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How To Choose a Vine

The versatility and adaptability of vines make them a must-have for every garden. Whether to disguise an unattractive feature, provide verticality, or create shade when grown over an arch or pergola, there is always a place for a vine. Many will grow well in small areas. In addition, many perform well in containers, either trained up on a stake or trellis or cascading downward over the edge. They can even serve as a groundcover!

After choosing the right vine for your garden, look for healthy plants showing vigorous new growth and a healthy root ball. When selecting a vine, consider its needs in your garden. If you want the plant to shade a patio area, be sure to construct the pergola or arbor at the time of planting. Likewise, erect a trellis to support a vine hiding an eyesore when planting. Waiting will create a chaotic situation in a very short time.

Two special vines provide beauty and utility in our gardens. Both are evergreen and grow to approximately 10′-15′ in full sun or partial shade. Both require watering until established, then become drought resistant.

Pink Jasmine (Jasminum polyanthum), has extremely fragrant flowers in spring and early summer. The light lacy quality of the leaves produces dappled shade below. Buds are pink, opening to white. Leaves are green on one side and dark crimson on underside. It will sprawl if not staked, making a glorious groundcover. Prune after blooming to encourage new growth and follow with balanced fertilizer and deep watering

Hardenbergia violacea, also known as the “lilac vine” or as the “waraburra” in Australia where it originated, is a member of the pea family. Its vigorous growth twines when growing up trellises, columns or fences. The dark green hard leathery leaves combine nicely with typical fragrant pea flowers of lavender, white or pink. It’s one of the earliest garden plants to bloom in late winter and blooms until summer. It’s not particular about soil, but requires good drainage. Prune after flowering to control size, remove dead or diseased growth or to encourage new growth in empty spot. Fertilize when planting, and use a general all-purpose fertilizer in spring.

Of course, there are many other vines available for your garden. Selection criteria may include color, size, site requirements, fragrance, bird and butterfly attraction, and seasonal interest. There’s a vine for every garden’s need.

Western Garden Nursery

2756 Vineyard Ave.
Pleasanton, CA 94566

Phone: 925-462-1760

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Store Hours

Monday – Saturday
9:00am – 5:30pm
10:00am – 4:30pm

Closed Thursday, July 4