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Climbing plant for outbuilding

Hello. I am clueless when it comes to plants so thought this is the best place to ask this question. I am after a climbing plant to go on an outbuilding to soften it up. It needs to fulfill the following requirements:

1. Be evergreen for great coverage all year round
2. Flower (dont mind when but perhaps a nice colour as the building is white)
3. Be grown from a pot/trough as the patio round the building is currently slabbed
4 Be suitable for a NW facing garden so will be in shade for most of the day (outbuilding also has an overhang on the roof)
5. Easy (ish) to maintain. 

Thank you in advance!


  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 48,889
    Virtually impossible.
    The pot is the biggest problem - it would have to be a massive one. 
    Shade is the next problem as it rules out some of the evergreen clematis and jasmine which need more light/sun. 
    Overhanging roof- so watering would be an issue. 
    Ivy is about the only one I can think of. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • I could remove a couple of slabs, how deep would the trench for the plant need to be and would this open up more possibilities? I am happy to water daily if required also.  The roof overhangs about 700mm so I do think rain would get in, but extra water definitely needed...thanks
  • edhelkaedhelka GwyneddPosts: 2,267
    You say it is NW facing and shade most of the day - how bad is it? No sun? Two hours? Three?
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,543
    700mm is over 2' in old money so definitely a rain shadow which will make your plant very thirsty.

    The length, width and depth needed will depend on the chosen plant and also what is under the slabs.   If it's concrete and hardcore to any depth you'll need a bigger hole than if it's soil because the roots will need room to spread and get the nutrients they need.  Roses and clematis are very hungry, thirsty plants but an evergreen honeysuckle may be an option.  Bodmin nursery (online) has this one - Lonicera ligustrina var. pileata 'Loughall Evergreen' 

    How big is the outbuilding and what material is it?   Climbers need something to cling to so, unless you go a self-clinger like ivy you need a way of fixing tensioned wires or trellis panels upon which your plant can climb.  The other alternative is a wall shrub such as pyracantha which is evergreen, has white blossom in spring and then bright red or orange or yellow berries in autumn - an excellent plant for pollinators as well as birds and provides shelter for all sorts of small insects and critters and birds.  As it is woody, it will need less support than climbers such as clematis or rambling roses or honeysuckle.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Thank you for the responses! 

    Edhelka - 3-4 hours a day at best I would say.

    Obelixx - The building is fairly large, 12m across and 4m high and rendered off white. I would fix trellis to it. 

    I visions of   a beautiful evergreen with lovely blue or purple flowers climbing up the bland white building but I fear I may be disappointed! Although the honeysuckle does look very pretty, thank you for that suggestion. 

  • Maybe one of the potato vines might meet your requirements. I have one of the versions with a white flower that I got as a present that is growing fine in a fairly shady spot so I'm not sure they really need full sun like the RHS pages say but as I said I'm just growing the white flowered one.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 48,889
    If you lift the paving, you need to make sure you prep the ground well, as it'll be lousy.
    The overhang is a definite problem , so don't underestimate that.
    Rather than being hung up on an evergreen, you could plant several climbers along there - hundreds of clematis would grow there, and you give flowers at different times of year.
    There's also an evergreen climbing hydrangea I think, but it may depend on your local climate as to how it does - I don't know whereabouts you are in the country. That's the biggest consideration when choosing any plant. What grows further south for example, may not grow here, and vice versa, so check the hardiness of plants, and what they like in terms of care/conditions.
    For example - people here are always recommending the evergreen white jasmine - which wouldn't survive for five minutes where I am.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • I have started training a pyracantha to cover the back of my garage wall, it looks great at the moment and the flowers in summer are lovely too. I would recommend this as a sturdy option. I have lifted pavers and made a bed for it with plenty organic matter, and seems to be coping well!
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 48,889
    Yes - Pyracantha will grow almost anywhere with little attention. You'll get less flowering/fruiting in shadier spots, but it will still perform.  :)

    I used to have one which really never saw daylight at all, tucked in at the corner of the house, facing N. East. Used to have the blackbirds and thrushes on the doorstep eating the berries every year. Lovely  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

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