Best climber to make my fairly boring pebbledash house look pretty?

Hi everyone, completely novice gardener here! We’ve got a cream pebbledash 1930s house, it’s not the prettiest! Think a climber will help soften it but haven’t a clue what to go for or when to plant!  it’s south facing so gets a lot of sun (when it’s out). 
Any advice would be much appreciated 


  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 18,872
    First thing to know is that plants need soil to grow in and all I can see there is tarmac and gravel so you're going to have to clear some away and find or introduce some soil.

    Second thing to know is that any self-clinging climber is going to attach itself by sending aerial roots and suckers into your pebbledash which will ruin its structural integrity and probably introduce all sorts of problems with damp so you're going to have to consider how to erect trellis or tensioned wires to support a climber you can tie in or that has tendrils that will twine round a support.

    Do you need all that off-street parking?   You could break up all that bare space and softening the bleak aspect of th ehouse by lifting some of the gravel in front of the house along the path and planting some colourful shrubs or perennials that love full sun.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 4,084
    Whereabouts in the country are you? I would repaint the render, jet wash the brickwork, and then looks at adding wall-mounted troughs under the windows and a few hanging baskets. You could use succulent plants which will love the south facing aspect and need minimal maintenance.

    Those upstairs windows don't look like they conform to fire escape regulations by the way. I could be wrong though.
  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 2,479
    edited September 2019
    Hallo Cath and welcome to the forum.

    Haynes publishes maintenance manuals for houses as well as cars, they are beautifully illustrated style guides as well as giving practical advice on DIY.  There is one called "Your 1930s house", you could order it from the public library before deciding whether to buy it.

    Building raised beds on your forecourt might be less effort than breaking up the surface, and has the added advantage of putting you in control of the soil chemistry.  I agree with Obelixx, it's the forecourt that looks bleak rather than the house itself.  If you're going to have soil directly against the house wall, it must not come higher than the damp proof course, otherwise you'll have penetrating damp, and you must keep it clear of any air bricks.

    Climbing shrubs such as clematis and wisteria don't do well in containers, but you could grow annual climbers in pots with a trellis fixed to house wall, such as sweet peas, Black Eyed Susan, and climbing nasturtiums.  But you'd only have them in the summer.

  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Bath, SomersetPosts: 4,074
    Hello Cath, I agree with all the other posters, climbers are not a good idea on pebbledash. The house could be prettified by large rectangular planters in front and to the right of the front door, using some small evergreen plants (for all season interest and low maintenance)  and seasonal flowers that like hot conditions. If you painted the planters in a contrasting colour (bright blue, green or whatever you fancy) it would go a long way to improve the ambiance.
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