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Obelisk plant recommendations?

Hi, Can anyone suggest a plant suitable for a metal 6ft Obelisk that will be in a clay soil border in partial shade please?  I've looked at roses but most of them grow too high and I've not had much luck with Clematis.  Many thanks.


  • FireFire Posts: 17,374
    The RHS have a list here of climbers that do well in partial shade. The heights are given.

  • PlantmindedPlantminded Posts: 2,781
    edited December 2021
    Hello @Acuwell, I have a similar sized obelisk in my garden and have grown this climbing rose successfully: Warm Welcome | Climbing Rose | David Austin Roses

    It is a miniature climbing rose with small bright orange flowers and easily controlled.  It will tolerate partial shade and I would add extra organic material to your clay soil such as compost, leaf mould or soil conditioner.  It really shines out in the border as the orange is quite vibrant!  (Mine still has two dormant flower buds on it in December!)

    Alternatively you could consider any honeysuckle (lonicera).
    Wirral. Sandy, free draining soil.

  • KeenOnGreenKeenOnGreen Posts: 1,819
    We have a variegated Ivy (Goldheart), trained up a 6ft obelisk in clay soil. It gets quite a bit of sun, but Ivy can cope with shade.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 53,986
    If you pick the right clematis, and get the drainage right, there are plenty which would be suitable.
    The alpinas and some of the macropetalas will be fine in clay [it's what I have] but those like good drainage, so if you can improve the soil, they'll be ideal. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Thanks for all the great advice!  I've been looking at roses (especially DA Warm Welcome but it is best in full sun and my border is clay AND partial shade) and also at Honeysuckle and quite fancy a Honeysuckle for ease but they all seem to grow to 4m or more!  Would this be easy to control to suit a 2 m Obelisk (conical shape)?  Or are there some I haven't found that only grow to 2m or thereabouts?  Many thanks again.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 53,986
    I wouldn't be looking at honeysuckle for an obelisk, although there are one or two smaller ones. They're best suited to scrambling over sheds/buildings or growing through hedges etc. 
    Partial shade can mean several things - it can mean the site gets shade for part of the day, or it can mean it has the sun filtered a bit by other planting - trees and shrubs usually. It often gets called dappled shade in the latter example. Many plants that like full sun will also do perfectly well in partial shade   :)
    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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