Nothing is more magical in a Bermuda garden than some kind of flowering vine. It offers harmony and flow as it climbs or trails along a wall, a trellis or a pergola while also providing privacy and welcome shade. It can also conceal less attractive sights, such as decaying dead trees or areas of concrete wall, with a dramatic display of cascading colour. While no one could claim Bermuda stone is ugly—it has its own warm and appealing texture—its beauty can be accentuated even more by the colourful blossom of a trailing plant. Now that we’re approaching our growing season, it’s an ideal time to experiment with perspective by planting vines. Avoid, however, invasive vines such as kudzu or balloon vine which can take over your garden. Here are several that grow well in Bermuda, many of which are perfect for creating bowers and arbours that can in effect become outdoor rooms for enjoying nature.

Glory Bower
(Clerodendrum x speciosum)
Native to Southeast Asia, the glory bower is valued for its striking appearance, with vibrant red, tubular flowers that grown in dense clusters. These flowers are usually surrounded by large, colourful bracts that enhance the overall visual appeal of the plant. It’s important to note that while the glory bower plant can be beaitufil additional to gardens or landscapes, it might also have invasive tendanciesin certain areas due to its ability to spread quickly and outcompete native vegetation. This variety of clerodendrum combines purple with bright pink blossom.

Sky Flower
(Thunbergia grandiflora)
Sky flower, also known as blue thunbergia, blue trumpetvine, and clockvine, is ideal for walls or pergolas. It produces lovely five-petalled, lilac-blue flowers with long, tubular, pale yellow throats, followed by pods containing seeds, from spring through fall. However, only grow if you have plenty of root and growing space as this plant can grow up to 30-feet tall. Prune in winter after flowering.

Allamanda
(A. cathartica)
Native to Brazil and Guyana, common yellow allamanda is a favourite in Bermuda. You can see its funnel-shaped flowers cascading over walls, pergolas and archways almost year-round. Flowers are less plentiful in winter and spring, but they still bloom. Plant in a deep, good soil in a sunny, sheltered position and regularly fertilise during the growing season. Prune yearly after flowering. Propagate from soft wood cuttings. The pink variety of allamanda looks particularly effective growing along a painted pale green wall.

Bougainvillea
(Bougainvillea glabra)
Arguably the most common vine growing in Bermuda’s public and private gardens is bougainvillea, extremely popular for the rich vibrancy of its colour. However, its tiny inconspicuous flowers are not the attraction; rather the showy, albeit papery, bracts offer resplendence whether red, pink, purple, or orange. Foliage can be variegated, and double forms of bracts are also available. Position the vine in full sun and away from the wind. Plant in acidic soil with plenty of humus. Bougainvillea can grow along a wall but can also be trained on a trellis or an espalier. Propagate from semi-hardwood cuttings. Prune regularly.

Giant Potato Vine
(Solanum wendlandii)
Native to Mexico, Central America, and northwest South America, the giant potato vine is also known as Costa Rican nightshade, divorce vine, and paradise flower. It’s an excellent ornamental for a trellis and can reach 15 feet in height, producing clusters of lilac-blue flowers that fade to white. Make sure it has plenty of room to spread as it grows quickly and therefore is very useful as quick cover. Prune regularly.

Bleeding Heart Vine
(Clerodendrum thomsoniae)
The flowers of this vine native to tropical west Africa are extremely distinctive, thanks to their white sepals and blood-like red petals with long stamens and style. Plant the vine in shade and rich, well-drained soil either in the ground or in a container. Provide a trellis or some kind of support to allow the vine to scramble. Water and fertilise regularly. Old flowers turn pink or lavender. Prune in autumn before new spring growth begins. Propagate by removing the rooted suckers around the base of a plant and planting them. Seeds can be planted in the spring.

Coralita
(Antigonon leptopus)
Native to Mexico, coralita is known by many another name: coral vine, queen’s wreath, Mexican love vine, mountain rose, rose of Montezuma, Confederate vine and Flor di San Diego. Tendril climbing and deciduous, this delicate climbing vine produces panicles or sprays of pretty pink flowers from May to October. You often see it in Bermuda threading itself through existing hedges. It likes a sunny position, shelter from the wind and good soil. Propagate from seeds and from cuttings though they root more successfully when planted in summer. Note: Prune early in the year before spring growth begins.

Mandevilla
(M. laxa, M. sanderi, M. splendens) white, rose and pink respectively
Easy and fast to grow, mandevilla, otherwise known as rocktrumpet, produces beautiful five-petalled, tubular flowers with glossy, dark green leaves. The white variety, with yellow hearts and arguably the most beautiful, is fragrant at night. Plant in good, well-drained soil and a protected position. Mandevilla grows well in a container or large pot. Keep moist and make sure the plant has a sturdy structure to support it. Propagate from seed or from short cuttings. Prune right back at least once a year to promote new growth.

Tecoma
(Pandorea jasminoides)
Aptly known also as bower plant, tecoma blooms spring and summer long and can be seen all over the island. Its flowers are white with distinctive pink throats. It’s easy to grow. Plant in rich soil and a sunny position. Propagate from seed or cuttings. Tecoma is native to Australia.