Climbing Vines

I've always wanted climbing vines on my house.  I remember reading a book when I was a little girl that pictured a red brick house covered in ivy and how I wanted it.  Yeah, I know, it's bad for the house, but I love it anyway.  There's something so incredible about a wall of green and vines growing up a home. It blurs the line between the home and the land, which is something that the houses I truly love all have in common.

{Betsy Burnham}

I attemped to grow jasmine vines up a trellis in front of our house last year but they died in a harsh winter storm.

{image from 123rf.com}

Now I'm holding out for an evergreen clematis, which I grew up all over a fence in our old townhome and really took a beating.  I'm having a hard time finding it again though.  The last garden center I stopped at asking for it looked at me like I was nuts.  :(

{image by Cassie Lee}

I would go nutty for this on my front walkway steps:

{image from bigstockphoto.com}

I might try it although I'm not sure if the treads on my stairs are deep enough.

{Image by Galen Frysinger}

Climbing vines give buildings a sense of permanance. 

{image from 123rf.com}

I love it when they completely take over like this:

{image from trendr.tv}

And I cannot get over this ivy-covered turret:

{image via ehow.com}

And, finally, here's a secret garden:

{image by Gap Photos}

What I wouldn't give for a secret garden.
If I could completely wall in my backyard with hedges & vines, I would.  I'm a pretty social person but I do love private outdoor spaces.  

I am soo ready for March's lion to give way to the lamb. 
It's time.

Come on Spring!


xoxo, Lauren

If you'd like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact me about our design services.

40 comments:

Kymberly Foster Seabolt said...

Pretty but the worrier in me sees "Maintenance Nightmare."

Red Door Home said...

I spent some time in Charleston last summer and many of the historic houses have vines on them. It was fun to see the care people took in cutting out windows, doors, etc. from the vines.

Everybody Love the Cheathams said...

I want to grow vineson our house to, but my husband doesn't. We have bricks, and wonder if it could mess up our home.

laura said...

I love the front steps with the ivy on the treads ... I may have to file that one away for later! I live in a neighborhood that is mostly Victorian - era row houses, so we have lots of ivy-covered homes, but none like these!

Check out this article I just read yesterday about an house so covered in ivy you can't even see it .... talk about a maintainance nightmare!

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1369517/Chelmsford-home-covered-ivy-estate-agents-forced-drop-price-230k.html

laura said...

Me again .... I just remembered the first line from the sweet little Madeline books I ready to my children ...

"In an old house in Paris that was covered in vines, lived twelve little girls in two straight lines ... "

Can't you just picture it?

Thirkellgirl said...

It doesn't look so lovely when you spend years eradicating it because it's crawled THROUGH the concrete foundation and INTO the drop ceiling in the basement, and has uprooted a retaining wall by climbing under it, and has SMOTHERED a perfectly lovely maple tree.

ddu said...

Lauren, a climbing hydrangea may work for your facade. They're slow to get going, but they're splendiferous when they bloom. Best wishes!

A Perfect Gray said...

reminds me of the book 'secret garden' that I loved as a child.

I started ivy growing on the front of our brick (but painted) cape-cod, against my husband's objections. I did pull it all out before it got too far along. I got scared, I guess. But I adore the look...

donna

Mary DeMuth said...

I have Boston ivy on my house. It's perfect for what you're looking for. It turns bright red in the fall, dies back in the winter, and is the most wonderful vibrant green in the spring. It doesn't hurt my brick in any way, and is fairly slow growing. Email me at mary@marydemuth.com and I'll send you a picture of it.

Acquired Objects said...

Lauren forget the climbing clematis since they can be touchy. Try instead a climbing hydrangea, easy to grow, it doesn't mind the weather, I know I live in harsh weather up north of you and I grow it.

Amy said...

The evergreen clematis is called 'Clematis Armandii' and although evergreen, it does take a beating in the super cold winters and winds and it does need some sun to bloom and your front is pretty shady. Climbing hydrangea is a good alternative it does need some sun and it can take awhile to get established, usually 3-5 years, but worth it! *Amy

Shannon said...

Hi Lauren, I love you blog. Have you thought about using a vertical garden system called Woolly Pockets? They attach to any sturdy vertical wall but the don't damage the extererior facade.

Leah Moss said...

perfection! Please, please try those steps. All your images are so inspiring, perfect for a day when my yard is still totally lacking any green. So ready for real spring!

Loretta Fontaine (APPLESandRUBIES) said...

Lauren- it's my birthday today, and this post was a sweet little gift! Love the romantic images!

I'm dreaming of vines now...

Loretta

Jacci said...

Okay, the dreamy idealist in me love those. But the gardening realist in me sees those vines on that gorgeous architecture and my skin just about crawls away. Vines seem lightweight and harmless, but they can wreak absolutely havoc on any structure - including steps. It's kind of like the way we think of water as so calm and gentle and peaceful, when in reality it's force and strength are not to be reckoned with! Vines are like that - appearances can be deceiving. Those buggers can move stone!

pretty pink tulips said...

I so agree!!!! Love ivy covered houses....they just seem like something you would find in a fairy tale!

I just came last night from 2 weeks of warmth. The lion is definitely sitting on my front step. Can't wait till he leaves!!

xoxo

Tara said...

I don't know where you live but kudzu (a Southern vine) grows quickly and covers well. I wouldn't bring it in anywhere though. I think they've figured out that it's an invasive specie. Fine to leave in the South but don't take it anywhere else.

Ruthie's Renewed Treasures said...

Totally agree Lauren, vines make a home look permanent. The homes that my aunts and uncles have in Cornwall, England, all have vines growing on them and every time I visit I feel envious of that look!

Bloggers Abode said...

DO NOT USE IVY. We did once and it's a haven for rodents and "other" critters. When we lived in CA I used Creeping Fig? I think that's what's it called or maybe Creeping Myrtle. Anyway- Small green leaves, great, quick climbers, flat coverage and very hardy.

karen said...

I have wanted a secret garden ever since I read the book, as a kid. There's something so magical about it.

Carla@DesignintheWoods said...

I love climbing vines. It gives such character to an exterior. Beautiful images. Thanks for visiting my blog! Good luck with your showhouse. Can't wait to see the end result!

paula said...

I have been trying for this look. All my climbing fig dies this winter but my clematis is going strong on the fence. Still needs time to grow though.

Christen said...

I'm with the romantics. These images are storybook.

The enchanted home said...

This post took my breath away....I LOVE climbing vines, nothing more romantic old world or regal looking than that. It gives old homes a history and purpose and new homes character and an identity. We plan on planting vines against our new house when we move in a few months..only thing is there is no going back. once they take hold..thats it they are there for good. You have to be commited to "the look"...and I so am. This post makes me 110% sure!!

Kelly said...

We planted two Boston Ivy plants and they grew up the side of our brick garage and it was gorgeous! I was careful to cut it back once or twice a year to keep it only on the brick and away from the house trim. However, last year before we listed our house for sale I tore it all down and scrubbed away the little sticky "feet" left behind. I didn't want a home inspector to red flag it. In the 10 years I lived there, the brick wasn't damaged by the ivy one bit though! :)

Lauren said...

This would be so great on a carefree garden shed.

First House on the Right said...

I'm so interested to read this post this morning as I am currently writing about our lawns and gardens and have been thinking about growing some star jasmine up one of the wall on our home. Nicolex

LiveLikeYou said...

My entire house is covered in ivy even though it's a stucco house and I'm not supposed to. But I rather take the risk and enjoy the beauty...nothing like it. Can't wait for spring!!!

Maggie said...

I'm with you, Lauren, I love, love LOVE when the greenery takes over. There's something so soothing to look at, so right about buildings covered in vines. Beautiful images today; what eye candy. As always, enjoying your blog!

Aaron said...

Gorgeous photos! I love climbing vines!

Olivia said...

Aw, the vines are to die for! I've always wanted them climbing up our bricks as well. The pictures make me think of cobblestone paths and weathered shutters. :o)

Fishtail Cottage said...

Adore the vines between the stairs...very pretty post! xoox, tracie

pve design said...

While I admire the ivy league look, our home had tons of ivy covered choked trees and garden and we had to work hard to uncover the diamond in the ivy. The first year is creeps, the 2nd it leaps and the 3rd it seeps into every crevice!
beware....
pve

Briar Stanley {Sunday Collector} said...

Such a gorgeous collection of photos. I would love a vine covered home too - but a little part of me worries about spiders etc. Maybe only in Australia!

Gabriella said...

I absolutely love climbing vines, but I've heard so much about how they damage the whole substance of the house... :/

Vikki said...

I have a large jasmine growing on a wall out front at my home. However, my dad made me a copper trellis that I attached with bolts about eight inches from the wall. That way the vines grow up the trellis, not the wall. I have another one in my side garden and he is currently working on another for the side of my greenhouse/playhouse in my back yard. It's nice to have a dad that can weld copper!!

Nancy Duffey said...

I just bought evergreen clematis for my home! I just picked it up at Pikes Nusery in Atlanta, GA. They have already grown a ton in two weeks. I spoke with a landscaper before I put them in and they have a large span so dont plant them too close together. Good Luck! I love this look.

Brittney said...

I lovvvvve vines! People always say they are a nightmare, but they are too beautiful!

Jennifer said...

I love the look, but ugghhhh I HATE the English Ivy in our yard. It will take over anything in no time!

Trilby said...

Hi Lauren-
I am a new subscriber. Love your rooms! As for the vines, you might try climbing hydranga. It would do well in your growing zone. If you need it for only a summer season, try bogenavilla- great green foliage and fantastic flowers.
Blessings,
Holly