I’ve never been a fan of vines. I think they may look adorable in other people’s gardens. I drive regularly in a house with a beautiful antique wisteria, but I have never been able to grow a vine that I liked. They tend to look messy and require too much maintenance. The main problem I have, however, is with a pervasive and invasive vine in my beds.
My problem with the screws
Vines can be beautiful, even practical. They can provide shade and privacy. I have a friend with hops growing and on a trellis to shade his back patio. It looks fantastic and smells like beer.
Most likely my problem is that I lack the aptitude for growing vines well. I once experienced a morning glory and it just seemed messy. At one time I also lived in a house with English ivy crawling on brick walls and removing it to avoid structural damage was a real nuisance.
Growing vines and making them look beautiful and doing what you want them to do takes time and effort. With a little practice and training, I’m sure I can do it better, but I prefer to admire delicious vines in other gardens instead.
Bindweed – the fearsome invasive vine
I could also dislike vines because they can be difficult to control for invasive plants. There are many different types of problematic invasive species, but vines are truly insidious.
Every year I fight with the field bindweed, an invasive species in Michigan that I can never eradicate. No matter how early you start extracting it, the vine takes over. In particular, he likes to wrap himself around my daylily leaves and stalks.
The vine is actually attractive, with delicate white to pink, trumpet-shaped flowers. but don’t be fooled by its beauty. It is impossible to control and only grows where I don’t want it. Grr! My daylilies are not native, so it is not as if the bindweed was suffocating an autochthonous species. But if I leave it alone, it will eventually go out and invade everything in that bed.
I know from some online research that controlling bindweed requires attacks on multiple fronts and over a year. Digging the roots doesn’t help either, as only the smallest fragment left behind can turn into a new plant. So I simply added that I was extracting the bindweed from my list of garden chores, but it stained my view of the vines.
Maybe one day I will embrace a nice wisteria or a cover of hops, but for now I prefer not to introduce more vines in my garden.