Growing plants along a fence takes advantage of vertical growing space. A fence acts as a perfect support structure for vines and other climbing plants. Openwork fences are better support structures than solid fences without tendril holds. Plants are used to break up the bareness of fences, hide pieces of unsightly fences or accent decorative fences. Plants for fences are perennial, annual, deciduous and evergreen plants.
Black-eyed Susan vines (Thunbergia alata) are rapidly growing tender perennials that are killed off in freezing weather. This flowering vine reaches 8 feet long and is best in locations with morning sun and afternoon shade, since it does not do well in excessive heat. Black-eyed Susan vines produce large green leaves followed by flowers with black centres surrounded by brightly coloured petals. Black-eyed Susan vines are available in white, yellowish-orange and mixed.
Runner bean plants (Phaseolus coccineus) grow to 12 feet long, forming twining vines covered with trifoliate green leaves that are 4 to 5 inches long. Most runner bean plants produce bright scarlet bean-type flowers clustered in 10-inch-long racemes. Edible bean pods, 6 to 12 inches long, follow the fading blossoms. Runner bean varieties include Scarlet Runner with red and black seeds, Black Runner with black seeds, Painted Lady with red and white flowers and White Dutch Runner with white flowers and seeds.
Trumpet vines (Campsis radicans) are 30- to 40-foot-long deciduous climbing vines that grow so vigorously that they could become invasive. The vines are covered with shiny dark green compound leaves made up of 7, 9 or 11 leaflets which emerge late in the spring. The showy orange-scarlet tubular flowers are 3 inches long and 1 1/2 inches wide. The flowers cluster together at the ends of new growth branches from July through August. Trumpet vines grow well in poor soil and are available in red, yellow, yellow-orange, orange-apricot and white colours.
Queen's wreath (Antigonon leptopus) is a twining vine that climbs up supports with tendrils. This vine is semievergreen, which means is stays green year-round in areas without freezing temperatures. Temperatures of 0 degrees C kill the branch tips, while temperatures below -3.89 degrees C kill the plant down to the ground. Queen's wreath produces 30- to 40-foot-long stems covered in heart-shaped leaves. This vine blooms in the fall with red, pink and white flowers.
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