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Climbers for cottage style garden, advice most welcome.

Rachel173Rachel173 Posts: 2

Hello,  we've recently bought a house with a beautiful cottage style garden. There is a breeze block wall that stands out like a sore thumb so I'm hoping to coax some climbers to cover it. Enthusiastic but novice gardener! 

Should I paint it first, I'm thinking it will take years to get a good covering. Trellis or wires? What to grow? As you'll see, I'm clueless! 

Lovely sunny garden that has no problems growing hydrangeas, hebe, hardy fuscias etc.

Help very much appreciated



  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,384

    Personally, I would paint it first.  Having it rendered is another option but not cheap.  Is the wall curved - it looks like it but that may be a photographic effect?  If so, I would be tempted to use galvanised wires held in place by vine eyes.  Lots of climbers to choose from.  I love clematis so those would be my first choice but I'm sure others will give you lots of other ideas. image

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,530

    I'd paint it too - you won't be able to do it after the climbers have covered it.  I have a breezeblock wall in my front garden and it looks a lot better just for being painted white.  As for plants, can I put in a word for ivy?  It needn't be gloomy, there are lots of lovely variegated ivies.  I bought seven different ones from a nursery called Fibrex, I found them very good people to deal with.  Ivy is self-clinging so needs no support, and the flowers and berries support wildlife.  Once it's established, it's maintenance free, unless it get too enthusiastic and needs cutting back.


  • Rachel173Rachel173 Posts: 2

    Thank you all so very much! I'm thinking to plant in 3 places due to the expanse of the wall and the existing plants, will I plant an evergreen and a clematis in each spot perhaps? 

    Bob the wall is curved, hook and eyes should be OK I hope? 

    Thanks again for all your helpful comments to a hopeless novice! 

  • dozyrosiedozyrosie Posts: 15


    I have a concrete wall which is quite shady, and it really depressed me until - against the advice of my decorator husband! - I painted it a terracotta colour. Now it feels lovely and Mediterranean, and my neighbours on both sides have followed suit!

    Good luck!


  • I would paint it and cover with Ivy or Boston Ivy which is a vine.

    Careful though Boston Ivy is a variety of Virginia Creeper "Parthenocissus quinquefolia" I wouldn't buy this one: Boston Ivy "Parthenocissus tricuspidata" is less vigorous and smaller.

    I would probably paint it and plant a couple of different variegated Ivy's though, no need for wires or anything. To add colour wait a few years then add Scottish Flame Flower "Tropaeolum speciosum" or a clematis which will climb the Ivy on its own without supports (The Ivy will be the supporting structure).

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