscape. It tends to do well in a wide range of climates such as the US hardiness zones 4-9 and possibly even into zone 3 with winter protection. If you want a fruit from this Actinidia vine you’ll have to get at least one each of male and female plants. Most often several fruit-bearing female plants are used in combination with a single male plant, which is still an attractive vine even without any fruit. The flowers are not all that conspicuous so this plant is really used for its foliage and fruit. It prefers full sun and will produce the showiest leaf variegation in such exposures. The kiwi vine will spread minimally about 3-4 feet wide and can grow to about 15-20 feet tall. Its twining stems need support and are best used on lattice filled structures. Blackberries – Blackberries and Raspberries are perennial shrubs that are often staked but they can also be trained to grow on trellises or the side of a garden arbor. Most blackberries have thorns on their stems so their placement...

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Garden Arbors, Pergolas, and Flowering Vines

Garden Arbors, Pergolas, and Flowering Vines

A garden arbor is like a blank canvas and plants are your pallet of shapes, colors and textures. Turn any landscape structure into a real focal point by incorporating flowering vines into your plan. Plants including vines and their support system play an architectural role in the landscape, adding height and depth, shade and cooling, interest and beauty. There are so many different hardy perennial vines to select from for outdoor use and a lot of them can tolerate a wide range of climates. For outdoor settings like arbors and trellises and the occasional very large indoor application, here are some of the most popular flowering vines: Clematis – Clematis vines are a great choice for home gardens as they are reliable bloomers, the flowers come many different colors, and the plants are readily available. The vines are not very heavy so they can be used with smaller trellises as well as larger arbors. They are often used to soften the appearance of mailboxes and lamp posts. Clematis will take several years to really get established and fill out. From a cultural perspective, the common tip is that clematis “like their heads in the sun and feet in the shade. Place low growing plants in front of the clematis and add another layer of plant material to your design at the same time. There are so many varieties available but Clematis ‘Henryi’ is one of the best long lived varieties with 6” wide white blooms and interesting bronze color in its new growth. Clematis “Jackmanii’ is a long time favorite with violet flowers. Clematis are fine stemmed perennial vines and pruning depends on the type, one type flowers on the previous season’s growth and the other type flowers on new growth. It is critical to know  which type of you have to guide your periodic clematis pruning and maintenance. Follow the pruning instructions that come with your plants. Wisteria – The wisteria vine (Wisteria) is a great choice for large outdoor pergolas or decks in the landscape. The most common wisteria’s pendant bluish-violet flowers are quite a beautiful sight in late spring. Since it is a vigorous growing vine the wisteria will cover quickly and provide shade and screening for your garden niche. One thing to keep in mind is that the wisteria spreads via runners and  requires a bit extra pruning compared to some other vines. Be vigilant to keep vines planted near buildings from getting into gutters and roofing. The benefits of its quick growing foliage and beautiful flowers more than makes up for the wisteria’s wandering tendencies. The ever-thickening network of wisteria vine stems provide year round interest and adds a sense of permanence to the...

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Garden Arbor Styles, Types, Materials, and Finishes

Garden Arbor Styles, Types, Materials, and Finishes

There are several different types of garden structures to pick from – arbors, arches, pergolas, gazebos, and trellises. There is some difference but the distinctions between the structure types is often blurred. Pergolas and gazebos are generally larger structures and trellises are typically flat and require attachment to another structure. Your choices are many with several classic styles and various modern designs available. And an unlimited number of custom designs are an option too for the wedding planner who likes total control over all the wedding details.  The arbor is often formed with a curved arch at the top but flat or slightly curved tops are also common. Some arbors come with planters built into the base to hold potted plants for temporary installations such as outdoor weddings but can then be used to hold seasonal flowers in permanent settings. If you are planning on reusing the arbor in your garden permanently you can always add on planters afterwards. Your vines or shrubs may be happier with their roots in the ground depending on your climate and watering habits. There is a wide range of standard sizes to choose from and custom structures can be built to any size. A common size is approximately 4 ft wide x 2 ft deep x 8 ft high – perfect for your wedding or as an entry to a garden path. You have choice of materials – woods, metals, or plastics. The wooden variations can be made of cedar, redwood, or pressure treated pine. Lower cost untreated wood is an option if the arbor will be used indoors only. The options for metal frameworks includes steel, iron, and copper. In the man-made material category, plastics such as vinyl, PVC, and a blend of PVC and wood are available. The type of finish available will depend on the material used to build the structure. Latex or oil based paints can be applied to wooden or metal frameworks. Clear coatings or stains are also good for wooden arbors and come in many different tints. You can match the paint or stains to the building or other landscape features. This is often done if the wedding arbor is destined to be used in the home garden after the outdoor wedding reception. Iron arbors are painted or powder coated to deter rust. White is the most common color of wedding arches, arbors, gazebos, and other backdrops. Green paint, stain, or coating is more likely to be used for structures destined to be used as permanent garden focal points. Natural finishes are best for cedar, redwood, and copper materials. All three will weather to attractive, warm colors, with the greenish patina of copper being especially beautiful and...

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