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Beginner requesting climber advice

Hello! I’m extremely new to gardening, but it’s something I want to explore. I have a small/medium paved back yard which is covered in artificial grass and is mainly for the children to play in.

I have high fences either side, a south facing wall that gets direct sunlight for most of the day and a north facing wall which I don’t think the sun ever reaches. Without wanting to take up much of the valuable floor space I was considering buying some handmade rectangular planters for along the south facing wall and grow clematis/jasmine/honeysuckle up the fence using wire or perhaps trellis. The wall has a draining panel running alongside it which I thought would be helpful.

I’ve seen a planter for sale for £85 for 170cm length (I don’t know if that’s good value or not or even suitable).

On the north facing fence I was considering some kind of ivy or Virginia creeper, I wondered if there was a way to start these off from hanging baskets or something off the ground, this might be a ridiculous idea though.

I’m not interested in growing produce, just aesthetically pleasing flowers/plants really. Everything in there is artificial at the moment. I’d welcome any advice, suggestions unrelated to my ideas also welcome! Please see attached photos. (Excuse the mess) Thank you!


  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,029
    Hi @saralee0845. I'd forget Virginia creeper - not a plant for your space or for a trough, I'm afraid, and neither is honeysuckle, although you might get away with it in deep, big container. Jasmine isn't always reliably hardy, so it depends where you are in the country for growing that  :)
    However, That trough seems hideously expensive to me! They aren't difficult to make from decent fencing timber or decking, if you're able to do that yourself.
    Annuals would be ok in that - it isn't really deep enough for a decent climber to thrive. It would be better to be about twice that depth, and then you'd be able to grow more - like clematis for example. Plenty that would suit.  :)
    You're a bit late for growing annuals yourself from seed, but you'd probably still get some sweet peas if you take a look in GCs - if there are some near you, and then you can do them yourself for next year  :)
    There are others you can grow from seed too, and you'll get advice later on about those if you go down that route.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Hi @Fairygirl, thanks very much for your helpful response. I can definitely have a look around for a deeper and cheaper trough then! Unfortunately I’m not very handy in that department. I’m in Devon so typically quite mild compared to places further north. What would you suggest I do on the N facing wall? Ivy? Thanks again
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,029
    Lots of clematis are very happy in shadier sites.
    Take a look on these specialist sites for info - we often recommend them here  :)
    Taylor's Clematis, Thorncroft and Hawthornes. Richard, who runs Hawthornes, often posts on the forum too, and can offer advice if he's around   :)
    Ivies will certainly be fine in the shade. Pick some of the nicer, variegated varieties - not the bog standard ones. I have one called Hedera helix Glacier, which is cream and green, and H. colchica Sulphur heart is also good - bright yellowy centres, as the name suggests.
    They self cling, so you'll need to be sure of the fences - a wall is fine. 
    Clems will need some support - either free standing trellis, or wires and vine eyes on the fence. Again - they'd need support on the wall. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • FlyDragonFlyDragon Posts: 834
    The perennial sweet pea might be an option?
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,029
    Good shout @FlyDragon:)
    That could work well. 
    Remember there are also things like Nasturtiums for the future - many of those will 'climb' , and are easy from seed. They're also good in containers - and perfect for your little ones to do too  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
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