Climbers are an important group of plants in the home garden. Their

distinguishing characteristic is the ability to climb. Some have tendrils

while others do not. Most climbers evolved in tropical rain forests where in

the shady, dark environment, they were competing with other plants for sun

and oxygen. Such harsh conditions "made" them develop unique climbing

properties at the expense of trees. A gardener, landscaping designer and an

amateur home garden owner use these wonderful abilities in gardens a lot.

Climbers are planted in the garden in order to emphasize a place or on the

other hand, to hide some elements of the property or other architectural features.

Some climbers, such as  common ivy or star jasmine are used as

low-maintenance ground covers.

It is common to use climbing plants to cover a pergola in order to create

shade. A good candidate for this purpose can be grape vine, but if the fruit

is not wanted then a decorative variety could be a substitute. It may not

produce fruit but the leaves look exactly like those of the edible grape

vine and even better in fall when they turn yellow and sometimes reddish.

Wisteria is another beautiful plant that can be used for covering a pergola.

It is a genus of flowering plants that includes ten species of woody twining

vines that are native to China, Korea, Japan, Southern Canada, and the

Eastern United States. Some species are very popular ornamental plants in


Climbing plants are also popular because of their relatively fast growth.

Gardeners plant them for quick results. But the disadvantage of rapid growth

is the need for frequent trimming.

Bougainvillea is a good example. It is a genus of thorny ornamental vines,

bushes, and trees belonging to the family Nyctaginaceae. It is native to

eastern South America, from Brazil, Peru, and southern Argentina. Botanists

count from four to eighteen species in the genus.

It has beautiful pink, white, yellow, red, and purple flowers, that in fact

are colorful leaves that help the insignificant-looking flowers to attract

bees. It does grow fast, indeed so fast that trimming it turns into a real

challenge. That's why the Arab gardeners nick-named it "Mazhnoona'' which

means crazy. And it is also a very thorny plant so one ought to be very

careful while trimming it.