Onward and Upward

These colorful summertime vines are eager, reliable, and beautiful.

By Marty Ross


Cherry Tomato
Lycopersicon esculentum

Indeterminate tomatoes are not technically vines, but the plants keep growing all summer long and are easiest to take care of when they have some support. Training tomatoes onto a trellis with twine also makes them more presentable in a sunny spot on a patio. Cherry types are perhaps the best choice for a trellis; they produce a prolific crop from early summer through frost, and their bright fruits are both decorative and delicious. Try growing two or more varieties, such as 'Sun Gold' and 'Black Cherry', on the same trellis for a festive combination of colors and flavors.

More crops that climb: Malabar spinach with red stems (Basella alba 'Rubra') "is absolutely gorgeous," says Hilgenberg. Its leaves are more substantial than true spinach leaves, and they taste best cooked, rather than as salad greens. Cucumbers, miniature pumpkins, and pole beans all will cover a trellis in a sunny garden. Shepherd likes to plant a combination of colorful beans for their decorative effect.