Height is important when planning the perennial garden. Think high and low when choosing plants to add interest and character.

Take your garden above and beyond (the ground, that is) with climbing vines. Vines save precious garden space while offering stunning interest. Plant vines on a trellis, fence, wall, pillar, arbor, lamppost, porch frame, or any other vertical or horizontal structure, including walls. Tonkadale carries several fine vines to suit a range of gardening needs and tastes.

Clematis vines come in a variety of colors and height options. Two of the most popular choices are Jackmanii and Paniculata.

Jackmanii is a profuse bloomer, producing 5- to 6-inch deep purple flowers in June, July and September. This vine will reach 7 to 10 feet tall, and prefers soil that is evenly moist.

Paniculata, also known as Sweet Autumn, is a vigorous vine that blooms in August and September. Producing small, white, star-like flowers that are slightly fragrant, this stellar plant can grow in slight shade and can reach 20 feet tall, but is also easy to prune and maintain.

All clematis prefer cool feet, so it’s important to apply a 2-inch mulch above the roots to avoid overheating. Annuals and other perennials can also be planted around the roots to aid in the shade.

Clematis grow best in well-drained (but evenly-moist) soil, and will not tolerate wet feet. Upon planting, amend soil with peat and sand and water in, but be careful not to overwater throughout the growing season.

Boston Ivy. Photo by Y. G. Lulat, Wikimedia Commons

Boston Ivy. Photo by Y. G. Lulat, Wikimedia Commons

A little bit about many more vines:

Trumpet vine: Beautiful trumpet-shaped flowers are attractive to hummingbirds. Plant in full sun to part shade on a sturdy structure. This vine tolerates clay soil, is deer-resistant, and can reach 25 feet or more.

Dutchman’s Pipe: 15 to 30 feet high and 20 feet wide, this vine produces very dense coverage. Grow in full sun to part shade in moist, rich soil. The flowers are pipe-shaped — very unusual and interesting.

Honeysuckle: Honeysuckle is a vigorous grower and a hummingbird attractant. Depending on the variety, this vine needs full to part sun and can grow 6 to 20 feet tall or more.

Boston Ivy: This fast-growing vine can reach 30 to 45 feet and is an excellent choice for wall cover. Plant in full to part sun and enjoy the fall show when the green leaves turn a deep shade of red.

Engleman Ivy: Plant in sun or shade in average soil. This vine provides dense coverage and can grow to 40 feet. For added interest, the leaves turn deep burgundy in fall and produce berries for the birds (not for humans).

Wisteria: Aah … Sweet-smelling, whimsical wisteria. Full sun, 15 to 25 feet, average soil.

Golden Hops: Plant this stunning golden-limey vine in rich, well-drained soil and keep evenly moist. Grows 15 to  20 feet, requires full to part sun, and produces aromatic flowers.

Gooseberries. Photo by Uwe Hermann, WikiMedia Commons

Gooseberries. Photo by Uwe Hermann, WikiMedia Commons

Bring the eye down, down, down with Armeria (also known as Thrift). This is a very low-growing plant with a tight mat of fine-leafed foliage that looks like the perfect turf everyone dreams of, but it produces 6- to 12-inch-tall spikes topped with pretty little pink or white flowers. Grow in very well-drained soil. Thrift is a good addition as a ground cover for a dry site or in a rock garden.

Gooseberries – now there’s an interesting idea! Gaining in popularity, this 3- to 5-foot shrub is the perfect addition to the edible landscape for humans and birds alike. The berries can be made into delicious pies and jams, or eaten raw if ripe. The stems are a little spiny (so be careful) but it’s worth it.

Up, down, or edible – it’s always fun to add something new!