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If shrubs are the backbones of gardening, vines are the final embellishments on an already lovely portrait. Many people plant them for the vertical interest that they provide; they run up and down trellises, posts, railings and can be planted in hanging baskets to twine around the wires of the baskets before they go tumbling down. They can ramble over fences and walls to provide vibrant privacy screens, trained over strings and posts in vegetable gardens to produce life-giving fresh food grown over screened in porches to give shade on warm summer days. Clematis and wisteria are especially good choices for growing near a porch or over a backyard arbor, but many other types work equally well.
Many vines are profuse bloomers that provide a significant amount of fragrance. Evergreen clematis, for instance, features large, velvety green leaves and spring blossoms with an aroma that resembles and rivals that of magnolias. Honeysuckle is another favorite of gardeners because of its pleasing scent, and many vine lovers faithfully plant moonflower seeds every spring so that they can enjoy the perfume the blossoms regularly put out into the night air. Nasturtium vines provide a bright riot of fire-hued color and can be used in many landscaping situations.
Most vining plants are relatively easy to grow, and varieties exist that grow well in both sun, shade, and conditions in between. Vinca, for instance, provides a woodland touch in shady parts of the yard with its fresh green leaves and violet-to-white colored spring flowers.
Vining plants thrive the best when they are planted during the spring from containers, but some types can be planted at other times. Making sure of specific cultural requirements before planting will ensure that vining plants perform at top levels.