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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Haymarket, Virginia
    Posts
    197

    Default Planting suggestions for covering chain-link privacy fence?

    The beeyard I'd arranged unexpectedly fell through and I'm down to Plan C, which means putting hives at my parents' place. The spot we've settled on has vinyl privacy fence on two sides and 6' tall chain-link fence on the remaining two sides. One side of the chain link backs up to an alley, and would definitely need to covered to prevent panic/vandalism, etc.

    My original thought was to transplant some hops against the chain link as a privacy screen. Then it occurred to me that I should look into something beneficial for the bees. Any ideas for a fast growing, climbing plant that's drought-resistant and hardy in zone 7? Wisteria is probably a no-go.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,840

    Default Re: Planting suggestions for covering chain-link privacy fence?

    You might want to goto the local nursery if you have one there and ask them which plants meet your criteria.
    Some online catalogs have them available to fit your location. And put some key words to do an online search might
    reveal something for you.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    St. Joseph County, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    41

    Default Re: Planting suggestions for covering chain-link privacy fence?

    sweet autumn clematis maybe
    wikipedia lists http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clematis_terniflora as a minor source of nectar
    and lovell's honey plants lists http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clematis_virginiana as a good but inconsistent nectar source

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Santa Fe, NM
    Posts
    674

    Default Re: Planting suggestions for covering chain-link privacy fence?

    silver fleece vine you can't kill it and bees won't stay off it.
    "Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay".....Krishnamurti

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Worcester County, Massachusetts
    Posts
    3,675

    Default Re: Planting suggestions for covering chain-link privacy fence?

    Poison Ivy might keep out the neighborhood kids

    deknow
    The perils of benefactors; The blessings of parasites; Blindness blindness and sight -Joni Mitchell 'Shadows and Light'

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,840

    Default Re: Planting suggestions for covering chain-link privacy fence?

    Now that you mention ivy, I am thinking the regular fence ivy with big cluster of light yellowish flowers for pollen and nectar.
    Hope you can see the pic:
    Attached Images Attached Images

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Haymarket, Virginia
    Posts
    197

    Default Re: Planting suggestions for covering chain-link privacy fence?

    Good ideas. Not sure about the silver fleece vine as I just read it attracts Japanese beetles - if that's true it would be bad news for my weeping cherry!

    I guess I could also check with the County's Master Gardeners. I think my parents are in USDA zone 7B while we're slightly cooler and much wetter in the northern part of the state.

    Poison ivy and my old, gnarly rose bush is too good for the local thugs...I'd be worried about finding a few surprise entrance holes in the hives if they are visible.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
    Posts
    3,046

    Default Re: Planting suggestions for covering chain-link privacy fence?

    I use hops (of course), and they're great... fast-growing, hardy, and attractive IMO. The large leaves, and persistent bines, make for a good year-round screen once established. Be sure to prep the site; they like plenty of nitrogen and well-draining soil like most fast-growing vines.
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,162

    Default Re: Planting suggestions for covering chain-link privacy fence?

    Besides autumn clematis, another vine that honey bees like is the porcelain berry vine.
    Dan

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Haymarket, Virginia
    Posts
    197

    Lightbulb Follow up with the County Extension office

    Spoke to Karen Carter, the County (Henrico) Extension agent for horticulture this morning. She was very helpful, following up our phone call with an email of additional suggestions and some very nice reference material. Additionally, she recommended "Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants" by Douglas Tallamy is supposed to be a valuable resource for us Mid-Atlantic folks. Especially if one is looking at potentially invasive species.

    Our phone discussion concentrated on Clematis (no particular species), but these were the follow up suggestions:

    Bignonia capreolata, cross vine
    Campsis radicans, trumpet vine
    Clematis virginiana, virgin’s bower
    Lonicera sempervirens, coral honeysuckle
    Parthenocissus quinquefolia, Virginia creeper
    Wisteria frutescens, American wisteria

    Leaning towards the honeysuckle or clematis. I have enough experience with wisteria and hops to keep them under control, but my mother's tired of battling wisteria and isn't exactly what you'd call ecstatic about the hives. Resigned is probably a better description. As it is, she's the only thing keeping keep my father from cutting down half the trees in the yard (including my 10-year old weeping cherry tree). So I'll be grateful with the "far" back corner and try not to inconvenience anyone.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,162

    Default Re: Follow up with the County Extension office

    I think you will find that honey bees aren't interested in most of those plants listed. Some of them aren't even possible for a honey be to get nectar from like honeysuckle. They don't touch the orange trumpet vine in my area, I've heard some say they work the yellow. Our wisteria is worked almost exclusively by carpenter bees.

    From what I've read over the last few years autumn clematis, & porcelain berry vine are about the only two true vines honey bees love.
    Dan

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,840

    Default Re: Follow up with the County Extension office

    Don't plant the honeysuckles! We have them in our backyard all year long and very invasive too. They are all over the end of our yard now. The frost cannot kill them at all. Any vine that touch the ground will take roots. The downside is not one honey bee can go in to take any nectar or pollens out from the flowers.
    The flowers just too narrow and no pollens are sticking out for the bees. I will chop them all down when the weather gets warmer here. Then will replace them with something more useful for the bees to forage on. I'm thinking a type of vine that has milky sap with fragrant small white flowers that look like honeysuckle shape leaves but with edible young shoots on the vines and the luffa spongy gourds that we can eat when it is still young. They are extremely invasive from the flying seeds much like the dandelion seeds when they fly in the winds if not pick all the mature fruits off the vines. And the small clusters of flowers do attract the bees for the pollens and nectar. Don't know the name if it though.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Haymarket, Virginia
    Posts
    197

    Default Re: Follow up with the County Extension office

    I got very little interest in porcelain berry when I called home. What about passionflower?

    Or should I sticky my dwarf apple tree nearby and just put up two more vinyl panels to cover the fence?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,397

    Default Re: Follow up with the County Extension office

    hairy vetch.................

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Grand Junction, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    230

    Default Re: Follow up with the County Extension office

    Silver lace vine is what I have covering all my fences, it is drought tolerant and the bees make the sweetest light honey from it.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Randolph, NC, USA
    Posts
    92

    Default Re: Follow up with the County Extension office

    Quote Originally Posted by urbanoutlaw View Post
    I got very little interest in porcelain berry when I called home. What about passionflower?

    Or should I sticky my dwarf apple tree nearby and just put up two more vinyl panels to cover the fence?
    When I read the title of the thread, I immediately thought of passaflora (passionflower) species. There are a few variety, and 1 that I know of that will produce fruit the first year. It has some of the most gorgeous flowers, and fragrant too. I'm not sure how honey bees like it, though if my instincts are on course tonight, I dare say it would be at least a decent nectar and pollen source.

    Bee careful though, they form a symbiotic relationship with ants. They have nectar excreting nodes on the leaves, and the ants love love love them. They "weed" around them to take out competitor plants, and help clear off pests n such, to ensure the survival of both of them (plant and ant) This might not be a big concern, and I might be making a bigger deal about it, just something to think about.

    I tinker with the passaflora incarnata (sp?) species that grow here all the time, smelling, looking at, taking cuttings, pictures etc etc and ants dont bother me.

    Im a newbeek so that's just my two cents.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Haymarket, Virginia
    Posts
    197

    Default Re: Follow up with the County Extension office

    Just to update - I ended up finding another place for the hives, but it's still a fall back location and the fence still needs covering. We're going to go with a Passiflora, preferably incarnata, if I can find it. Any advice on starting a plant from seed?

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    1,840

    Default Re: Follow up with the County Extension office

    Good choice! There are so many variation on this plant with many different color flowers too.
    It is better to start with the cuttings. I like the red color flowers plant better.
    That way you don't have to wait for the plant to mature.
    I do not know for how long to flowers but you might be able to search for the many different
    species of them. But for sure, the cuttings are faster to give flowers than growing them from
    the seeds which might take a few years to establish the plants. They can really take off when
    growing condition is good so be careful where you put them on the fence.
    If you already have the seeds then cover them 1/4" in moist soil on a sunny location. I think you
    grow them like the moon flowers. You can find them on ebay too or try amazon for the seeds.
    Also, local nursery might have them in the Spring time.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Follow up with the County Extension office

    Kudzu
    Greg Whitehead, Ten Mile, TN
    Blog - http://gregsbees.blogspot.com/

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Randolph, NC, USA
    Posts
    92

    Default Re: Planting suggestions for covering chain-link privacy fence?

    Most (if not all) passafloras have incredibly low germination rates. I have germination mats (like heating pads), really nice professional grade lighting, and the equipment to create most any artificial environment i desire depending on what im growing. Thats not to brag, but to add signifigance when i say ive never had success germinating in passaflora.

    I humbly recomend a cutting, preferably rooted (havent seen it sold unrooted, actually) they all grow great once established. Incarnata's fruits do not taste good, imo. Eudilis fruits it's first year and grows similarly to incarnata. Both beautiful specimens. But if you are looking for tge added benifit of delicious fruits, i do not recomend incarnata for this reason. But if you do not really care about fruits, incarnata is one of my favorites, in fact I make a habit out of taking pictures of the "wild" ones growing around here when they bloom, and use that for my phone's walpaper.

    Amazonit a great source for the various species, as noted above. You probably dont need more than a few, depending on hpw much area you are trying to cover, as they have a tendancey to take over alot of times. Plus, they are easy to take cuttings from or air layer, if you are into that.

    My 2cents

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