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Rambling Rector / Montana - Yay or Nay? Operation Leylandii smothering...

I want to plant a vigorous climber to cover the fence and the unsightly leylandii stumps you can see in the picture.  The hedge is about 3.7m tall.

I'm considering a rambling rector or a clematis montana.  I want it to spread ASAP and cover as much as possible.

Assume neighbor is fine for these purposes - I will be discussing!

Is there any reason not to use either of these two plants?  Any alternatives?  I'm very impatient and am hoping to get good coverage fairly immediately this year.  I don't mind deciduous for parts of the year and will spend a bit more on something semi-mature. 

Wires will be up - I presume those will be needed?

Any thoughts much appreciated!


  • K67K67 Posts: 2,507
    edited February 2021
    Why do you need to block them out as they look to be slightly below your fence as perhaps not visible from your garden or do you live upstairs?
    I assume the fence isnt  yours if you have to consult your neighbours.
    Maybe trellis panels on top of the fence and there are several group 3 clematis, clematis terniflora or one called Summer Snow  which will cover 16ft  in a season then cut back down in spring.
    Montana isn't really suitable for fences.
  • Hi K67 - as per original message, I can see them and want to cover them, and will sort anything out with the neighbours!

    I'll take a look at those, thank you. 

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 30,010
    I agree, Montana will swamp a fence and it also has a very short flowering season and so will Rambling Rector.   

    Is the fence yours or your neighbour's?

    If it is yours you can grow things up it without asking but if it is your neighbour's I would buy some 3m tall fence posts and install them just inside that fence and then stretch tensioned wires on vine eyes between them at 30 cm intervals up to the top.  You can then grow a summer flowering, group 3 clematis such as Huldine - 7 to 10 metres in a season when happy and mature - or maybe something like Etoile Violette which will do 4m very easily every year and can be contrasted with something like a repeat flowering rambling rose such as Malvern Hills, Snowgoose or Lady of the Lake depending on colour preference.

    The group 3 clematis get cut back every March, fed and then need tying in again to spread their shoots for maximum coverage and flowering.  Lots of colours and flower forms available.   They just need a very well prepared planting site, a generous annual spring feed, watering thru dry spells and a bit of help to grow in the right direction but they won't pull down your fence like a montana can when they get top heavy.
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Thanks Obelixx, very helpful.  Are your suggestions hardy enough to survive northern winters?

    Neighborly relations aren't an issue nor is fence ownership - fear not. 
  • B3B3 Posts: 27,315
    Rambling Rector will smother anything eventually. Once mature, it  should be called Rampant Rector! Apart from, when it's in flower, it's pretty boring. I think it produces red hips, but mine never did as I battled to hack it under control. I won. RR is no more.😊
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 30,010
    Yes @Paul165.  Etoile Violette, Huldine and loads of other group 3 clems did well in my last garden which was in central Belgium and -20C was a regular feature in winter and sometimes worse.  Use this website to search group 3 clematis for colours and forms that please as well as check size for eventual spread then go to one of the commercial sites such as Hawthorne's, Taylors, Thorneycroft to source them.

    The roses I mention are all bred by David Austin so you can ask them about hardiness but I imagine they'd be OK.   Malvern Hills didn't enjoy an easterly aspect in that Belgian garden but many other DA roses did well in other spots in that garden.   I have a new MH here and it's doing well, enjoying milder winters.
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • madpenguinmadpenguin Posts: 2,536
    Clematis 'Polish Spirit' would be a good one there.
    “Every day is ordinary, until it isn't.” - Bernard Cornwell-Death of Kings
  • Too purple!  Anything white or lgiht yellow/blue?
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 30,010
    Huldine is pearly white with lilac bars on the back.

    Have a look at this website which allows a search on colour, group (viticella is best for you) and size.  If you want yellow you also need to look at Tangutika but Malvern Hills is a yellow rose so maybe get yellow that way.

    Whittle them down to what you fancy and then look on the specialist clematis nursery websites to see who has what - Hawthorne's, Taylors, Thorncroft etc - or go to your local garden centre for the more common ones.
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • FireFire Posts: 18,963
    edited February 2021
    Can you cut the dead bits of the hedge lower so you don't have to see it (with neighbour's permission)? It would seem easier than trying to cover it.
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