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Annual Vines are Space Savers

Vertical gardening is something we don’t always consider when we’re planning our landscapes. Making use of this dimension saves space, which is of particular importance for those with small gardens. It also adds visual interest to the landscape.

When it comes to choosing plants for vertical gardening, the first place to look is the annual vines. Generally these should be planted after the danger of frost has passed in the spring. An obvious exception is the annual sweet peas, which should be planted as soon as the ground can be worked. These don't like hot weather.

The following annual vines are particularly outstanding choices.

The black eyed susan vine has eye popping flowers in shades of orange, yellow, and white with a dark green eye. Usually in the spring, you can buy plants that are already in bloom. They will continue to produce blossoms throughout the summer.

This delicate looking is actualy quite fast growing. A twining vine, it has blue-green foliage, and can reach 6 feet in length. It does best in a well drained soil, and is suited to full sun or partial shade. It is wonderful for training on a trellis.

The canary vine is related to the annual nasturtium, which is actually a species of Tropaeolum. It features small yellow blossoms with a feathery appearance. This vine has delicate, palmate leaves like its relatives.

Preferring full sun, this strong growing vine can extend to 15 feet in length. Like the nasturtiums, it actually does best in poor soils. Keep it on the dry side, and avoid heavy applications of fertilizer.

The caracalla bean looks quite exotic. Yet, it is actually an heirloom plant that was grown by Thomas Jefferson. Emerging from tuber-like roots, this vine features fragrant purple-white blooms that resemble spiral-like snail shells. These hang in clusters from the plant throughout the summer months. This vigorous vine can reach 20 feet in length. It grows well in both sun and partial shade.

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