An arbor is simply an arch formed by metal or, in a few cases, wicket which creates an area on flowery-arborwhich vines can spiral and support themselves. Metal arbors last for many years and can be repainted when they begin to show signs of age, making them as good as new. You may be familiar with arbors when you think of grapes grown for making wine because the vines grow up on arbors. These structures are not expensive to purchase and add a unique touch to any garden.

A popular location for arbor placement is along a walkway so that people can walk under the twined vines growing on the arbor structure. But an arbor can be placed anywhere you would like a focal point that provides high in the garden or landscape. It can be placed in the center of a square garden to provide height, drawing the eye upward while the lower-growing plants will focus the eye on the ground level. This blend creates a striking impact on what could be a ho-hum garden area.

Vines are planted at the base of each side of an arbor and wound around the structure as they grow until they cover the entire arbor. The type of vine you select depends entirely on your personal preference and you desired purpose. Let's look at some great arbor vines which can add the unique touch you want in your garden.

Attracting Birds with Arbors

If you love humming birds and want to attract them to your garden, a wonderful vine to select for use on an arbor is the cypress vine, also know as the humming bird vine. This vine grows rapidly, sometimes adding as much as eight to 12 inches in a single day. The leave appear feathery and delicate but the vine is really quite sturdy and will grow almost anywhere. Small red or white blossoms appear on the vine by the hundreds. While each blossom lasts only one day, they blooms are so prolific that the vine is continually covered with color every single day from the initial blooming until fall. Humming birds prefer the red color but will also dine on the white blossoms and arrive in droves to enjoy the sweet nectar. The blossoms open at dawn and close in the evening, only to be replaced the next day by a brand-new batch of blossoms. The seeds pods can easily be collected and use to re-seed the arbor year and year. If you allow the seeds to drop to the ground, they will over-winter even in cold climates and re-grow after frost has ended.

Ivies are popular vines for use on arbors. English ivy has small leaves and will cover an arbor will within one growing season. Purchase seedlings that are well advanced to give you a good start on your ivy and plant multiple seedlings at the base of each side of the arbor, winding the growing vines around the structure every few days.

Mandevilla vines which grow rapidly and produce large, beautiful blossoms through the spring and summer are great for arbors as well. Varieties are available in yellow, pink, and other new shades. These vines are quite hardy and will over-winter in warmer climates but stop blooming once fall arrives. The large blossoms are loved by everyone who has ever seen a mandeville vine in full bloom. In the south, mandeville vines are difficult to permanently remove so if you choose to change your arbor planting, be sure to remove the entire root system or the mandeville will re-appear the next spring.

Select Rapid Growing Vines

You can select any rapidly growing vine you love for your arbor. Choose what you love and will enjoy. If you prefer non-blooming vines, those will work perfectly but many people love to add the unique touch of blossoming vines to their arbors.

If you live in an area where the vines do not over-winter, take some cuttings or seeds or replant next year. You can choose to remove and store the arbor from the landscape during winter if you like or you can leave it in place and use it as a place to hang your bird feeders during the winter months. If you choose to use it for hanging feeders, the wild birds will thank you because food is difficult for them to locate in cold weather.

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