Q. What are some good vines to use in the landscape? I want to be able to block at least one unattractive view in full sun and I would like to use some old fencing for some vines that provide nectar to the butterflies and hummingbirds. 

A. My favorite two vines are cross vine and butterfly vine. Cross vine is often the first blooming plant that gardeners see hummingbirds. It is evergreen and covers an eight-foot fence well. The blooms are an orange-rust color. One issue is that the deer often eat the blooms and foliage. Butterfly vine is usually not eaten by deer. It has yellow flowers that transform themselves into green butterfly-shaped seed pods. It will also cover a fence or arbor well enough to block an ugly view. Passion vine is the plant that gulf fritillary butterflies lay their eggs on. It has pretty flowers but is not known as a uniform discipline grower. Queen Ann’s lace is an aggressive grower with pink or white blooms that often grow over trees and buildings. The blooms are spectacular and are always full of bees and other pollinators. It can become too large. Luckily, it is cold sensitive and freezes back to the ground every winter. 

Calvin Finch is a retired horticulture agent in Bexar County. He writes for and works with a number of area media outlets.

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