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Possible location for a rambling rose? Clematis perhaps?

At the far end of our garden on our side of a fence is a row of what I think might be Aucuba japonica, commonly called spotted laurel or Japanese laurels I think. The space they take up is approximately 30ft wide, 8ft high and about 5 or 6ft deep. They have been grown to form a hedge and to provide us with some privacy from the neighbouring properties. I don't want to loose them as they do provide the privacy that we would like, but I have to be honest in saying that I don't particularly like the look of them. The pictures are taken facing SE so they do receive quite a bit of sunshine once the sun rises above neighbouring houses in the morning.

My question is would it be possible to climb another plant through these shrubs? A clematis maybe, a rambling rose perhaps, something that flowers and gives me more interest during the summer months? If it was possible to ramble another plant through the hedge how does anybody think it might look? Would it look a mess? I haven't managed to find any internet images of anything similar to get any ideas?

Is this the right location for the rambling rose that I would love to grow? Any suggestions gratefully received.


  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 18,340
    You have to keep the laurels trimmed. Having another plant weaving its way through the branches would make the trimming job a nightmare.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • If you are staying with this garden for the next unforeseen time. You could,
    1. Cut back to the bare essential stem that gives height. But that will leave chopped off roots to show and still take up room in the ground. So nothing would grow close. 
    2. Bite the bullet and remove it all and start again with all the plants you like. It may take a few years to get privacy again. 
    3. Live with it and put a few pots of bright flowers in there to cheer it up. Big pots would support roses, shrub type need watering and feeding through summer. 
    4. there seems to be a good bed in front of the path that could be filled with tall flowering plants. Or a trellis covered with rambler roses to screen the hedge
    It all depends on effort and money and how much you hate it. Valerie
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 25,361
    You could install an arch over the entrance to that wee path and grow a rose or clematis up and over that.  That would give you a vertical feature with colour and you can improve the ground with plenty of well-rotted garden compost and/or manure before planting and without disturbing otherwise healthy shrubs.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw

  • Something like that? Either posts and wires (as shown) or trellis panels along the paths and then grow roses/clematis/whatever-you-fancy across that to brighten it up.

    Its meant to all be behind the trees but that would have been too awkward to draw!
  • Thank you all for your suggestions.

    Fair point on the laurel pruning @pansyface i will need to find another location for a rose / clematis.

    @valerieroberts - This house and garden is a keeper. We have found our forever house i think! All being well we will be here for a long time. I'm sure i will make many mistakes in the garden along the way, but its all a part of the process i guess.

    On balance i will probably leave them where they are for the time being as they do provide ample privacy and are just a back drop for anything else growing in front of them. A good excuse to buy / grow something else in the border in front!

    @Obelixx - An arch somewhere down there might just do it, it would certainly brighten the bottom end of the garden up. I made an arch last year and Installed it about half way down the garden, It has two roses growing that are still fairly small. Hopefully this year they take off. It might help to tie in the bottom and the middle section of garden if i made another arch.
  • Thanks @Mr. Vine Eye something i had not considered, but that kind of separate structure would look great. Decisions, decisions!
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 25,361
    Nothing to stop you doing the post and trellis/wires at the back of those two beds and an arch to join the beds at the front.  Then you can keep the hedge which provides shelter and privacy and still get to it for pruning.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
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