Islands of Green – Climbers, Creepers, Vines

Climbers, creepers and vines are essentially plants that need support as their stems are weak. This nature of these plants can be effectively exploited to create the much-needed greenery, colour and visual relief in a city, given the recent accelerated ‘developmental’ activities that have led to a space crunch to accommodate large trees.

Fences, small trellises, arches and other similar structures that can often be seen in apartment premises can be used to train climbers to grow on.

These may be good places to begin with before considering and creating additional opportunities. Pots on balconies can also be used to grow some lovely vines that tend to droop. A considered choice of creepers can add a lot of character and value to the otherwise all concrete environment of apartments.

Most of all, climbers break the monotony of plain walls, not to undermine the privacy created by a wall of green! That is as far as people and their needs are concerned.

By planting and fostering this group of plants, we may even be able to support a large group of animals – insects in particular. These include bees and butterflies that visit many of these plants; some only for nectar and others to lay eggs on!

The above video shows Jacquemontia pentanthos … an often encountered climber hosting bees!


These insects also feed into the food chain that is badly impacted due to urbanisation. This little act of creating small islands of green using climbers, albeit selfish, can inadvertently help support the impoverished nature around us in the city!

You may consider reading two articles that I have written in the recent past on two interesting groups of climbers – the birthworts and the passion-flowers – both of which have intricate relationships with butterflies. Incidentally, few years ago I penned a book titled ‘Discover Avenue Trees’.  In the book I had put down some thoughts, which I later shared in the blog post titled ‘Trees in an Urban Context’ .

Many appreciated the book and quite a few showed interest in trees and planting them too. Some had genuine concerns about the lack of space as they lived in an apartment and could not plant large trees. At this juncture we decided that a book about climbers would be in order; this would give an opportunity to everyone who wanted to add greenery or colour to their living spaces. The result is a lovely compilation of a good variety of climbers by T. S. Srinivasa in his book ‘Discover Garden Climbers’.

So without further delay, let’s go ahead and explore our environs for possible opportunities to grow some vines; let’s do our bit to brighten faces and to support the creatures that share the space with us.


Details about the book launch –


Order the pocket-sized book here –

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