Please, any ideas?

I got this awesome retractable umbrella at a garage sale yesterday. I love everything about it other than the canopy is trash! My idea is to create a living umbrella for my yard, has anyone got any good ideas what to plant as I will want to it be perennial, I am sure it will take a while to grow. I guess it needs something climbing too. I also thought about wrapping some chicken wire around the posts so it will be easier for whatever vine to cling to. I am anxiously waiting any of your ideas. I love this site!
q how to create a living umbrella with flowers, flowers, gardening, repurposing upcycling
  18 answers
  • Swan Road Designs Swan Road Designs on Jun 15, 2015
    My first thought is that you could plant all sorts of morning glories and add some moon flowers for evening interest. Morning glories LOVE to climb and are pretty easy for anyone to grow. If you're looking for something more permanent, maybe clematis or wisteria..

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    • Swan Road Designs Swan Road Designs on Jun 22, 2015
      @Barrbsie Watkins Seeds aren't that costly so I'd say "go for it" and plant some moon flowers and see what happens. You live in a region that has a relatively long summer, which would cause me to think you would see the plants mature and bloom.

  • Cindy Ptak Cindy Ptak on Jun 15, 2015
    Depending on where you live, bougainvillea might work, too.

  • Barrbsie Watkins Barrbsie Watkins on Jun 15, 2015
    Oh thanks. I live in arkansas, i thing zone 7, oh wow never thought of morning glories! I just planted some and I hope it was not too late to plant but they are sprouting!

  • Peggy Woodard Peggy Woodard on Jun 15, 2015
    Wisteria grows fast and is pretty, but it also gets heavy over time and needs to be cut back often.

  • Joanne M Joanne M on Jun 15, 2015
    I see that you said you already planted Morning Glories, which is a great idea, but in case they don't work, or you would like something different, I personally like to grow things that are useful too, if possible, and can easily see grapes or blackberries growing on there. I lived in FL so everything grows almost year round over here, so not sure how they would do there in AR but I don't think you would have a problem growing either, that is just what I would do. Good luck and would love to see pictures of it when they start covering it.

  • Kim Smith Kim Smith on Jun 15, 2015
    I think a Sweet Autumn Clematis would be awesome. It would take several years, like two, to get it growing really thickly, but by that third year, you would have the most wonder cloud of sweet scent and bee magnet like you would not believe. It climbs easily. Once it's established, you will look forward to it each year. Oh I can smell that scent now!

  • Cr_1582380 Cr_1582380 on Jun 15, 2015
    Grapes! You can eat the grapes, use the leaves to wrap around 'fillings' (rice & cabbage casseroles) and make wresths with the vines.

  • Dima Dima on Jun 15, 2015
    Before you grow anything, you'll have to consider the weight of the plants. Your umbrella frame is designed to support the fabric canopy so use that as a guideline. That much chicken wire would be heavy. Make sure the base is firmly attached to the ground. Perhaps embedded in concrete. I love your idea and don't want to be a "Debbie Downer" but be careful about having people underneath it unless you're absolutely sure the structure is safe. I would suggest running some wire from rib to rib. Morning glories would probably be the lightest choice. Wisteria or grapes would be way, way too heavy. I have wisteria on my arbor which is made with 2 x 8 lumber. Good luck!

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    • Dima Dima on Jun 17, 2015
      I'm excited to see the finished product!

  • Sheryl Johnson Sheryl Johnson on Jun 15, 2015
    Wisteria will overtake it and pull it down. Sweet Autumn clematis, while pretty, is very invasive. I would go with a clematis. There are many colors to choose from and they are great climbers, especially with the help of the chicken wire you mentioned. Expect 3 years before complete coverage, and help it out as much as possible by making sure the tendrils keep climbing up. A good tie for vines is pantyhose or knee hi hose cut in thin strips. Leave it a bit loose around the vine but make your knot tight. It lasts forever.

  • Sheryl Johnson Sheryl Johnson on Jun 15, 2015
    @Dima ~ I have a 21 year old wisteria that is anchored on my house! It spans roughly 40 feet now. I have to climb onto the porch roof a couple times each season to make sure it's not sneaking into my eaves or shingles, lol.

    • Dima Dima on Jun 16, 2015
      @Sheryl Johnson I call my wisteria "Hysteria". It has a mind of its own and is determined to pull the siding off of my house!

  • Sheryl Johnson Sheryl Johnson on Jun 15, 2015
    @Barrbsie Watkins , I should have clarified ~ I was suggesting the chicken wire be placed in a tube around the pole(s) of your umbrella. Make the tube 15" to 18" in diameter and plant 3 or 4 clematis INSIDE the tube. Cover the plant root area with 2" mulch. Clematis like their feet in the shade and their heads in the sun. :) Dima is right about the canopy. Wire is best in the canopy. Go to a farm store or good hardware store to get wire that won't rust away. I don't mean to sound like a know-it-all. But I ran a garden nursery and landscaping business for many years. Also keep up-to-date with my Master Gardening certification. I picked up a thing or two along the way ;)

  • Purl68 Purl68 on Jun 16, 2015
    Morning glory vine ... grows fast climbs and will come back in the spring

  • Gaylene Lienemann Stupic Gaylene Lienemann Stupic on Jun 16, 2015
    The former owner of my house planted wisteria next to the new privacy fence. Apparently she had never seen a full grown Wisteria. I have lived here five years now and cannot kill this monster! I cut it to the ground several times each season and it still sneaks between the slats and attempts to pull the fence apart! AARGH!

  • Cherie Cherie on Jun 16, 2015
    Clematis come in so many beautiful colors and varieties that I'm sure you'd find something spectacular in them. Sweet Autumn though can be very invasive so check with your local garden experts on it's aggressiveness in your area. I think you have a great idea! Would love to see an "after"!

  • Duv310660 Duv310660 on Jun 17, 2015
    My mother in law did a 'wall' in her garden with clematis. She used fishing line rather than chicken wire, making the support invisible.

  • Ginger the farm gal Ginger the farm gal on Jun 22, 2015
    Ivy year round green....great find btw...I have plenty if your up for a trip to Corinth,Ms.

  • Barrbsie Watkins Barrbsie Watkins on Jun 22, 2015
    you have plenty of what? lol

  • Agnes Chrzanowska Agnes Chrzanowska on Aug 31, 2021

    Wisteria flowers would work for sure