Climbing Plants – to enhance your garden

Climbing Plants – using climbers to enhance your garden and provide screening –
**Updated for 2016**

Many varieties of climbing plants are available and to narrow the choices you need to decide how you want the climber to work for you in your garden:-

  • Do you need the climber to provide screening  – to climb up and cover an ugly wall or fence?
  • Do you need the climber to be evergreen (keeps leaves in winter) or deciduous (loses leaves in winter)?
  • Would you prefer a fast-growing elegant flowering climber to cover a pergola, gazebo or arbour?
  • Do you need the climber to be evergreen or deciduous (ie loses its leaves in winter)?
Trachelospermum Jasminoides plants for sale - London garden centre
Trachelospermum Jasminoides | Star Jasmine – highly perfumed climber

Evergreen Climbers
Evergreen climbers such as Trachelospermum Jasminoides – although they are not fast growing (about 10cm growth per annum) provide an excellent evergreen screen, they attach well to frames and they also have pretty white scented flowers in the Summer months.  We now also stock the beautifully fragrant, yellow variety of evergreen jasmine Star of Toscana Jasmine. Jasmine’s flowers have a wonderful citrus smell which is particularly noticeable on warm summer evenings.

A faster growing evergreen climber is the Clematis Armandii which has long elegant leaves with a slightly tropical appearance and the white scented flowers appear in the late Summer.  These can be planted in conjunction with Jasmines to give the best coverage and flowering period from early to late Summer.

New variety – Evergreen Wisteria – we have large specimens of Wisteria Millettia Satsuma
Read our dedicated blog on Evergreen Climbing Plants for the UK climate, which includes a broader, more detailed selection.

Clematis Armandii, Abelia Grandiflora and Wisteria Sinensis climbing plants for sale
Clematis Armandii | Abelia Grandiflora | Wisteria Sinensis
  • Would you prefer a fast-growing elegant flowering climber to cover a pergola, gazebo or arbour?

Chinese Wisteria
Another very popular climber is the Wisteria Sinensis or Chinese Wisteria – their beautiful flowers appear in late Spring and early Summer.  The purple, blue or white flowers hang in clusters (giving the appearance of bunches of grapes) hanging from the vigorous twining stems.  Wisteria are deciduous but the gnarled appearance of their stems as they age is still attractive even through the Winter months.   Wisteria are quite fast growing but can be pruned to keep controlled.  They work particularly well covering arbors or gazebos. We now have a full range of Wisteria’s in our Climbing Plants section with seven new varieties, in many different colours, including the unusual Evergreen Wisteria – Wisteria Millettia Satsuma

  • Do you need the climber to provide screening  – to climb up to cover an ugly wall or fence?

Climbers for Screening
Climbers suitable for screening or covering walls or fences include the evergreen Garrya Elliptica, James Roof variety, which is also known as the Silk Tassel Bush, this evergreen climber is particularly useful for growing against dry, shady walls. The catkins appear in early spring and start life as a golden colour, gradually turning a beautiful greenish-grey colour. Our stock is supplied on a bamboo trellis – ready for planting directly into the ground with its own support in place.

Photinia Red Robin on frames for evergreen screening
Photinia Red Robin on Frames | Evergreen Screening

In fact nowadays many evergreen shrubs are grown specifically on frames so only the pot needs to be planted and the frame will fit in immediately to the area to be screened.  Evergreen shrubs like the Photinia Red Robin, Pyracantha or Hornbeam are supplied on these frames in varying sizes – usually from around 1.4m up to 4m in height.

Pleached hornbeam trees for instant impact
Pleached Hornbeam Trees | Clear Stemmed Trees, Frame Grown for Instant Screening

Climbing plants are also popular for small terraced gardens or in areas in the garden where space is an issue as they do not need massive planting areas and can be trained to climb wherever you attach them.

For the small amount of space climbers create they can give back maximum impact with their coverage, screening and/or amazing flowers and fruits.

by Karen Mariconda