My main gardening space is a paved area in front of my house surrounded by a white picket fence. I planted a few vegetable and herb seeds in containers there this summer, and from seeing the failing-yet-still-pretty pumpkin vines creeping along the fence, I think next year I'd like to try planting some climbing flowers.

My front garden area is in a sunny location, facing southwest, in a zone 6 region. I was thinking about trying to grow some clematis in a container but I don't know if it would be cool enough at the roots, since there's a lot of heat from the pavement in the summer. I'm also not sure when I'd want to start planting it.

Also I think my goals may be unreasonable- ideally I'd like to have some nice flowers by the end of next season, as I may be moving in a year and a half. Is this realistic?

Basically I would love some info on

  • What I could plant in this situation
  • When to start on it (can I start now?)
  • Would it be possible to get some flowers within a year?
  • Any advice on doing this or alternatives if my goals are unrealistic!

2 Answers 2


If you want a good flower show next year, I would stay away from the woody vines. Although you may get some flowering next year, it is unlikely to be very exciting.

I would look at annual and herbaceous perennial vines. My favorites include:

Annual Vines

Firecracker Vine (Ipomoea lobata syn. Mina lobata)

Hyacinth Bean (Dolichos lablab)

Black-eyed Susan Vine (Thunbergia alata)

Beware of morning glory and moonflower since they can be invasive in some places.

Herbaceous Perennial Vines

Silverlace Vine (Fallopia baldschuanica)

Perennial Sweet Pea (Lathyrus latifolius)

These all would be best planted next spring. The annual vines should wait until after last frost before being planted out, though you could start seeds indoors a bit earlier.

  • I wonder if the Silverlace Vine might be too fast-growing? It is described as "Give this vine an inch and it will take a trellis."
    – kevinskio
    Feb 7, 2012 at 21:34

For what it is worth, I think a suitably selected Clematis would make a very good choice.

Below are a few other vines that should work well for your requirements:

This time of year, later Summer, early Autumn (Fall) is an excellent time of year to plant new plants and get them established before Wintertime arrives. Also at this time of year, at places like garden nurseries, centers, you can pick up some real plant bargains, as they clear space for new "seasonal" stock...

If you plant now (later Summer, early Autumn/Fall) I can't see any reason where you wouldn't get some flowers next year...

Might be stating the obvious here:

  • Make sure you plant in a container big enough for the selected plant.

  • The container itself has good drainage (holes in the bottom).

  • You use a suitable growing medium in the container.

    • Plus, mulch the surface to help conserve moisture...
  • Water appropriately, especially during warm and/or dry spells.

Good luck!

  • 3
    As with most requests for "quick growing" plants, invasive species can be a problem. Honeysuckle is no exception - L.japonica is the biggest problem (or is here in Texas), but a quick google came up with a few others. I did not see L.herrotti or L.sempervirens in the lists & references, but if you're in N.America you should always check you have a benign honeysuckle before planting it.
    – winwaed
    Sep 22, 2011 at 19:41
  • 1
    @winwaed I agree! I must admit I didn't check Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States, but the Missouri Botanical Gardens are normally very! good at warning if a plant is "considered" invasive in North America...
    – Mike Perry
    Sep 22, 2011 at 19:50

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