Thursday, March 7, 2013


Even though we have a ton of work ahead of us to rehabilitate the walls with cleaning and repointing, frankly  I´m already imagining what they´ll look like with some vines.

There´s just something about vines on stone - newly renovated structures always look a little too pristine and ¨new¨ to me.

On the other hand, or builder, when asked about an arbor, sucked his teeth and shook his head and dismissed it as an invitation to bugs and moisture and directed me to put vines on the barn.

But there are so many tempting possibilities.  The classics -

Ivy (insulating, bee/butterfly attractor, vigorous, invasive, maintenance)

via Amy on Pinterest

Virginia Creeper (shading, bird attractor, fall color, medicinal, vigorous, invasive, maintenance)


Climbing hydrangea (shade tolerant, medicinal, fall color, low maintenance)

Roses (fragrant, edible, medicinal, requires structure, maintenance)

Source: via Coco on Pinterest


Source: via Coco on Pinterest

Morning Glory(shading/screening, medicinal, self seeding, requires structure, invasive)

Source: via Coco on Pinterest

The most romantic - Wisteria (nitrogen fixing, vigorous, invasive, high maintenance)

Or perhaps something practical and edible

Grapes (edible, shade, requires structure, maintenance)

Passonfruit (edible, shade, requires structure, vigorous, invasive, maintenance, frost tender)

Kiwi (edible, shade, requires structure, vigorous, invasive, maintenance)

Hops (edible, fragrant, medicinal, requires structure, vigorous)


  1. Hi, vines are magic. We are currently looking for a farmhouse to renovate in Galicia, as although the weather isn't great there, everything else is! I wonder if you know a decent estate agent or similar to help us. We met a few, and so far it was a disaster... But we are determined. Hope to share with you our renovation adventures soon! Regards

  2. Hmmm, estate agents are an issue. We met lots during the three years we were looking. We found our place online - at or and bought from the owners. Good luck and be careful!

  3. For what it's worth, I've had ivy - it's extremely vigorous and requires a lot of cutting back, it sheds leaves constantly, and looks rather gloomy. I got rid of it. I've had wisteria - beautiful, but it will find ways into your house, opening up any cracks and slipping under roof tiles. I wouldn't recommend it on a house. And I have a vine-covered patio. Pruning is easy in the spring, it provides excellent shade and the hanging grapes look lovely. But if you have it for shade, the grapes won't ripen properly, and if you don't cut them off in early September, you'll be invaded by wasps. I cut them off and chuck them on the compost.