Gardening for Dummies
July 19, 2010 10:56 AM   Subscribe

What should I plant on a trellis like this to give me a little more privacy on my deck?

I'm in the Northeast U.S.

Something that could survive the winter would be great - I don't want to have to start over every year.

I have no gardening experience, so something that is hearty enough to survive potentially incompetent care-taking is best.
posted by Right On Red to Home & Garden (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Forgot to add: the location wouldn't get a lot of direct sunlight.
posted by Right On Red at 11:00 AM on July 19, 2010

Clematis grows well in zones 5-9 (some argue it's hardier than that), so it may work where you are. It produces dense foliage and pretty flowers and seeds.

The lack of direct sunlight might be a problem, though. I would talk to your local nursery about it before investing in any plants.
posted by jedicus at 11:05 AM on July 19, 2010

Was gonna pipe in with the clematis as well, but yeah it needs sunlight.

You could opt for a jessamine vine... kind of like jasmine but different flowers (also known as yellow jasmine).
posted by matty at 11:12 AM on July 19, 2010

Best answer: Whatever you're planting, even if it's rated frost hardy in your zone, the fact that it's in a planter instead of the ground will make it more vulnerable to the cold. Either find something hardy to one or two zones lower than you, or be prepared to bring it in over winter. A heated garage or well insulated shed would work for that. The clematis should work, we live in eastern Ontario and it freezes (in the ground) every year and still looks great, full and dense, makes an excellent screen. Doesn't get full sun all day either.
posted by Carlotta Bananas at 11:33 AM on July 19, 2010

If you're just wanting quick and dense coverage, look for an ivy.

Yeah, ivy can be good but make darn sure it doesn't get attached to your house, especially if it's brick. Ivy growing on brick may look nice but it can damage the brick, and it's difficult to remove without causing further damage.
posted by jedicus at 11:36 AM on July 19, 2010

Best answer: Yeah, if this is going to be near your house I'd stay away from ivy, it really does like to tear down buildings. You would have to start over each year, but have you considered peas or beans? They grow quickly, have pretty flowers, AND you can eat them!
posted by hungrybruno at 11:39 AM on July 19, 2010

Mandevilla is a popular choice, but it does need some sun. Bower vine maybe? It needs less.
posted by snuffleupagus at 12:00 PM on July 19, 2010

Maybe have a shot with a red berried variety of Pyracantha like Mohave Red. Attractive creamy white flowers in spring, red bird friendly berries in autumn.
posted by Dr.Pill at 12:46 PM on July 19, 2010

Potato Vine is quite pleasant and reasonably fast-growing. Also +1 for Clematis, because they're awesome, but my experience with growing it in Seattle was that it did not grow fast.
posted by jeffamaphone at 12:47 PM on July 19, 2010

Depending on how persistent your nosy neighbors are, poison ivy might be what you're looking for. Other kinds of ivy are just as difficult to look through, but few can match poison ivy in being unpleasant to travel through.

It's also pretty, and would make for both effective deterrence and entertaining conversation.

"You grew what!?"
posted by edguardo at 12:48 PM on July 19, 2010

You may consider Wisteria, since it grows really fast, but it will also mess up your house if it managed to get to it. Some people really like the flowers. Personally I loathe the stuff.
posted by jeffamaphone at 12:49 PM on July 19, 2010

I planted clematis in a planter for the same reason - to block neighbors - but it's taking forever to grow. It's producing no privacy at all, and only three flowers. Very disappointing. My morning glories are taking over the world (it grows so fast you can almost see it) but I don't think it will survive the winter. If you need something NOW, I suggest planting morning glories along with some ivy, that would take longer to spread, but won't die in the winter.
posted by CunningLinguist at 3:58 PM on July 19, 2010

Apparently you can grow hops in parts of the Northeast. I've only grown them in the Northwest, but once they get established they require little to no gardening knowledge (depending on the variety). There are some varieties of "golden" hop that are grown expressly for ornamental purposes. Either way, I've always found them to be a good lookin plant. Hop rhizomes can be hard to find unfortunately, and are typically available in the spring. If you have a local homebrew supply store, you could check with them.

There's also honeysuckle--having grown up in New York state, it's one of the plants I miss the most. We have it in the PNW, but it just doesn't seem to be as fragrant as back East.
posted by bennett being thrown at 7:36 PM on July 19, 2010

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