Q: How can I quickly hide my patio behind a wall of flowering vines? Morning-glory is just too common, and I want blooms that stay open all day. — Andrea Handel, Pasadena, Calif.
A: Topping my list of uncommon climbers is the passionflower (passiflora), with blossoms that look like something you’d find while snorkeling through a tropical reef. The vine speedily puts out masses of foliage, while scrambling over almost anything. It’s a snap to start training it up nylon or wire mesh by coaxing a few tendrils onto the grid. Like all the vines that follow, passionflower is a perennial in your frost-free climate. Some are quick to grow from seed (started indoors around the time you’d start tomatoes), they work well as annuals in the North. Many are also available as ready-grown plants.