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Obelisk for part shade

jennyfleurjennyfleur Leeds, Yorkshire Posts: 35
I have a fairly short obelisk that I’m thinking of placing in a border partly in shade and was thinking of that classic combination of rose and clematis. Any suggestions for a winning combination? 😊


  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,313
    What do you mean by 'short'?
    Unless it's huge, I think having two plants on it will be very difficult. 
    Plenty of small clematis, and no doubt roses too, which will be fine on something of four or five feet. Anything smaller will be difficult.
    Some of the smaller roses can be used like a climber, but I don't grow roses - someone else will be able to advise on those.  :)
    The amount of shade the plants will also depend on what's creating it, and then it's a question of picking a suitable plant. Many clematis are fine. Fences/walls/trees, or just times of day for the shade?
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • jennyfleurjennyfleur Leeds, Yorkshire Posts: 35
    hi @Fairygirl thank you for your reply 😊 It’s just under five foot. The shade is cast by the aspect and a large boundary hedge, but the border does get some sun during the the day in the summer months. I currently have Siberian iris, epimediums, astrantia, aconitum, white foxgloves, achemilla mollis, ferns, and spring flowering bulbs - which all do OK. I’m wanting to inject some height and interest from mid summer onwards. 
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,313
    I think that would be tricky. While many clematis are perfectly happy in shady spots [many actually do better] the ones which would suit the size are earlier ones.
    Some of the summer to autumn ones might be ok but you'd have to be very vigilant, and tie them in all the time to keep them in the space. 
    Perhaps you could some additional support for them to spread? 

    If the surrounding planting can support them a bit, stems will just scramble through them. It's how they grow in nature anyway, although shrubs and trees are better, for obvious reasons . You may find that unsuitable though, as the perennials will get pulled over. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 9,630
    How about growing climbing annuals up it, either grown from seed or plug plants ? That way you can ring the changes
  • GardenerSuzeGardenerSuze South NottsPosts: 1,180
    I tried a 5ft  metal obelisk under a tree in an east facing border. It seemed like a good idea to give some height in the summer months but just looked wrong. This year I have some hazel poles and I will try again. I don't think it is absolutely necessary to grow something on an obelisk it can do the job of giving height which is the main thing. The plant that does well in late summer in this border is Solidago' Fireworks' which has lovely leaves but I am unaware of a climber? Plants that do well under trees are spring flowering whilst there is light, as the canopy of leaves develop there are few things that will flower .I think my idea did not work because it was simply out of place and unnatural.
  • GardenerSuzeGardenerSuze South NottsPosts: 1,180
    Thankyou @Malorena I love C Rooguchi .
    @Fairygirl This might be my chance to grow a clematis at last. The soil in this part of the garden is fairly deep and improved.
    Do herbaceous clematis need the same deep root run to do well?
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,313
    Don't think so @GardenerSuze. It's only the larger flowered ones that benefit from planting deeply, but you could check with Taylors or Thorncroft etc
    The smaller, early ones are the opposite - you have to be careful they aren't buried. They're a bit different in their requirements - don't need much attention at all, and happy in drier conditions too.  :)

    @jennyfleur - the access for pruning will be a factor. Trickier if you have to get in among other plants, so bear that in mind with your positioning, and make sure the obelisk is well secured too. Climbers can be hefty once they're in full flow    :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • GardenerSuzeGardenerSuze South NottsPosts: 1,180
    Has anyone tried Jasminum Fiona Sunrise in a shadier spot please?
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