need suggestions for climbing vine to cover big stone bbq

SheEatsFigsMay 2, 2013

Hi, this is my first post ever on GardenWeb though I've been a long-time occasional reader. I recently bought a house with a very large built-in bbq and wet bar. The base is made primarily out of flagstone and the top is a pergola.

The bbq and bar really dominate the yard and I'd like to grow something over the flagstone, in particular, that will green it up a bit. My parents really battled their creeping fig for years, so I'm disinclined to go this route, but wondered if there is something else that will lie fairly flush to the stone and will mostly cover it, in time. The landscaping of the rest of the yard is a cross between Mediterranean and tropical (plumerias, hibiscus, ginger).

The bbq gets approx 5-6 hrs of sun a day.

Any suggestions/insights would be greatly appreciated!

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yardvaark

I think you should post a picture of the BBQ monster, showing it in its context.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 8:28AM
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stolenidentity

Bougainvillea or Wisteria

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 9:04PM
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Fori is not pleased

Bougainvillea will make the barbecue pretty but unusable!

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 11:25PM
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stolenidentity

yes, fori. I thought that was the goal as the OP asked for "suggestions for climbing vine to cover big stone bbq"

    Bookmark   May 4, 2013 at 9:38PM
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catkim(San Diego 10/24)

Vertical gardens are all the rage right now. All you need do is give your selected plants a foothold and a reliable source of water, usually drip.

A few examples -- though these are large scale, the concept can be adapted to suit your situation. In particular, ferns and mosses will grow on almost anything, given a bit of shade and plenty of moisture.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2013 at 11:32PM
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SheEatsFigs

Thanks, everyone, for the suggestions. I will post a picture of the bbq today.

Ideally, whatever we have growing over the base of the bbq, the flagstone part, will be really flush to the stone - like a moss or creeping fig. I'm concerned about moss, mostly because the bbq does get a fair amount of sun in the morning and early afternoon and we also don't want to have to water it too often. And as I mentioned before, creeping fig isn't really an option either.

Really appreciate the input!

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 12:49PM
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yardvaark

One possibility that comes to mind (but I don't know first hand it's climbing ability; I only know its ability to weep) and that is dwarf creeping wire vine, Muehlenbeckia axillaris 'Nana'. It looks a bit like infantile creeping fig on a miniature scale. I've had it only about a year and so far, it's formed a 4" thick mat. Looks good and grows well. Is sensitive to frost. Seems that it top kills but the roots survive (though not enough frost here to do that much damage.) I understand that in some areas it can be invasive.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 1:50AM
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burntplants(8/9TX)

Nothing really looks like fig ivy except fig ivy. Other plants that grow similarly (cementing themselves to walls) like Virginia creeper & English ivy can also be invasive. The least invasive vine that clings like the ivys would be Crossvine (Bignonia capreolata) which also looks good with tropicals.

Other good vines to go with your tropical look would be Blue Sky Flower (Thunbergia battiscombei), and Mexican Flame Vine (Pseudogynoxys chenopodioides) which is supposed to be well-mannered.

If you want something "right now" try Cypress vine (Ipomoea quamoclit)--it's an annual. Another larger annual vine that would cover it fast would be Coral Vine (Antigonon leptopus.) Depending on where in California you are, these might provide cover most of the year, and both of these will reseed--the coral vine is more vigorous.

I would avoid anything thorned or heavily scented around a BBQ.

And definitely ask on the California forum for recommendations.

Here is a link that might be useful: California Gardening

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 3:52PM
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SheEatsFigs

All - thank you so much for the great suggestions! You've given me much to think about. Burntplants -- I love the Coral Vine especially. I might not use it on the bbq, but I have a good idea for where I might use the white blooming variety elsewhere in my garden!

After some thought, I'm thinking now to plant something in front of the bbq that will screen some of the stone and 'green it up' a little w/o my having to fight anything invasive.

Then was thinking to grow Concord grapes over the pergola (keeping in mind that I'll need to keep it pruned back where the heat will be greatest).

Thanks again everyone!

    Bookmark   May 15, 2013 at 12:35AM
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yardvaark

Seeing the picture makes me think you do not need a clinging vine covering the stone and that a big heaping pot or two or annuals will be sufficient. I like the idea of vine cover on top, whether it's grape or something flowering.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2013 at 8:09AM
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catkim(San Diego 10/24)

It would be a shame to cover up the interesting stone work of the bbq. Grapes on the pergola could be attractive if you don't mind the debris. Another option: a few hanging plants in those beautiful moss and bark planters, maybe containing a mandevilla vine or an exuberant fuchsia. Too many pots will clutter it up, though. You have a lovely setting for outdoor cooking, enjoy your summer.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2013 at 11:05AM
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stolenidentity

Wow! I like it as is after seeing the pic :)

    Bookmark   May 15, 2013 at 5:44PM
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green_thumb_wannabe(7)

I agree...except for adding a vine to climb the pergola, I wouldn't change a thing. It looks nice!

    Bookmark   May 16, 2013 at 9:30AM
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green_thumb_wannabe(7)

I agree...except for adding a vine to climb the pergola, I wouldn't change a thing. It looks nice!

    Bookmark   May 16, 2013 at 9:31AM
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littlebug5(z5 MO)

Don't do wisteria! You'll be sooooorrrrrrrrry! Ask me how I know.

I used to have nightmares about our wisteria - its climbing tendrils creeping inside my house around the windows and doors or down the chimney . . . . .

    Bookmark   May 16, 2013 at 1:07PM
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SheEatsFigs

After all your comments, I'm beginning to see our bbq's stonework with new eyes. :) Perhaps a couple of pots with a nice selection of plants and a grape over the pergola will be enough. I'll certainly start there anyway. Grazie mille everyone!

    Bookmark   May 18, 2013 at 11:49PM
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