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Climber suggestions!

Hi everyone

I'm hoping all you very knowledgeable people might be able to help me choose an appropriate climber for my garden. I'm still very new to the gardening and plant world, but learning fast!

I currently have a slate path along the side of my garden, against 6ft fences that slot in to concrete posts. I'm thinking of attaching a 1ft wide trellis to these concrete posts to grow a climber on. I intend to plant it at the base of the concrete posts (i.e. so it grows through the slate).

The fence is east facing, and relatively sheltered.

I'm looking for something that won't grow too quickly that it takes over the whole of the fence before I know it - don't want to invade the neighbours side of the fence! I'm happy to prune once or twice a year.

Probably looking for something that flowers in summer so it can be better appreciated when family is outside (but open to suggestions).

Any good suggestions? I have no clue on climbers!

Thanks all, looking forward to your thoughts.


  • K67K67 Posts: 2,507
    I assume there is a good depth of soil under the slate and that it's slate chipping?
    You don't say how wide the path is.
    For me it would always be clematis good websites  are Taylor's and Thorncroft and a group 3 variety as you chop it down in the spring so you can do any maintainence on the fence

  • Hi, it's slate chipping yes, and should be plenty of soil underneath.

    So group 3 clematis you cut right to the ground? Would I need to worry about slate chipping covering the plant when cut to the ground it not being able grow back?
  • Oh and path is about 3ft wide!
  • chickychicky Posts: 10,402
    Group 3 clematis get cut to about 6 inches above the ground no worries about it getting smothered in slate ......
  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Posts: 37,753
    Hi Eddy. You do not need to worry about the slate covering the plant as it is advised to keep the roots of clematis shaded. Cutting to the ground is just a tiny bit drastic. Go up the stems from the ground until you reach the first nice fat buds and cut above them.
    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
  • Thanks for the advice. Just looking at some clematis - this may sound silly but when they say height/spread for climbers, is that just how far they will climb? Not how far they might stick out from the thing they are climbing? I.e. if it says height/spread is 6ft, that doesn't mean it'll stick out say 3ft from the fence?
  • K67K67 Posts: 2,507
    Sorry bit late to reply but clematis can be kept quite close to a trellis as long as you get one that doesn't grow 20ft in a season. I find the 6 to 8ft varieties are well behaved if you tie them back early on. Anything wayward you can cut out. They do take a couple of seasons to look their best though.
    Group 3 are late flowering and don't get clematis wilt.
    I had a lovely purple viticella in another house it spread over 8ft wide but didn't really stick out more than 18ins to 2ft
  • If the fence is east facing your side of the fence will be in the shade for the second part of the day.  What you choose to grow up it will do its best to grow through to the opposite side.

  • Hmm good point! Didn't cross my mind. Not sure what to do. Will it likely take over the other side of fence? (Thinking if it is a group 3 clematis, I'm not going to be able cut it away very easily every year!) better to grow something in pots, but was looking to grow something taller! 
  • What about climbing roses? Lots of varieties to choose from, looks beautiful and can be very fragrant too? 
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