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Climbers Complete Shade

We have a compact back garden and I would love to grow a climber up the side of our house.  It's in full shade and the soil is poor quality clay.  Would ideally like something that looks good all year round if possible (perhaps this is asking too much) 

What would you suggest?   

Posts

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 41,327
    The climbing Hydrangea - petiolaris, is excellent for a shady wall, with white, flat heads of flowers, but it gets enormous, so unless you have a big enough wall, it wouldn't be the best choice. It isn't evergreen, but it's a stunning plant. There's an evergreen variety of it though - seemannii, but it isn't hardy like the standard petiolaris, so may not be suitable.  
    Parthenocissus are also excellent, with beautiful autumn colour. P. Quinquefolia [Virginia creeper] is particularly nice. P. tricuspidata [Boston Ivy] has much larger foliage. Both become big too. 
    There are loads of clematis which will grow in shady aspects. If you take a look on the specialist sites like Taylor's Clematis, Thorncroft and Hawthornes, you can use their filters to choose one suitable for the space you have.
    Very few things suitable for that aspect are evergreen apart from ivy though. 

    Clay is ideal for many of those, but you will need to feed/improve it if it's poor quality. Most clay soil is actually excellent for plants, as long as the structure is improved with lots of organic matter to improve drainage, and prevent waterlogging in wet winter and cracking in summer.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 4,115
    I would try Trachelospermum jasminoides (takes more shade than is usually given credit). It likes well drained soil so if you can improve the soil by working in plenty of organic matter, and perhaps create a bit of a raised bed to improve drainage around the roots.
  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 7,057
    Honeysuckle
  • Robert WestRobert West Posts: 93
    Virginia creeper or Boston Ivy if you want something that will grow quick. They lose their leaves in winter though. Clematis Montana is another option. I've heard they grow well in shade. 
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 41,327
    I personally wouldn't put honeysuckle on a wall as their habit doesn't lend themselves to wall/trellis training. More suited to scrambling over structures.
    The jasmines aren't winter hardy everywhere, so check your climate first if thinking of that.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • IHateWeedingIHateWeeding Posts: 41
    Thanks all, in terms of improving soil, how deep down do I need to go, the soil seems very poor to me.
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,556
    For something that looks good all year, I think Euonymus Fortunei is a good candidate. Evergreen, self clinging and can do fine in poor soil as well as clay based soil. It is easily controlled, often quite slow growing and not likely to smother all the wall.

    If you can, dig down to at least two spade's depth and dig in compost or rotted manure.
  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 4,115
    Creating a bit of a raised bed with good quality soil will help too.
  • ElferElfer Posts: 329
    For something that looks good all year, I think Euonymus Fortunei is a good candidate. Evergreen, self clinging and can do fine in poor soil as well as clay based soil. It is easily controlled, often quite slow growing and not likely to smother all the wall.

    If you can, dig down to at least two spade's depth and dig in compost or rotted manure.
    That's what I have on my North facing fence with no sun with poor chalky soil, it was planted 3 yrs ago.

     



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