The growing season here in Michigan is so short. I dream about gardening season all Winter long. Each year we add a new element or set of plants to our garden spaces to bring us closer to my dream garden space. We have never been able to do everything at once. When we first started out a newlyweds I wished we could but after many years I have decided its actually better to spread things out. It helps keep your vision for your dream space fresh, keeps you looking forward to and dreaming about the next growing season where you can implement the next set of ideas and also helps keep ideas fresh. The things I would have picked out many years ago would not be the same now. I have learned so much about gardening over the years, mostly through trial and error, but regardless I now have a very clear understanding of how we live and want to live in our outdoor spaces. Ive mastered being intentional and thoughtful with everything we bring into our home.
Photo: Jasmine growing up wire attached with eye hooks.
Our yard is actually quite small- it’s .38 acres! In order to maximize our yard and still have space for our kids to run play we have had to be intentional, creative, and thoughtful.
Photo: Wisteria starting to creep along picket fence.
Our yard in totally fenced in and the back of our home, where our patio space is we have a huge row of solid white vinyl fencing. I love the white fence and the privacy that it offers from the surrounding neighbors but it’s a lot of white space that I knew needed something to make it more of our style. So, this year I was on a mission to add in all the climbing plants and trellis that I possibly could. This would add to our curb appeal, take care of the very white fencing and continue the cottage aesthetic that we continue to implement.
This year I added a total of 10 different vines to our garden spaces: 3 trumpet vines to cover the white vinyl fence, 2 honeysuckle vines to add privacy to our front porch, 2 jasmine vines (one may have been mislabeled and will not survive our harsh Michigan winter), 2 autumn Clematis vines to attract pollinators to our garden and lastly a climbing rose that smells amazing!!
Photo: Veggie Garden with Willow Trellis attached to vinyl fence with vinyl hooks supporting sweet autumn clematis.
I experimented with different trellis methods depending on the space. This is my very favorite – the willow trellis (here). I didn’t want to damage the vinyl fencing so I had to get creative. Much to my surprise I found some vinyl clips that hook right into the seams (here) and I was able to hang my favorite willow trellis damage free. For our siding we used large hooks (here) that secured the willow trellis and for our front porch we used a mixture of hooks and nm clips (here) to secure the willow trellis and make it sturdy for the vines to take over. We also used eye hooks (here) and wire (here) in a few locations as well. Once the vine takes over it will look like its climbing units own but there are small wires that each of the shoots are wrapping around.
Photo: willow trellis attached to vinyl fence with vinyl clips supporting trumpet vines.
To ensure that the willow trellis that we added throughout our spaces would last I used an outdoor urethane (here) to weather proof them. Because Michigan can have extreme weather fluctuations I wanted to make sure that these would last for many years. It would be awful to plant a beautiful vine, not weather proof the trellis and then it rot and fall severely damaging the vine you worked so hard to grow.
Photo: Two Willow Trellis attached to siding with Large exterior hooks supporting Honeysuckle.
Photo: Free hanging willow trellis attached with hooks and NM clips supporting Honeysuckle planted this year. Adding this trellis provides us privacy once these honeysuckle vines becomes established.
Adding these different types of Trellis’ and Vines to our home has really added another cottage element to our exterior. These vines have added pollinators and privacy to a few of our spaces and of course beauty to blank white space. These little changes have made such a big impact.
I hope this inspires you to get our in your garden and trellis some flowering vines. Keep in mind some vine varieties can be very invasive depending on your growing zone and where you plant them in your garden space. I keep all my vines in check with regular pruning and keep an eye out for little shoots wanting to climb up or under things I don’t want it to. If you keep a close eye on things, you don’t have anything to worry about.