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Honeysuckle, jasmine and other climbers

I'd like to plant honeysuckle and other attractive native climbers and jasmine on 6ft X 6ft trellis fence panels in order to create screening alongside the neighbour's broken 3ft tall fence. But I feel I might not have the right conditions to grow them.

I have a concreted garden with 40cm (at least) deep flower beds that are 5ft long and ≈2ft wide, and run along the property boundary. Each bed has 1.5m tall roses (thick, woody, bare stems). In between each bed is a 5ft gap of concrete. There are 4 beds and 3 gaps.

The plan is to put alternating trellis panels with climbers at each bed or along the full boundary. The thing I'm unsure about is the soil. The top layer is black, smooth and clumpy when wet but dry underneath. In summer it cracks and becomes nearly impossible to dig, so I'm assuming it's heavy clay. I say it's at least 40cm deep because I tried digging it today and got tired after reaching that point due to compaction and my short arms and not wanting to damage the rose roots. But I saw that the undersoil was quite dry.

Having read some threads on here I understand that honeysuckle needs deep roots and organic matter. Would my current flower beds be good enough or would I have to make a raised bed on top of the concrete? My garden faces SW, so the plant would be planted on the NW side of the trellis (receives sun from the SE on the neighbour's side in the morning, then from the south at noon and west till late evening). I also live in NW London

Are there any alternatives that are similar? E.g. smells nice, flowers for a few months, beneficial for bees and berries for birds, not toxic to cats.

Sorry for the essay-style post, I don't know how to explain this shortly.
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  • widgetwilk annwidgetwilk ann North NorfolkPosts: 281
    You will get expert advice here, but I have similar situation and have evergreen Clematis and evergreen Honeysuckle, both very quick growing and can get very thick and spread along the fence
    Just found this photo of my evergreen Clematis in February.
  • You will get expert advice here, but I have similar situation and have evergreen Clematis and evergreen Honeysuckle, both very quick growing and can get very thick and spread along the fence
    Just found this photo of my evergreen Clematis in February.
    Oh wow that looks just like what I need! When did you plant your clematis?
  • widgetwilk annwidgetwilk ann North NorfolkPosts: 281
    The Clematis has been there for a while, but if you buy a good size one they do grow and spread fast, the honeysuckle has not been there as long, but again it soon takes off.
    Make sure you get evergreen.
  • widgetwilk annwidgetwilk ann North NorfolkPosts: 281
    Been looking and found this photo taken in 201515, sorry can't find anything in between, but don't be put off, it soon grows
  • That seems reasonable. Is your honeysuckle evergreen too? Which variety would you recommend?
  • widgetwilk annwidgetwilk ann North NorfolkPosts: 281
    Am sure the Clematis is Armandii it is called white, the honeysuckle I am not sure but it said 'evergreen'
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Bath, SomersetPosts: 6,276
    Clematis Armandii can be a bit of a thug and might struggle eventually on a 6 x 6 fence which might not take the weight. Likewise evergreen honeysuckle, which is a woodland plant liking shade.  Better alternatives might be Trachelospernum asiatica or winter flowering clematis 'Freckles'.
  • thanks for the alternatives, however the RHS website says 'Freckles' needs a sheltered spot and asiatica sunny, so what does a 6x6 trellis fence panel provide since it allows sun through it? I take it that my current soil/flowerbed is fine, but the trellis panels may not be strong enough? even if I use concrete posts? I'd like to provide some wildlife benefit via berries too.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 65,446
    We have Clematis ‘Freckles’ on a H6’ x W10’ trellis partition in a shady west-facing corner (around the bin store). It’s covered the partition perfectly but hasn’t romped all over the place. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • widgetwilk annwidgetwilk ann North NorfolkPosts: 281
    My fence faces south, it is not set in concrete, but like most plants you can be in control, just keep it under control,
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