Answer: Strong-growing climbers and vines are great candidates for a pergola. A rambling or climbing rose would be a good choice, or a clematis. Grapes are popular for the ambiance they create and their edible quality. Honeysuckles can be a good choice, particularly for the fragrance they add, but avoid species with invasive tendencies. Try trumpet honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens; shown), a long-blooming native species that is not invasive. We don’t typically recommend wisteria, because it can be too aggressive both for the structure and the surrounding gardens and natural landscape. However, American wisteria (W. frutescens) has proven itself to be well behaved.
For much more about vines and climbing plants, listen to Kathy Cropp interview Dan Long of Brushwood Nursery, a climbing-plant specialist.
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