CLIMBING plants are a fantastic way to add height to your garden. They can grow on trellises, walls, pergolas and many other structures, making them a versatile choice for your outdoor space. Whether you have a sunny and warm, or cool and shady spot, there are many suitable plants which can make the most of your vertical spaces.
A shady spot
THE self-clinging Hydrangea petiolaris is an excellent choice. This is the most common climbing hydrangea, with large white lacecap flowers in early summer and heart-shaped, dark green foliage that turns yellow in autumn. They are extremely hardy and very easy to grow.
Some lovely wall shrubs would be an excellent choice, too. Garrya elliptica, which is tall growing and vigorous. Pyracantha, which will bring you white spring flowers and colourful berries in autumn and winter. Then we have Chaenomeles, which will produce their lovely blooms on a framework of bare twigs in late winter or early spring.
A sunny spot
NOW, there too many to mention in this category so, I will choose a few of my favourites.
The ideal climber for gardening novices is Trachelospermum, also known as star jasmine. This is an evergreen climber with rich, dark green leaves and pure white, fragrant flowers.
Wisteria, a long-lived climbing plant with cascades of blue, pink, white or purple flowers, that look spectacular hanging from a pergola or archway.
Then we have clematis, also known as the queen of climbers for their beauty of shape and colour. There is a clematis for every season, so with careful selection you can enjoy these delightful and impressive blooms all year round.
THIS is a fungal disease that will cause your stems to rot. This usually happens to younger plants that haven’t developed their thicker brown stems.
Planting your clematis deeper can help with this, along with keeping the roots cool.
Clematis wilt does not mean that your plant is going to die – the roots will still be alive. Cut back the stems, water well and watch for new growth.
When to prune climbers and wall shrubs
AS a rule of thumb, plants that flower on the previous season’s growth are pruned immediately after flowering. These plants often flower in winter, spring or early summer.
Plants that flower on the current season’s growth are often pruned in late winter or early spring. These plants usually flower in mid- to late summer or in autumn.
If you would like to find out more about the wonderful world of climbers, pop into Goulds Garden Centre where our friendly team can give you all the advice you need. Happy gardening!
Sue Butterworth is in her 25th year at Goulds Garden Centre. She is the plant manager for this busy store and has been sourcing plants for award-winning gardens at the Chelsea Flower Show since 2018. She is an avid gardener, leading to numerous Britain in Bloom awards, including a first.