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Making Your Garden Beautiful Using Climbers

By Helen Wand

What I propose in this article is to talk about six different climbers that give interest in the garden throughout the year. As an example I won't go into wisteria, as beautiful though it is, it does only flower for a fairly short time. So unless you have a fairly large garden you probably won't feel it justifies a place in it. So off we go in our quest to get as much seasonal value as possible from the world of climbers.

Clematis armandii. This little treasure not only has tons of beautifully fragrant small flowers, but also it's evergreen. It does like a sheltered spot in the garden, so you'll have to bear that in mind when doing your planning. Two cultivars are apple blossom and snowdrift.
The only slight problem is it does take a little while to get going, but once it does it can be a touch on the vigorous side, growing up to 33 feet tall. But you can use that to your advantage if you've got something ugly to cover. No Mrs, not the husband! I'm talking about a wall!

Rosa Alberic Barbier. This is one of my favourites, is lovely and fragrant, is practically evergreen if it's happy in it's spot. It grows to about 20 feet and flowers at intervals from summer through to autumn. Needless to say, there are loads of others to choose from, so talk to your nurseryperson if you've got a specific colour or behaviour habits in mind.

Passiflora caerulea. Passion flowers used to be thought terrible tender and difficult but this little baby will grow like a weed easily from seed and has beautifully exotic flowers and yellow fruit which the birds can enjoy throughout the winter.

Honeysuckle Lonicera henryi. Vigorous evergreen or semi-deciduous, grows to about 30 feet. Whilst it's flowers may not be the most spectacular of the species, the winter foliage and the mass of berries for the birds is worth it.

Vine Vitis coignetiae. Whilst this boy might grow like billyo up to about 50 feet it does have fab autumn foliage, with tinges of orange, mahogany and scarlet! There's also flowers in early to mid summer, followed by black berries with a purplish bloom. So if you've got room bung one in!

Ivy Hedera 'Goldheart'. This has pink stems, that turn brown with age. The leaves are dark green with an irregular splash of yellow in the middle. It is a little slow to get going but is worth it. It's habits are somewhat better than other varieties in that it can be easily controlled! So these are a few of my favourites to grace that snazzy new trellis or fence you've just bought. But be adventurous don't be bound by my ideas, check out the specialist nurseries or catalogues, do your own thing!
Happy Clambering
The Organic Veg Doc







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