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Training clematis up fences

thedjjjthedjjj Posts: 84

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Hi,

I'm keen to cover my fences with one or more clematis, but am a little confused on what exact fixings I need to do the job and whether it makes a difference what fence panels you have?

I have read that vine eyes and wire is the right tool for the job, fixing horizontally however I'm not sure on where to fix them .. my fence panels have battens midway up, concrete posts either side at the 1.8m intervals or whatever the standard is. I'm assuming fixing to an actual internal panel piece is not going to be sturdy enough.

Any tips?

I'll attach a pic of the fences next post.

If it makes any difference, I'm looking at Wisley Cream, Markham's pink, and maybe Pistachio? open to suggestions as I'm not sure these will trail far enough to cover the fence. Having said that I do have a climbing hydrangea in the middle of the fence which will spread both ways (hopefully eventually ...)

Last edited: 20 July 2017 09:54:26

Posts

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 30,019

    The best place for your vine eyes to be screwed in is on the fence posts.   You are correct in thinking the fence panels and battens will not be sturdy enough.   If you can't screw into the existing posts you could install wooden posts at intervals down the inside of the fence and stretch your wires across them instead.   This would have the added advantage of putting no strain on your fence and also providing extra ventilation for your clems.

    The horizontal wires need to be at 12 to 15" intervals to give good coverage and stretched taught with tensioners.   Train all your clems as horizontally as possible to increase flwoerng.

    I would be careful about planting clematis with different pruning requirements close together so make sure you separate them down the fence.   Wisley Cream is a group 1 which means any pruning is done immediately after flowering finishes and then only to renew vigour or keep it in bounds.  When settled and happy it should flower form November to March.

    Markham's Pink is another group 1 but less vigorous and will flower in April/May.

    Pistachio is a group 3 so flowers on new stems produced each year.  It is pruned in spring, cutting all stems back to about 9" or the lowest bud then give it a good feed and watch it grow again.

    All clems need to be planted deeper than they were and after being given a thorough soaking.  Tease the roots out a bit and back fill with good soil mixed with well rotted manure and/or garden compost.  water thoroughly.  Feed generously every spring with some slow release clematis food.   I like to put an upturned terracotta plant pot (with the base bashed out) over new clems as this protects their stems from accidental hoeing and also helps direct watering straight to the roots.

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • PurpleBirdPurpleBird Posts: 22

    I'm not sure its a good idea to drill into the concrete fence posts. I have them too, and have bought attachments that hook into the groove at the side of the posts, and you can attach the wire to them. No drilling needed. It'll be much pricier than vine eyes though. They look like this:

    image

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 30,019

    That looks brilliant.  Not seen those before.  

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • thedjjjthedjjj Posts: 84

    How much are we talking for those purple bird ? And where from ?

  • PurpleBirdPurpleBird Posts: 22

    Not sure if I'm allowed to mention specific suppliers on here, but Google 'concrete post wire support' and you'll be able to find the website at the top of the list image They do corner ones too. Its £16 for a pack of 6, so certainly not cheap- depends how much of the fence you want to cover. I have 3 per concrete post on my 6ft fence, and with the wire going diagonally as well as horizontally theres plenty for the plants to climb up.

  • thedjjjthedjjj Posts: 84

    Nice one, managed to find them before .. Did you get the tensioners and wire from there too ?

  • PurpleBirdPurpleBird Posts: 22

    Yes I did, it all works really well. It also stands slightly proud of the fence panel so I can hopefully replace it when needed without damaging the clematis too much. Here's a picture:

    image

  • thedjjjthedjjj Posts: 84

    Ah OK so you have yours in a criss cross pattern between each post rather than a straight run between them all? how many posts do you have between your fence?

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