Hello, I am considering planting Boston ivy along the east fence of my backyard (right of the photo) and perhaps the north fence (middle of the photo), to cover the fence. The north fence is right next to a big silver maple (you can see a bit of the tree to the left of the photo). Would that be a bad idea? I would like to cover the fence, but should I be worried about the tree? If so, can you think of any other vine that could work well there. Thank you.
Thank you for contacting Toronto Master Gardeners.
A well chosen vine on your fence would certainly be a valuable, attractive addition to your yard.
There are many vines available at nurseries and it is important to research them before choosing.
When reading about vines you will notice many say fast growing. That sounds great but what it really means is the vine will take over and require regular pruning to keep it manageable and in check. They can be a tremendous amount of work. Some common vines like this are Trumpet Vine, Chocolate Vine, Silver Lace, and Virginia creeper. Some easy to buy vines are considered invasive here in Ontario. Some of the honeysuckles and English Ivy are on this list.
Boston Ivy is considered vigorous and clings tightly to its support. It grows to 50 feet. here is some information about Boston Ivy. http://pnwplants.wsu.edu/PlantDisplay.aspx?PlantID=50
If you are looking for something with a good show and much less work consider a clematis sp. or a climbing Hydrangea. The climbing Hydrangea is low maintenance, has few pests, flowers and tolerates shade. Here are some links for both.
Visit your local nursery and see what they have available. Look at the requirements for each plant. Light, hardiness, and water requirements will limit your choices. Also note the mature size of the vine. This will give you an idea how vigorous it is and how much work will be involved. Pick a vine that is the right size and fit for your space and you will have a beautiful specimen for years to come.