The special appeal of climbers and trailers is that they can provide a mass of foliage even where shelf or floor space is limited. Climbers can be trained up a support, trailers left to cascade downwards.
Many plants will grow happily up or down.and , if supported, can be trained to form a frame or left to trail and form ‘waterfalls’ of green (below right).
To fill in an empty corner grow a climber up a moss pole, attaching theto the pole with bent wires. To highlight a feature— a window, doorway, arch, picture or mirror—train a climber along wires fixed to screws in the wall.
A flowering climber in an attractive basket can use the handle as a support, or you can put it in a window with a trellis ladder to climb up to make the view.
You can also make a framework from lengths of wire, bent to form loops. When these are pushed into the compost in the container they will support a number of stems and create a vibrant globe of foliage or flowers.
Create a screen by putting a trellis at the back of a long box of. This can be used to partition off one part of a room from another, perhaps separating a dining area from a sitting section.
Following are some examples of climbing plants and their methods of support:
TWINING STEMS: Lonicera (honeysuckle); Wisteria; Humulus.
TWINING LEAF STALKS:.
HOOKS AND BARBS: Rosa (rose); Rubus (brambles).
ADHESIVE PADS: Parthenocissus quinquefo lia (Virginia creeper).
AERIAL ROOTS:petiolaris; Hedera (ivy).
Using plants to trail
Use high-level shelves and hanging baskets for trailing plants where you want interest. Or screw wallin place at eye level on a plain wall that needs added colour. Bushy trailing plants like Sword Fern, or Piggyback Plant look good placed on a pedestal. Or use an old cake stand to give the necessary height to allow stems to trail freely.
Plants to try
- Arrowhead Plant
- Climbers (flowering)
- Golden Trumpet
- Black-eyed Susan
- Sword Fern
- Wandering Jew
- Staghom Fern
- Piggyback Plant
- Spider Plant
- -leafed Geranium
- Support any hanging baskets securely. Hooks in the ceiling should be screwed into a joist.
- A high-level must be watertight! Use polythene sheet in wire baskets, foil in wicker ones. Containers without holes need clay pellets in the base.
- Special devices with long tube spouts are useful for high-level watering.
- A flowering climber in an easily transported container can be moved when flowering finishes.
- Hang close to walls and windows so they won’t get in the way.
- A two – or three-tier hanging basket can be used attractively in a bathroom for both plants and toiletries. In a kitchen it could plants and vegetables.
- In a light but narrow hall, make a feature of one wall by fixing pots at varying heights along its length.
- Hanging baskets filled with trailing plants will form an attractive screen between the dining and working areas of a kitchen.