Vertical Fall Color

By Susan Littlefield

Vertical gardening is all the rage, and with good reason. Growing vines up arbors, trellises, and tuteurs or over a pergola adds interesting vertical accents to the landscape, can be used to provide privacy, camouflage unattractive walls and fences, and is a great strategy for gardeners short on space.

Besides all these advantages, a well-chosen vine can offer multi-season interest. Vines such as clematis and climbing hydrangea brighten the summer garden with their lovely flowers. But it's at this time of year that the easy-to-grow native Virginia creeper vine (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) displays its full glory with colorful fall foliage. The new cultivar Red Wall™ (P.q.'Troki') from Proven Winners is especially attractive. Covered with glossy green foliage all summer long, in fall its leaves turn a brilliant, fire-engine red for an eye-catching jolt of color as the seasons change.

This fast-growing deciduous vine climbs by tendrils that have sticky pads on the tips, so it can make its way up any vertical surface and even be allowed to scramble across the ground. Adapted to Zones 3-9, it grows 20 feet or more tall. As an added bonus, Virginia creeper's bluish-black berries are welcome food for many birds, including thrushes, vireos, chickadees, robins, cardinals, and warblers, and its branches provide cover and nesting sites to many species.

For more information on Red Wall™ Virginia creeper, go to: Proven Winners.

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