Social climbing out in the garden
Climbers or climbing plants give a new dimension to any garden. They act as a valuable source of shade, a means of creating a secluded corner – with the aid of a rose arch, pergola or trellis – and an ideal method of disguising an unsightly wall, fence or shed.
Of all the aspects best suited for climbers, west-facing is the most suitable. This aspect tends to be sheltered from cold winds and morning sun. From midday onwards it gets direct light and is capable of capturing valuable heat from the afternoon sun.
A vast variety of plants thrive on west-facing walls or fences. If there is adequate space, try Clematis viticella and its various forms. Flowers appear from July to September on a vine which can reach up to 3.6 metres or 12 feet high. There is a range of flower colours for the fashion conscious to choose from including: ‘Kermesina’ which is crimson and ‘Minuet’, a cream and purple bloom. C. viticella works well if grown through other wall plants. Make sure the soil is free-draining and moist in order to encourage healthy growth.
For scent try Jasminum officinale - a vigorous, twining climber that produces a collection of starry, fragrant flowers. The partly evergreen plant blooms throughout summer and on into the autumn. If planted near a window or door, its scent will carry into your home on mild evenings. With support of trellis or wires this white jasmine can grow to approximately 2.4m or 8ft high.
Check back here tomorrow for more on climbers for west-facing walls or fences.