Gardening Advice: Ornamental Vines
Q: Which vine can grow on the north side of my house, which is bright but gets no direct sun? — Story Evans, Atlanta, Ga.
A: It is worth the extra effort to seek out Japanese climbing hydrangeas (Schizophragma hydrangeoides), superb ornamental vines that deserve to be more popular. These lovely plants clamber unassisted up any surface, be it wood, brick, stucco or stone. They grow at a moderate pace, cloaking a wall with deep-green leaves. In summer, large white blossoms open, similar to lace-cap hydrangeas in appearance. They retain their bracts long after flowering, remaining interesting-looking well into the winter. The cultivar ‘Moonlight’ has silvery variegated foliage; ‘Roseum’ offers pink-tinted bracts.