Easy To Grow Climbing Plants For Gardens, Sun Rooms, Conservatories And Patios

Actinidia kolomikta. A spectacular and vigorous deciduous climber grown principally tor its foliage. The base of each leaf is green; the rest, white flushed with pink. A sunny wall is ideal. Leaves do not always colour white and pink on young plants.

Campsis radicans (trumpet vine). This supports itself by aerial roots. Orange and red flowers appear in late summer. It is deciduous and needs a sunny wall.

Celastrus orbiculatus (statt vine). A vigorous, deciduous twiner with autumn fruits that glow orange, with paler, yellow surrounds. Good fruiting depends on planting both male and female forms. The support may be in sun or light shade.

Clematis. Selecting from this extensive family of deciduous climbers is a matter of personal choice. Among recommended favourites are C. montana ‘Elizabeth’, which has faintly fragrant pink flowers in late May, and Cm.

‘Tetrarose’, with deep rose flowers above bronze foliage. C. orientalis and C. tangutica are both yellow-flowered species that have fluffy seed-heads later in the season. The rule for all clematis is ‘roots, cool; head in the sun’.

Hedera (ivy). This comes in many forms, but it would be hard to better Humulus lupulus ‘Aureus’. A yellow-leaved hop that makes entirely fresh growth each year. Given a sunny wall, it is very vigorous indeed.

Hydrangeapetiolaris. A climbing Hydrangea, this attaches itself by aerial roots if given some initial assistance. A deciduous plant, it carries typical lacecap, creamy-white hydrangea flowers in June. Suitable for any wall.

Lonicerapericlymenum (common honeysuckle). This is mainly deciduous, vigorous and sweetly-scented, and bears yellow, red-flushed flowers through the second half of summer. L.p. ‘Serotina’ is somewhat later and has deeper-toned flowers. Honeysuckles will grow in all positions.

Passiflora caerulea (passion flower). Requires a warm wall, the further south in the country the better. It is evergreen in the mildest areas, given sheltered conditions.

Schizopbragtna. Related to, and often mistaken for Hydrangeapetiolaris, it has a similar climbing habit. Conspicuous white bracts make S. bydrangeoides and S. integrifolium very distinctive. Both are deciduous and the plants grow best in light shade.

Wisteria. Some flower sparsely or not at all, though this may also be because they are seedlings or because the soil is poor.

The two species most worth considering are W.floribunda (Japanese wisteria) and W. sinensis (Chinese-wisteria). It is an odd fact that the former twines clockwise, the latter anticlockwise. Both do best in full sun.

Wisteria sinensis (Chinese wisteria). Taken in...

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W.floribunda has dark blue flowers. There is a form, W.f. ‘Macrobotrys’, with racemes up to 90 cm (3 ft) long. W. sinensis is a free-flowering species with fragrant, deep-lilac flowers. The white form, ‘Alba’, makes a spectacular show when scrambling along a garden hedge.

Wall plants

Abeliopbyllum distickum. Height and spread up to 1.5 m (5 ft). A slow-growing deciduous shrub that needs frequent tying-in to keep it tidy. White flowers, flushed with pink, appear in February on the previous year’s growth and are highly scented. The plant will grow in sun or shade.

Abutilon megapotamicum. Height and spread about 1.8 m (6 ft). A deciduous species that carries pendulous flowers over a long period. Each has a red calyx, buff-yellow petals and purple anthers. A sunny south or west wall is best.

Aloysia tripbylla, syn. Lippia citriodora (lemon-scented verbena). Height 1.5 m (5 ft), spread 1.2 m (4 ft). Though somewhat tender, this is worth growing for its scented loliage. It is deciduous and needs a warm wall.

Azara microphylla and A. serrata. Two fast-growing evergreen shrubs, both leaching a height of at least 3111(10 ft), with an obliging fan-shaped habit of growth. They will cover a large wall -preferably a sunny one – but pruning (after flowering) will keep them within bounds. The flowers are yellow and appear, on A. micropbylla. In early spring; those on A. serrata are borne in summer and are more conspicuous.

Huddleia crispa. A deciduous shrub with white-felted leaves and scented lilac flowers. Height 1.8-3 m (6-10ft) spread 1.2-2.4 m (4-8 ft). It looks especially good when set against a wall of dark bricks. H. COLVILEI, which is semi-evergreen, and tender when young, is more vigorous (height up to 5.5 m (18 ft)) and needs a substantial wall. It is worth growing for its handsome panicles of deep rose flowers. Both species do best in a warm position.

Ceanotbus dentatus, C. impressus, C. tbyrsiflorus and C. x veitebiamis. Height and spread 3 m (10 ft). These are the most commonly grown members of this lovely genus. All are evergreen and have deep green leaves. A warm wall suits them best.

Chacnomeles. These should be trained and pruned like espalier apples, for their apple-type flowers, and subsequent quince-like fruits, are produced on short spurs. C. speciosa oflers a range of named forms, in many shades from white to deep red. The same is true of C. x superba, with the added advantage of hybrid vigour. Average height and spread for all 1.8 m (6 ft). A wall of any aspect suits them.

Cotoncaster borizontalis. A familiar and much-loved deciduous wall plant. Height and spread to 2.4 M (8 ft), or more. It shows to best advantage in its variegated form, C.b. ‘Variegatus’. In autumn and winter the branches, in a distinct herring-borne pattern, are clustered with bright red berries.

C. MICROPHYLLUS, an evergreen, is particularly hardy. It is almost prostrate, but wide-spreading and may be used for ground cover as well as for growing against a wall.

Itea ilicifolia. An evergreen with hollylike leaves of a glistening green. These are joined, in late summer, by racemes of insignificant but scented flowers. A partially shaded wall suits it best. Height and spread about 3 m (10 ft).

Pyracantha coccinea T.alandci’. Height and spread 3-4.5 m (10-15 ft). In early summer, a multitude of small white flowers brings this evergreen alive with the hum of bees. Later, the orange-red berries are borne in equal profusion, and, but for the birds, they would last until spring. Any wall suits it, but it is best with a north or east aspect.

Rosa. These must be trained when grown against a wall. All are deciduous and are dealt with more fully elsewhere, but one or two are worth special mention.

When trained vertically, R. ecae, and especially its hybrid R.e. ‘Helen Knight’ (height 1.5 m (5 ft)), makes a splendid fan of ferny leaves, enhanced by a myriad of small yellow (lowers. Ot the Bourbon roses, both ‘Zcphirinc Drouhin’, height 2.7 m (9 ft), and ‘Kathleen Harrop’, height 2.1 m (7 ft), are thornless and have pink flowers. Sadly, both are prone to mildew.

R. ‘Mermaid’, which needs a warm wall, bears beautiful yellow flowers, though its lethal thorns make training a challenge. Height up to 7.5 m (25 ft). Solatium crispum (Chilean potato-tree). Height about 4.5 m (15 ft). A semi-evergreen ‘scrambling’ plant that is tougher than generally supposed. It bears purple flowers throughout the summer.

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