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need ideas and suggestions please!

Sundance, WY(Zone 3b)

We have a family wedding coming up in Sept this fall, and it will be an outside wedding. The bride (my niece) and groom want to be married under an archway which they are building, and want some kind of flowering vine that would decorate, so to speak, the archway. Her colors are purple, white, and possibly silver. Does anyone have any ideas that would work and look really nice? I was thinking of possibly a silver lace vine, but have never tried growing one of these, so don't know if it would work or not. I would love any opinions on these, or any other possibilities!! Please, all ideas are welcome!!

Tiffin, OH(Zone 5a)

I had a beautiful Silver Lace vine for about six years-we lost it after a particularly hard winter. I replaced it with a Porcelain Berry vine and it isn't nearly as showy and pretty. My only objection to the Silver Lace vine-the Japanese Beetles loved it! We sprayed it with Sevin and it would just "rain down" thousands of beetles for hours-really gross!!! If you can keep ahead of the JB it can be spectacular. If a breeze blows through it later in the season tiny white petals drift down like snow!
The picture is my vine (about 2-3 years old at that time) You will need a fairly heavy arbor to support it.Ours is made with 4x4 posts, 2x4 crosspieces and vinyl lattice inserts. About every 3rd year we pruned it heavily - my husband climbed on top of the arbor and literally rolled it off into his pick-up after we cut it off about one foot from the ground. The brush filled the truck.
I hung two wren houses under the arbor and we had other birds nest in the vine itsself-very cool.

Thumbnail by mwhit
Summerville, SC(Zone 8a)

Off the top of my head, for vining purple flowers you can go with Achimenes, Passiflora, Incense or Lavender Lady. Asarina, there are lots of purple/lavender and bi-color Asarinas. Clematis. Morning Glory is out unless it's going to be an early morning wedding.

Sundance, WY(Zone 3b)

Wow, mwhit, that is beautiful! Is all of that just one vine? Huge, especially for being only a few years old! Very impressive!
Xeramtheum, thanks! I'm not familiar with all of them, so am going to check them out now! We had considered clematis, as we have them now in most of our yards, but I'm afraid they wouldn't grow out enough their first year to cover much. Just seems they take a while in our areas to really grow out and fill in. And it will be a late afternoon wedding so the morning glories, while providing greenery, wouldn't be in bloom probably. (Unless it's a very dark and dreary weather day, lol) But thanks! Going to check out the rest now!

Sundance, WY(Zone 3b)

I'm really liking the looks of those asarinas!! Are they a relatively fast grower? Very pretty, and a multitude of colors! Wow! Think I'll find seeds or cuttings of those too now, along with the silver lace! No reason why we can't have more that one kind of plant on the archway, lol! Maybe I will start a ton of different seeds from numerous different plants, and they can pick which ones they like the best!
Thanks again!

Salem, OR(Zone 8b)

Difficulty will be getting adequate growth in just 6-9 months to cover the arch. As a filler you could try hops---very fast growing if you get one that has already been started in an at least one gallon pot. I've seen wedding arches covered in hops, and it's quite stunning, actually. Hyacinth bean is very fast growing (an annual most places)---purple flowers, magenta seed pods, easy to start from seed.

Sundance, WY(Zone 3b)

LOL! No kidding on getting enough growth in just a few months! I can start some seeds as soon as I get the seeds, but we can't usually put anything out in the ground until after Mother's Day, and most I won't put in the ground until after Memorial Day. Pots will make it a little easier, but also adds a difficulty factor in transporting them, so will have to move them closer before they get too big! Dear Sis and I have discussed this, and since my niece can't keep anything alive, inside or out, we will be starting everything for her and growing them out. The good news is Sis has several thousand acres, so we do have plenty of room, lol! Think we are going to try almost all of everyone's suggestions, and then see what we can keep alive and which ones DN likes the best! Wonder how many arches we'll all end up with, lol?!?

Summerville, SC(Zone 8a)

Asarina's do grow fast and by the time fall comes around the vine will be loaded as they are prolific bloomers. The thing is though with asarina, the plant leaves and blooms are small and delicate so you'd definitely want to over plant your pots for masses and also incorporate something a little larger as a companion .. perhaps some honeysuckle? I think that would look and smell awesome.

Also you probably should cut of all the seed pods as they appear as once it starts producing them, the quality of pretty much any plant as a whole diminishes rapidly when in seed production. It takes a lot of energy to produce seeds.

Sundance, WY(Zone 3b)

Overplanting is a definate must, so will have to get tons of them going! Perfect! Thanks for the great advice! I'm probably going to have to print all this info, so Sis can have the info too! Great advice! Thanks! And will have to start seed hunting immediately too! So will have to make a list of all these, so Mom, Sis, Niece, and I are all looking and getting seeds lined up, lol! Might have to start a wedding decor business after all this!! LOL!

Salem, OR(Zone 8b)

Here is my wedding arbor from 2003, if that helps at all (and because I love the darn thing). Pics aren't great, b/c I used my iphone to photograph them from my wedding album just now. Wedding colors were pink, orange, and lime green. My florist did an amazing job on it. If you don't get your vines trained the way you want them to, it looks like she draped vines over the top of mine. Then I believe she used those little florist tubes that hold water and wired the entire thing together and then hung it on the arbor. (it was easy to remove, and after the wedding ceremony the garland of flowers was then moved over to the cake table for display during the reception.) Lots of roses and interesting/unusual flowers were used.

Thumbnail by kosk0025
Salem, OR(Zone 8b)

Front view of arbor. Oh, and hey---that's me! And my darling husband.

Thumbnail by kosk0025
Salem, OR(Zone 8b)

So if you don't get enough floral action from your living vines, you can tuck in all kinds of additional flowers on the thing.

Salem, OR(Zone 8b)

You could also grow some interesting silver foliage from ornamental (portal spineless) cardoon, if the silver color is super important to her. not a vine, but could tuck in some of the foliage. Yeah, I kind of wish I was a wedding florist. Love that stuff. my wedding florist has a great website, if you need some inspiration for flower combos, etc. www.francoiseweeks.com very talented lady.

Tiffin, OH(Zone 5a)

Yes that is one vine -I bought it in a 1 gallon pot. It reached the top of the arbor the first year and 2/3 across in the second year. i'm really thinking of replacing the porcelain berry with it again!! I had forgotten how cool it was-thanks for inspiring me to dig out that picture!
I think the combination of vines is a great idea-there are so many pretty pinks,purples and whites and they all seem to blend well. I'm sure whatever you do with love will turn out perfectly!! It is going to be a beautiful wedding. MW

Sundance, WY(Zone 3b)

Wow! She does a remarkable job! Kosk, I love your arbor! That is gorgeous! And thanks so much for the link! Full of wonderful ideas for me. It's really interesting to me the European spin on arrangements, so different from anything I've seen around here, and I love the different ways she incorporates the seed pods and greenery. Very unique and pretty!
MW, I still really love that silver lace, so am going to find me one of those for my yard anyway, and I'm sure that we will incorporate that along with some hyacinth bean, and probably some morning glories and some roses and clematis cut from my DM's vines, and heaven only knows what else, lol! I've never thought that I was any good at flower arranging, but it's not in me to say no to her or anyone else when they ask for help, lol! And if I screw things up really bad, and everything is really ugly, nobody else will ever ask again, lol! She loves my cooking, so I am doing the rehearsal dinner for about 25 for her the night before the wedding, so flowers and decorations have to be planned by then and hopefully won't take me long to get the way I like. So I really appreciate all the input and ideas! Maybe better get some dusty miller too, cuz that would be nice silver touch??

Salem, OR(Zone 8b)

It's impossible for flowers to look bad---so no matter what, it will be gorgeous. Post a photo in September if you remember to, on this forum please! I took a class from Francoise Weeks once---lots of fun---big thing I learned is that she soaks all of the greenery---completely submerged in cool water---for a good 24 hours before making her arrangements---all of it, no matter what the texture---from laurel leaves to hosta leaves whatever---and it stays fresh much longer.

Sundance, WY(Zone 3b)

Well, I never would have thought of that either! And it makes sense, especially since I do that with my jack-o-lanterns when the pumpkins start getting soft and droopy. Just soak them overnight in ice water, and they look just like newly carved. I will do that with the pictures, since I know that all of you were so helpful and it's the least I can do! And yes, thank heavens, it is hard to take pretty flowers and make them ugly, so we should be okay! LOL! And I love the idea of the little water vessels for cut flowers. Will have to pick up a bunch of them also. She hired a florist to do the corsages and her bouquet and such, so will have her talk to her florist about getting us a bunch of them. I would think she can get us some for a good price.

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