Using climbers and wall shrubs

No garden should be without a good selection of climbing plants and wall shrubs. They add color and interest at various levels, creating attractive features out of otherwise unappealing walls and fences; they can also be encouraged to scramble over other plants to extend the flowering season.

Most climbers are fairly vigorous, and the problems tend to arise when their natural vigor requires some control. As the renowned garden writer Christopher Lloyd memorably remarked, nothing is more annoying than staring at the long, naked legs of a climber while the business end of your chosen plant has wandered into the neighboring garden, lo prevent this kind of irritation, you need an appropriate pruning strategy.

Year-round color

It pays to have a good mix of foliage, flowering climbers, and wall shrubs, and to ensure that you have something in flower in most seasons. Starting in early spring, winter jasmine (Jasminam nudiflorwn, not strictly a climber, but a useful wall shrub) does well on east-facing walls. Also good for clothing walls early in the year .ire flowering quince {Chaenomeles speciosa) with while or scarlet flowers, and many camellias (both used as wall shrubs). By early spring, a couple of clematis ma\ well be in flower, including the evergreen clematis {Clematis armandii), with anemone clematis (C. montana) and alpine virgins-bower (C. alfina) appearing not long afterward. Both the latter are a good choice for a cool wall. I!v early summer, Chilean potato tree (Solanum crispum ‘Glasnevinl will be displaying a profusion of starry blue flowers and Clematis macwpelala eultivars, with open bells of smallish flowers, will also be in bloom, but for a shorter time.
Clothing walls: If you want good wall coverage, both wisteria (Wisteria) and the potato vine (Solanum jasminotdes) will do the job. They provide good background color in this formal courtyard garden.

Roses come into their own from early to midsummer. The difficulty lies in knowing what to choose from such a wide range. The vigorous ramblers, such as Rosa “Bobbie James’ or R. filipes ‘Kiltsgate’, will make their wa up to 30 It. or more and are best allowed to grow over tall, free-standing structures, such as substantial trees. Next are the big performers like Clematis ‘Jackmanii’ with mauve flowers, and the flamboyant orange-red trumpet creeper {Campsis x tagliabuana ‘Madame Galen’).
01 the foliage climbers, the main different varieties of ivy do good service on shady walls. Choose from neat triangular leaf shapes, like English ivy (Hedera helix ‘Sagittifolia’), or more dashing variegated cultivars like 11. helix ‘Buttercup’ (the varie-gated forms will not do so well in
shade). The ornamental vines and creepers have the bonus of wonderfully colored autumn foliage; the golden hop (Humulus lupulus ‘Aureus’) has large, ornamental leaves and will cope with partial shade.
For stunning effects, grow a couple of climbers against a wall or over an obelisk to give either mixed color in one season or a succession of color over more than one season, depending on the chosen species. Combinations worth trying are: Rosa ‘Albertine’ with Clematis Vyvyan Pennell’ (summer—pink and mauve); Chilean potato tree with Clematis alfina ‘Frances Rivis’ (spring and summer—blue); golden hop with Clematis tangutica (summer and fall—golden foliage; autumn— yellow flowers); Hydrangea anomala subsp. petiolaris with Rosa ‘Climbing Iceberg’ (all-white summer combination).

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2 Responses to Using climbers and wall shrubs

  1. James Mann says:

    We have been out in the backyard looking at what the winter and ice storms did to our plants and climbers. A lot of damage this year.We decided to rip out some of the bushes that cover our fence and put up some climbers that will give us great privacy without all the thorns like the last bushes.Even though climber tend to get out of control they can’t be any harder to manage than the existing climbers. Trying to get close enough to trim them seems to cause the throny vines to reach out and grab you.

  2. James says:

    James you can help out here from different post as I publish new and effective post regularly.

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