MidWest Gardening forum: Need a climber recommendation

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Sep 7, 2015 10:24 AM CST
Hello. I live in St. Louis and have some lattice on my garage with planting boxes below and am in need of a recommendation. My wife hates the look of the empty lattice during the winter. Does a climber exist that keeps it's foliage through the winter?

Here would be my dream plant characteristics, in order of importance to me:

1) Keeps an interesting look through the winter

2) Would fill in the entire lattice

3) Perennial (i'm lazy) - not a requirement, but would be nice

4) Edible - not a requirement, but would be cool

Below is a picture of the location. I just removed the foot-long beans that i grew there this year. Like all beans that i've grown, they die off fast after creating beans. In previous years i've done cardinal climbers and moonflowers. Those were pretty but i'm wondering if there is some sort of evergreen or something that would hide the lattice all year. Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer!

Thumb of 2015-09-07/JackStraw/09e24e

Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Sep 7, 2015 12:35 PM CST
Hmm - for a vine that keeps its foliage, I'd think you'd want to look at a perennial vine of some sort. You might want to look into kiwi vines but I don't know if they'd hold on to their foliage. Try posting your question in the "ask a question" forum to attract more responses.
central Illinois
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Plant Database Moderator Garden Ideas: Level 2 Photo Contest Winner: 2014
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Sep 7, 2015 11:04 PM CST
English Ivy might meet your criteria minus number 4 - Hedera helix
Thumb of 2015-09-08/jmorth/d1175f

Nothing that's been done can ever be changed.
[Last edited by jmorth - Sep 7, 2015 11:11 PM (+)]
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Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Sep 8, 2015 7:57 AM CST
A Wrigley Field wall! Great idea.
Name: Kim
Iowa (Zone 5a)
I kill ornamentals... on purpose.
Enjoys or suffers cold winters Spiders! Critters Allowed Birds Houseplants I helped beta test the first seed swap
Region: Nebraska Keeper of Poultry Rabbit Keeper Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Procrastinator Garden Ideas: Level 2
Oct 14, 2015 11:09 AM CST
Have you found a vine, JackStraw?

I would recommend the native Clematis virginiana, nicknamed Prairie Smoke on a Rope. (My number one reason for getting this... I got a kick out of the name. ) It's a perennial.

The flowers are not very showy, but it was the seed heads that I like. Scroll to the bottom of this link to see the seed heads in winter.
Get two or three plants because this is a plant that is only one gender and you need both for it to go to seed. I have eight of these, some to climb up the house and others along a fence.

Definitely not edible, but then deer and rabbits avoid it, unlike the non-native Clematis that rabbits will eat to the ground when you are trying to establish them. My experience when I used to grow ornamentals. :)

I just planted mine this spring. Some of the vines grew about 15 or more feet. I am working at training some of them to go where I want. I only got one flower this year, but that is to be expected while it establishes.

There is a lookalike C. terniflora that has become invasive in some areas.

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