1. Call attention to an entrance
2. Add height to a flower bed
3. Create garden opportunities in small spaces
4. Provide privacy
5. Add accents of color
6. Bring flowers and fragrance up to eye level
(Clematis hybrida), Zones 4–9
A coiling vine, clematis is easily grown in well-drained soil in full sun to partial shade. This fast climber is most effective when allowed to sprawl through fences or large shrubs. It adds accents of color to lampposts, porches, and mailboxes.
GLOSSARY: Coiling vines climb by means of tendrils that wrap around anything they contact. Grapevine is a classic example.
(Ipomoea alba), annual from Zone 9 to more northern zones
This relative of morning glory is a twining vine, bearing fragrant 5-inch-wide blooms that open at dusk. It covers fences, trellises, arches, and arbors with a dense layer of attractive foliage in a single season. It's especially dramatic framing doors and walls.
GLOSSARY: Twining vines ascend by encircling supports. Give them their best form by manually training new growth around vertical supports.
(Wisteria spp.), Zones 4-9
If your heart is set on one of the plant world's Godzilla vines (such as wisteria), you must be a committed gardener. This high climber requires sturdy support, patience, and responsible pruning. The vine is most effective when arched over large arbors with the fragrant lavender blooms hanging near nose level. Don't plant wisteria near small trees or wild areas, as the heavy vines can overtake delicate vegetation.
Black-Eyed Susan Vine
Container-grown black-eyed Susan, left, and morning glory vines climb wire supports strung around a window. Plant black-eyed Susan vines in a hanging basket, letting the foliage trail over the sides and ascend the wires.
(Ipomoea quamoclit), Zones 6-11
This hummingbird magnet works well on trellises, fences, and in hanging baskets. Delicate red trumpet-shaped flowers peek out of tropical-looking feathery foliage that grows up to 15 feet. Plant it in full to partial sun with light to medium support.
Tropical mandevilla, which can be overwintered indoors, climbs its way up a pair of cedar tuteurs, adding color to an entrance. Use dental floss to tie vines to supports—green floss disappears next to the vine, and it's easy to carry and cut.
GLOSSARY: Tuteurs are freestanding pyramid-like structures with lattice or trellis supports to help train climbing plants.