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Old June 30th, 2011, 02:38 PM
Choochi Choochi is offline
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Vine suggestions?

I added two new structures to my backyard that I would love to grow some vines on, one for privacy, the other for shade for the dogs.

I'm thinking Virginia creeper (I think that's the name of it, the one that turns bright red at the end of the season). Is that a hardy plant? Will it do ok if the dogs pee on it (it's bound to happen), does it grow fast and covers things well?
One of the structures is a 10x12 pergola about 11' high, will one plant planted in the corner do ok to cover it? The pergola is surrounded by pavers so I'm very limited with planting spots.

Any other suggestions? I want fast growing with good coverage, hardy, requiring low low maintenance.
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Old June 30th, 2011, 02:46 PM
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Virginia creeper will grow fast and it's hardy enough that we wage a never-ending war against it here (we're further north than Toronto), but it's not low maintenance. It'll take constant vigilance to keep it in check If you're willing to put in the time to rip out the escapees, though, it does give you thick cover pretty quickly! And as far as I know, none of it around here has died from mere dog pee.
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Old June 30th, 2011, 02:47 PM
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chico2 has some in her yard--she might be a good person to talk to.
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Old June 30th, 2011, 03:54 PM
Choochi Choochi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hazelrunpack View Post
but it's not low maintenance. It'll take constant vigilance to keep it in check
lol I don't mind that kind of maintenance, I meant the kind where if you don't do some thing the plant will die I don't have much luck with plants like that
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Old June 30th, 2011, 04:07 PM
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Virginia Creeper is probably just what you're looking for, then.
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Old June 30th, 2011, 04:46 PM
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Choochi,I don't think anyone can kill a Virginia Creeper
We have it covering the back of our house(ugly brick)and a Pergola.
We planted one pot,many,many years ago and it's still going strong.
If you keep after it so it does not grow everywhere it's fine.
You can see some of it in this pic,the Pergola on the right.
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Old June 30th, 2011, 08:42 PM
Choochi Choochi is offline
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That's perfect, thank you Chico!!

I can't kill it and one plant will suffice! Excellent!
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Old July 1st, 2011, 02:25 AM
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We have several Virginia Creeper vines. I like them in areas where they can't spread easily like surrounded by lawn or a brick edging. I don't like the ones we have in garden areas where there is open dirt - they try to take over the entire area! It is very fast growing! Great plant to create shade.

I have a couple other vines I really like as well; Wisteria and Honeysuckle. Neither are as fast growing or as good to create shade, but I think both are more attractive looking than the Virginia Creeper (I don't like it when it turns red).
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Old July 1st, 2011, 09:46 AM
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I like it best when it turns red! I know I won't be ripping it out over winter for one thing, but it's such a deep vibrant red when it turns.

Is Wisteria hardy in SK, Myka? I always thought it was a more tender vine?
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Old July 1st, 2011, 11:40 AM
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I like the fall burgundy red colour as well. It also gets blue berries in the fall that many species of birds including bluebirds, catbirds, chickadees, flickers, flycatchers, mockingbirds, nuthatches, robins, sapsuckers, tree swallows, thrashers, thrushes, titmice, woodpeckers love to eat.

It will likely not grow that much the first year while it is getting established. By next year it should really start to take of and then there will be no stopping it.
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Old July 1st, 2011, 05:40 PM
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Yes,I forgot to mention the berries,the Starlings really chomp them up!!
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Old July 1st, 2011, 06:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hazelrunpack View Post
Is Wisteria hardy in SK, Myka? I always thought it was a more tender vine?
It is hardy here! We are Zone 2-3 with our winters regularly down to -40C, with several weeks in the -35C range. I planted one pot of Wisteria last fall that had dried out in the pot and all the leaves fell off. I thought it was a goner, but I figured what the heck I'll plant it anyway. I loosened up the dirt around it and watered the heck out of it. That was literally only a couple weeks before the first frost. Very surprisingly it came up this spring! So it must be hardy!
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Old July 1st, 2011, 07:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Myka View Post
It is hardy here! We are Zone 2-3 with our winters regularly down to -40C, with several weeks in the -35C range. I planted one pot of Wisteria last fall that had dried out in the pot and all the leaves fell off. I thought it was a goner, but I figured what the heck I'll plant it anyway. I loosened up the dirt around it and watered the heck out of it. That was literally only a couple weeks before the first frost. Very surprisingly it came up this spring! So it must be hardy!
I want to get an arbor--maybe when I do, I'll try the wisteria!

I had no idea that Virginia creeper got berries! I'm always so busy trying to rip it out that I guess I never looked at it to see if there were any! That might explain why there are always so many birds in it late summer and fall!
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Old July 2nd, 2011, 01:18 PM
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Do I need to worry about the VC spreading underground or is it all visible above ground branches that I would be prunning?

I do like Wisteria too. Love the flowers, but I do want full coverage. Maybe I'll plant that to grow on the fence. That could be pretty.
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Old July 2nd, 2011, 03:01 PM
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Virginia creeper does develop a very thick underground root system and I believe it can spread this way by sending new shoots upward. However, in my experience I don't find this so much of a problem. For me it is more the new shoots that sprout up and start running along the ground rooting themselves as they go. These are fairly easy to yank up if you keep on top of them.

You mentioned the area where you wish to plant it is surrounded by pavers. That might be a plus to help keep it contained. How big is the spot where the VC will be allowed to grow freely? Also what kind of support will you be using to guide it up to the pergola? When it first starts growing you may need to help guide it up the support for the first couple of feet. After that it will just continue to climb the support on its own.
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Old July 2nd, 2011, 03:24 PM
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It's the stuff that roots from runners that's driving me nuts. Not sure whether it also spreads by rhizome or not, though. The biggest problem around here is that it's so wild no one is around to tame the Creeper. There are trees around, both oak and evergreen, that are being strangled by the stuff...
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Old July 2nd, 2011, 04:20 PM
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Yes you definetly want to keep it in check, right now one is taking over the back of dads house, because i havent gotten to rip some of it down. Also not to freak anyone out, but when new shoots start out, there 3 leaves, and they look just like poison ivy. I think its a defense mechanism the plant has. Other wise it changes into 5 leaves then. So i always have to look and make sure its not poison ivy i am pulling.
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Old July 2nd, 2011, 04:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Choochi View Post
Do I need to worry about the VC spreading underground or is it all visible above ground branches that I would be prunning?
It goes underground in the garden where there is open soil, but it doesn't go underground through the grass. In the garden if you pull on the end you want to pull out the vine will pop up out of the soil. It is easy pull up.
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Old July 2nd, 2011, 04:41 PM
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Here is a pic of it taking over dad's house, although maybe i will let it do that, it will look like some of the old stone houses in england.
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Old July 2nd, 2011, 04:44 PM
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Edwina,you definitely have to keep it out of the eaves,hubs keep ours trimmed all the time,otherwise it would cover the whole house,we only have it at the back.
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