Garden Arbor Dining Area: Picking the Right Plants and Vines Garden Arbor Dining Area: Picking the Right Plants and Vines

If you are a lucky person and have a beautiful garden arbor dining area you will want to show it off to its fullest extent by planting the right plants and vines. Arbor areas are built to show off this type of plant.

Zones and Soil Types

The first step before choosing the correct plants and vines for your dining area is to determine what zone you are in from a gardening map. These are easily found on the internet. You will need to be aware of growth times, freeze temperatures, frost dates and other gardening information. You may also want to determine your soil type to help you make wise choices. Soil testing kits are readily available at any nursery or plant center. Also, be aware if you have full day sun, partial sun or deep shade.

Design your Area

Your next step is design the area and really think about what you want the finished design to look like. It is easy to over plant and get a jungle look you didn't want, or under plant and be disappointed with the sparse look. If you want just foliage, then don't plant flowering vines, and don't plant flowering vines if you want just foliage. Keep in mind growth rate also. Some vines grow very slowly, while others, such as wisteria, can grow to an extent they can weigh down the arbor and actually cause it to collapse. These types of plants need a great deal of pruning to keep under control. Also keep in mind you may not be able to grow some plants you fall in love with in your gardening zone and have them winter over. For instance, mandevilla vines in northern climates won't come back each year.

You may want to research what plants are native to your climate and soil type to get better results. Your local county extension office or garden supply center can help you with this. Tropical vines such as Mandevilla and Bougainvillea will thrive in the southern United States but will not winter over in the Midwest and Northeast. Good flowering vines for those areas would be Wisteria, Honeysuckle or Bittersweet. If the area is shaded then hostas will be a good choice in about any climate. If you have sun then any sun and heat tolerant annual or perennial such as Painted Daisies, Larkspur, Marigolds, Zinnias and various Day Lillies would be a good choice. If gardening just isn't your passion then purchase low care plants. If you have a mental picture of sitting under an arbor of scented vines on a hot summer day enjoying the aroma and sipping lemonade, then go with that vision.

Finishing touches

When choosing plants keep in mind the colors in your dining area. The colors of your furniture and patio cushions, accessories, type of deck or patio floor and its color and even if you have a heat source such as a fire pit or outdoor wood stove. Try to select plants that will compliment these colors and style. Don't plant your plants near a heat source. You may want to take into account also if you want to attract birds to the area with flowering plants, but remember, these also attract bees. If you have pets, make sure the plants are pet safe. Also, if you have people in your family with allergies, consider this.

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