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Climbers for supports either side of steps - clematis napaulensis?

I hope I'm not making a pest of myself by posting so many questions in such a short space of time, I promise I am actually doing a lot of research by myself before posting these questions!

Our rectangular garden is 5m wide by 20m.  The long sides of the garden face north and south respectively.  Halfway up the garden, in the middle, are a couple of steps up to the next level of the lawn.  I thought it would be nice to plant climbers either side of the steps, supported by wire columns.

I spotted a variety of clematis called napaulensis.  I think it's so pretty and love the fact that it flowers in winter.  I thought (hoped) it might be successfully combined with another deciduous, summer/spring flowering climber.

Given the dimensions of the garden and positions of the steps, is this at all realistic?  I'm unsure as to whether this spot counts as 'exposed' - although it's in the middle of the garden and not sheltered by a fence, the fences are only two metres away from either side of the steps.Before I came across the napaulensis, I was thinking of something evergreen and flowering, but I'm quite happy to combine two different plants in order to get year-round foliage and perhaps even year-round flowers.Thank you in advance.



  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,855

    I've not come across napaulensis, but it's very pretty ( just google imaged it ). You could combine it with one of the texensis hybrids like Princess Diana, which is a beautiful pink bell shaped flower. The texensis hybrids can be cut to the ground in early spring so the don't get all old and woody, as space is limited.

  • artjakartjak Posts: 4,167

    I've just googled it; am I right in thinking that you live in Surrey? I would think that you may be ok with it there; it is so pretty, but out here in the Fens it would not survive the winter winds. I would suggest that if you have a very harsh winter to wrap it in fleece, but only when it is very cold, and whip the fleece off the moment it gets warm, so it does not attract mould.

    Would love to see photos of it in flower in your gardenimage

  • Hmmm.  I have doubts about both my memory and ability when it comes to guarding it against too-cold weather.  I'm not sure I can guarantee its safety in my hands!  Lol. 

    When choosing a plant for this spot, do you think I should consider it exposed, or is it still relatively sheltered?


    ETA:  Yes, I am in Surrey, just outside of Wimbledon.

  • artjakartjak Posts: 4,167

    Pariate, it is hard to tell whether your garden is exposed without seeing a photo, but generally I would think that Wimbledon is going to benefit from the 'kiln' effect of being on the outskirts of London and surrounding buildings will stop harsh winds. Where I am it is very rural, flat and the winds come whistling along without much to stop them. I would risk this plant, after all I have a Campsis growing happily along my fence for the last 8/9 years or so; I only learnt last year that this should only be grown in very sheltered spots or in a green house.image

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