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Slender evergreen climber for fence?

queenjanaqueenjana Posts: 12
Hi :)
I have an area of fence behind a fuschia and small camellia which looks very bare throughout spring while the fuschia grows back (see pic). I'd like to plant either an evergreen climber or one with early season interest to make it look a bit nicer.

I like the look of clematis apple blossom but having not seen one in real life I'm a bit nervous of the size, and I'm not sure how bushy it gets - I'm happy for it to roam horizontally across the whole fence if it's slender and controllable, but there isn't space for a very bushy climber behind the existing shrubs. So I need something fairly slender that doesn't take up too much space outside of the fence...

The fence is northwest facing and gets a few hours of sun in the afternoon. The soil is acid clay. 

What do you all think? Is clematis apple blossom a good choice? Or do you have any other ideas?

 
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  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,790
    Armandiis get very big - it would cover that entire fence and more.
    Better to choose one of many alpinas or macropetalas which will be fine in a smaller space like that. They're happy in that aspect and like a drier spot, so the competition from the other plants will suit. Not evergreen, but  the foliage and flowers are early, and many have very attractive seedheads. You may get a smaller, later flush of flowers too.
    Take a look at Taylors Clematis for ideas. 

    There are some smaller evergreen varieties, but most need a sunny sheltered site, so it will also depend where you are in the country. Probably not sunny enough for most of those anyway. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....



    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 11,287
    I had a bare fence panel and decided to grow a dwarf thornless blackberry on it (Waldo).
    It's well behaved, evergreen, very productive with huge berries and different :)
    I may well plant another on the adjacent panel later this year when the runners are done

    It's covered in white flowers in the spring too




    Billericay - Essex

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • PianoplayerPianoplayer Posts: 624
    edited July 2021
    Gosh @Pete.8 that's a good idea! Does it need training/supporting or does it find its own support?

    (Sorry for hijacking the thread!)
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 11,287
    Much like summer raspberries @Pianoplayer - Waldo fruits on the previous years growth, so I've got a mix of 4 or 5 stems from last year and 4-5 new stems too.
    Soon as I've picked the berries I cut out the old stems and train in the new ones.
    I get huge yields from a small bush with excellent flavour
    Some of the leaves turn in autumn, but most remain green

    I was considering Reuben (also small and thornless) for the other panel as that's a primocane variety - so like autumn raspberries the canes are all cut to the ground in winter and the new canes grow and fruit the following year - the fruits ripen a bit later than Waldo too

    I've got 3 'gripple' wires between the fence posts for support


    Billericay - Essex

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • queenjanaqueenjana Posts: 12
    Thank you Fairygirl, Fire and Pete.8 for your suggestions - helpful to think outside the box a bit! The other Clematis varieties would definitely work but I must admit I rather like the Blackberry idea for this space - I don't grow any fruit so this sounds pretty fun! Still open if anyone else has other ideas :)
  • bertrand-mabelbertrand-mabel Posts: 2,654
    Clematis armandii is good in this type of area and it does allow for pruning so you can keep it to the height and width you want.
    A great plant.
  • queenjanaqueenjana Posts: 12
    Pete.8 said:
    Much like summer raspberries @Pianoplayer - Waldo fruits on the previous years growth, so I've got a mix of 4 or 5 stems from last year and 4-5 new stems too.
    Soon as I've picked the berries I cut out the old stems and train in the new ones.
    I get huge yields from a small bush with excellent flavour
    Some of the leaves turn in autumn, but most remain green

    I was considering Reuben (also small and thornless) for the other panel as that's a primocane variety - so like autumn raspberries the canes are all cut to the ground in winter and the new canes grow and fruit the following year - the fruits ripen a bit later than Waldo too

    I've got 3 'gripple' wires between the fence posts for support

    I'm nearly sold on this idea Pete.8!
    How much sun does your Blackberry get? Mine will be in part shade and I'm reading that full sun produces the best quality flavour...
    Also do you feed with anything in particular or just an all rounder?

    Thanks!
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 11,287
    Mine is on a west-facing fence, so it gets sun (whatever that is!) from about noon onward.
    In spring I give it a handful of blood, fish and bone around the root area and a mulch of compost.
    About once a month I give it a feed of seaweed extract and that's it.
    After all - it's only a cultivated bramble, so they're tough as old boots.

    The route I walk with my dog always includes a big field surrounded by brambles on all sides.
    I used to pick them there and found the south and west-facing bushes were the most productive, but not hugely so compared with those north or east facing and I couldn't detect much difference in flavour.
    The taste of Waldo is better than most of those I picked in the field and the picking process is a lot less painful!

    Billericay - Essex

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • queenjanaqueenjana Posts: 12
    That’s great thanks so much for taking the time to reply! I think I will get me a Waldo :)
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