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Post  jerzyjen on 2/6/2011, 8:47 pm

This isn't specific to my SFG, but I have a question about flowers. I have an extra trellis that i want to put up to hide some ugly utilities behind my table tops and I'd like a good climbing flower, one that gets growing in early spring and gets tall rather quickly. I'm hoping for something that will climb to at least 5 feet.

Any suggestions?
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Post  middlemamma on 2/6/2011, 11:07 pm

Runner beans? I got two kinds for my garden arch...from my understanding (and I am not the Village idiot for nothing so take with a grain of salt) you don't eat the beans, but the flowers are edible, but grow fast and tall and are pretty, although will not be perennial.
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Post  quiltbea on 2/6/2011, 11:18 pm

How about clematis. They like cool roots, so mulch them, but sun for the vining flowers.
Perennial and lovely.
Climbing Flower question Clemat10
Here's my Multi-blue variety last spring and summer.
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Post  miinva on 2/6/2011, 11:19 pm

You could also try malibar spinach, which is actually a tropical plant. It went crazy once summer hit last year, climbing up it's stake and across a twine to the fence Smile Red malibar spinach vines a lot more than green.
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Post  camprn on 2/7/2011, 6:29 am

Do you need access to the utility panels or what ever they are? What sun exposure does it get?
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Post  Icemaiden on 2/7/2011, 7:26 am

How about a hop plant? The flowers are quite pretty, though green.
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Post  jerzyjen on 2/7/2011, 2:10 pm

@camprn wrote:Do you need access to the utility panels or what ever they are? What sun exposure does it get?


Climbing Flower question Outsideoverview26

If you can see behind the table tops there is my electric meter I want to hide. I was thinking of putting the trellis on the backside of my little fence there and have flowers and greenery climb up. The meter reader will still need to get back there, but I have about 3 feet or so between the house and the fence. The bottom of the plant will be behind the fence. This a full sun area (hence why my SFG is in there), but the fence and my tables will probably keep the bottom of the plant in partial shade.

I did look into clematis as quiltbea suggested and that might be a good solution due to the bottom being a bit shady, but I'm still open for suggestions. I have another month or so to dream about it....
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Post  camprn on 2/7/2011, 2:35 pm

I think sunflowers would look great! I grew some black eyed susan vines to occlude a bare concrete wall last year and it did a very good job! It is probably too sunny for morning glories, although if you water a lot, they may tolerate it.

Here is a LINK that describes various flowering vines and their respective requirements.
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Post  Odd Duck on 2/7/2011, 2:36 pm

Maybe hyacinth bean? Pods are edible when young, flowers and beans are very pretty purple with dark green leaves. Might be too vigorous for where you want to put it. Or nasturtium - some varieties are climbers and the leaves and flowers are edible, gives a nice little peppery kick to salads.

And the malabar spinach is also a great choice. It has a kind of thick leaf with a slightly "soapy" feel in the mouth when raw (no soapy taste) that some people don't like, but most will eat it cooked because it completely loses that slightly slimy effect. It and the beans can both reseed themselves, so keep that in mind. It isn't hard to pull any starts you don't want of the malabar spinach. I haven't grown the hyacinth bean yet, but I just got seeds that I will be planting in a few weeks. The lady I got them from didn't find them difficult to control, FYI.
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Post  nancy on 2/7/2011, 2:50 pm

Clematis is the first thing that popped into my mind. flower Another thought is wisteria. Have fun!!
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Post  quiltbea on 2/7/2011, 3:09 pm

I'd think twice about wisteria. They are very heavy with vines that thicken more and more each year. That's why you see them growing over huge pergolas, to hold all that weight. They can grow ten feet a year to be 30 feet long.
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Post  camprn on 2/7/2011, 3:12 pm

@quiltbea wrote:I'd think twice about wisteria. They are very heavy with vines that thicken more and more each year. That's why you see them growing over huge pergolas, to hold all that weight. They can grow ten feet a year to be 30 feet long.
+1, I would not plant wisteria without putting up a pergola at the same time.
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Post  jerzyjen on 2/7/2011, 3:47 pm

I don't want to open a can of worms with anything that may become invasive....
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Post  Old Hippie on 2/7/2011, 4:05 pm

Sunflowers make a great screen and you can get some that grow up to 12 or 14 feet high. If you leave them all winter......the birds love them and they will also re-seed themselves.

I like sweet peas too because they smell so nice. Climbing nasturtiums are wonderful and hummingbirds love them.

I love clematis too, but mine has taken a while to really take off. Eventually it will be great but in the meantime, I use annuals. You have lots of great suggestions here. It is going to be a tough decision.

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Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 2/7/2011, 8:33 pm

Question to Middlemama: why do you say runner beans are not edible? We had scarlet runner beans a few years ago, and harvested the pods when they were immature. Cooked lightly, they were very good, excellent beany flavor. Am I suddenly going to drop over from a delayed poisoning? Nonna, St. Helens, OR
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Post  middlemamma on 2/8/2011, 12:06 am

nonna-I had no idea...I bought two packets and both of them said all about how to prepare and eat the flowers, and NOTHING about the beans. So I was worried maybe you can't? Good to hear you can. I had read some kind of bean...Hyacanth? has beautiful flowers but the beans are poisonous? So I wondered if maybe Runner Beans were in that family....

I preface everything with the Village Idiot thing because I am still learning too, and sometimes I just am flat out confused. I was hoping I could eat the runner beans, that was why I bought them, it wasn't till after I read the packets that I got a little confused and concerned.
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Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 2/8/2011, 10:32 am

We grew scarlet runner beans two years and enjoyed the beans both years. Having said that, it is important to pick the pods quite young because they have strings and can get tough. I see there is a beautiful new variety with bi-color flowers: red and white together. Think I may have to try planting runners again this year. BTW, the hummingbirds love to visit the flowers, too. Nonna
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Post  Icemaiden on 2/8/2011, 10:42 am

If they get a bit too big then you can snap off the stem end and pull down the length of the bean - most of the stringy bit comes away. Then slice diagonally in thin slices, and boil. That is how we always had them when I was a child. Now it seems more usual to pick them young and cut them chunkier.
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Post  Icemaiden on 2/8/2011, 10:45 am

And I wish I had known last summer that you could eat the flowers - I had plenty of those and nary a single bean!
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Post  camprn on 2/9/2011, 6:29 am

Hops Shocked
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Post  Icemaiden on 2/9/2011, 8:01 am

@camprn wrote:Hops Shocked

Are you easily shocked? Laughing
http://www.gardenersworld.com/plant-detail/PL00003290/394/golden-hop
It grows very quickly (may need a firm hand and cutting back when it gets established) and the Royal Hort. Soc. gave it an Award of Garden Merit.
I think it is the female plant which has the flowers. Apparently the young shoots can be eaten like asparagus, and the dried flowers help promote sleep and...
http://www.essentiallyhops.co.uk/acatalog/traditions.html
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Post  camprn on 2/9/2011, 8:07 am

Oh, I like the idea a lot. I think it would be a great solution, a useful plant AND a fabulous talking point. Laughing
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Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 2/9/2011, 10:36 am

Yep, one would sleep quite well after a tall glass of the hops-infused beverage known as....beer! Seriously, for the home brewer, what atributes would the golden hops give to one's brew? Our local (and excellent) fruit catalog company, One Green World, lists five varieties available, but no "golden" variety. Fun to read the description of the various types and the nuances they are expected to give the brews. They do list a variety named Fuggle, saying it's "A popular English Aroma variety...used to make supurb English style Ales." Bottoms up! Nonna
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Post  Icemaiden on 2/9/2011, 12:51 pm

I think the golden hop is more ornamental than best for flavour Wink
Cheers!
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