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Garden arches planting - help needed

Hi all.

help help!!  i have just put in 2 garden arches in the front garden over the path to the front door.  Got them next to each other with about 2ft between them.  they are the cheap metal ladder type - easy to move and not terribly strong.  thought of creating a nice entrance to the house, and great outlook onto the green and trees we face.

but what to plant them up with?  dont fancy roses, the thorns... besides putting a climbing rose on the wall of house by the doorway. 

Like the idea of 4 different plants that compliment each other in terms of colour, would be fantastic to have 4 plants providing 4 seasons of interest.  now that would be great!  

worried about clemantis as they need cutting back each year, and i would end up with bare stark archways for half the year - poo idea.

who has any thoughts or suggestions to share?  i understand i could pland up 2 or more plants in one point, providing double interest...  but which?!!




  • LeadFarmerLeadFarmer Posts: 1,464

    Are your arches in sun most of the day?

    How about Jasmine for winter flowering, Honeysuckle for fragrance, clematis for colour?

  • hi LeadFarmer,  they will get sun for all morning, and most of afternoon in full summer, they face North/South and sun will be over the house after midday.

    honeysuckle is not my fav - never managed to get it to do anything other than produce one single flower!

    so can i plant a jasmin and clematis togther on one leg do you think?

    Any suggestion of kind of jasmin that is hardy.  i still cannot believe i lost my daisy bushes this winter - and it was so mild!

  • LilylouiseLilylouise Posts: 1,013

    I have Clematis on both our arches. By the front gate - Comtesse de Bouchard and in the back garden Etoile violette. Trachelospermum is evergreen with a gorgeous perfume but it may be too strong a grower for your arches.Clematis armandii is also evergreen but too rampant.If you didn't mind bare arches in winter Morning Glory and Cobaea scandens are wonderful for covering an arch.

    Comtesse de Bouchard

     Etoile violette

     Pam x

  • figratfigrat Posts: 1,619
    Akebia is an unusual and very pretty climber. If we ask lilylouise very nicely, she might post a picture, now she has the knowledge.
  • LilylouiseLilylouise Posts: 1,013

    Here we go figrat image Good choice by the way image

  • HyppyBykerHyppyByker Posts: 146

    That's lovely lily louise - any more details on siting preferences?  I have a new arch in the back - quite exposed.  Is it swented and does wildlife like it?

  • Green MagpieGreen Magpie Posts: 806

    We have a jasmine that is supposed to be growing up an arch but it's very slow growing, and also suffers from sooty mould due to scale insects.

    Clematis is good for combining with other, slower-growing plants. The fast-growing ones like Montana and Armandii don't need much cutting back but might get a bit out of hand as they are very vigorous. Of the others, the Viticella and Jackmanii varieties are very hardy and quite profuse once they get going. They do need cutting back in early spring, so they're not there all year round.

    Passion flowers climb well nad stay green all year round (with luck).

    Perennial sweet peas are another option but the vanish completely in the winter. You could also grow annual climbers like nasturtiums or thunbergia (Black eyed Susan) to add a bit of summer colour.

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,856

    These arches aren't going to be able to hold much weight, especially when teh wind is blowing so I would advise some of the less vigorous group 1 clematis which flower in early spring and do not need pruning except to keep them in bounds.  I'm thinking of the alpinas - definitely not the montanas - and the Atragenes like Purple Spider, Frances Rivis and Brunette.   These are not evergreen so would still be on teh arches in winter but looking a bit twiggy and dead till the new shoots form in spring.

    The other alternative are the less vigorous group 3s which get pruned back to the lowest buds or even to the ground every spring so would leave the arches bare in winter but you could always cut the growth down at the end of autumn and wind some small white fairy lights round the arches for winter.   Have a look at Alba Luxurians, Betty Corning (scented), Cassis, Etoile Rose, Hagley Hybrid, Mme Julia Correvon and so on.  

    This web site lets you serach for info on clematis by name, size, pruning group etc - 

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • LilylouiseLilylouise Posts: 1,013

    I think Akebias are quite robust plants - ours is on the fence by a gate which is north facing and it gets pruned regularly  to keep it in it's place so over an arch it would have more space .My son gave it to me a few years ago instead of an Easter egg - it is also called the chocolate vine and is supposed to smell of chocolate image

    Last year I bought Akebia 'Cream Form' - it has had a few flowers this year - much smaller than the other one but very beautiful image

    Pam x

  • HyppyBykerHyppyByker Posts: 146

    Thanx Pam - I'll look into those image

    And all of Obelixx's suggestions for clematis - I'm with Trish for worrying about the arch looking bare but I got a group 2 and a group 1 from GW last year (so still only small this year) and I can hardly believe the growth rate on the one I chopped to the soil in March!

    So I reckon I'll plant it up the arch and leave the seed heads on and hope for some frosts to pretty it up with maybe the Akebia on the other side image

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