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Suggestions re a suitable creeping plant

The front of my farmhouse is a tad bland in its finish i.e. plain painted ( buff ) render.

All other aspects are a delightful, creamy local stone with much ivy covering.  I wish to introduce a similar type of creeper to the north west facing front and have been given three lovely old oaken planting boxes with galvanised liners each about fourteen inches square.  Ideally I would like to find a creeper that provides good leaf coverage all year round and if this creeper could also be pretty and colourful then so much the better. Suggestions are most welcome, also on the suitability of the above mentioned planters.      Obviously I will fix supporting wires to bear the creeper.





  • LynLyn Posts: 23,090

    To be honest, I dont think that 14 inch planters are not big enough for a creeper to go all over your wall.

    As the plant will be constantly in the shade, you may be a bit restricted.  I like Virginia Creeper for a farm house, grows anywhere, but it will need to be in the ground.

    Same with a climbing hydrangea.  Why not put the creeper in the ground and use the planters for some nice flowres either side of the door.

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,358

    Patsy - in short - no. Lyn's right - Virginia Creeper or Boston Ivy  (similar plants) look great in these situations but they need to be in the ground. The Hydrangea petiolaris as well. If you want to use a container, or have no choice but to use one, I'd make a big raised bed instead - at least 4x2 feet and a decent height  - 1 and a half/ 2 feet at least to give it a fighting chance. The montana would do well enough in that I think. 

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Actually, the wall is more Westerly facing than North and does get sunshine from around early afternoon until sunset.   I'd be loth to not use the planters for sentimental reasons, and certainly cannot dig beds for the creepers for reasons too complex to explain ( but mainly related to footings and foundations ). I could, though, use the oak planters elsewhere and make some larger ones instead.  If I did construct substantially bigger planters for whatever creeper was finally agreed upon, what size would be adequate to give the creeper a fighting chance ?

    Also, now it is established that only planters may be used, are there creepers deemed more suitable ?

  • Clematis Cirrhosa Landsdown Gem.

    Many thanks for your kind suggestions in the above posts.  It may, perhaps,  have been unhelpful of me to (a) refer to what I want as being " creepers " when in fact it is climbers that I require ; also (b) I live in England where the climate is possibly significantly different to those of you who may live abroad.

    However, having said that, the above new strain of clematis has been suggested as being perfect for my requirements i.e. that it is evergreen, can live in properly sized planters and can cope with being located on a wall facing West North West.  Has anybody got any experience of this climber ?

    If I seem to be unduly concerned about getting the correct plant for the job, I can only say that my house was built in 1469 and I want to get things right for whoever owns it in five hundred years time !

    Cheers !

  • SalinoSalino Posts: 1,609

    ..I grew a Clematis Cirrhosa 'balearica' when in Cornwall... it flowers during the winter... I think they need a sheltered spot and might not be successful in containers which are likely to get frozen... but if it's what you want then go for it I would say... gardening is all about experimenting I think...

  • Hello Salino,

    You are very kind to have responded with so much detail.  

    The trouble with " experimenting " as per your suggestion, is that I am an old man in not the best of health ; this means that time is not on my side.   I've planted many more native English trees within my parkland and have also made dramatic improvements to my lake and riverside frontage, but I also want to leave something adding extra attractiveness to the house.  Given the difficulties imposed by having to use planters, perhaps my idea of introducing climbers to one aspect of the house is not such a good one ?

    On the other hand, is it feasible to take measures to limit frost/freezing damage you referred to ? Or is it the whole plant that may be affected and not just the roots contained within the planters ?

  • SwissSueSwissSue Posts: 1,447

    Hi Steve, have a look at this Taylor's Clematis page, it seems that this clematis should be no problem in a container, but you would have to put some kind of trellis on the wall for it to cling to. You could also contact them and as for more advice.


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,014

    I concur with SwissSue - Taylors are a great company and very helpful - I'm sure they'll give great advice image

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • It does seem that the firm you mentioned, SwissSue ( i.e ) Taylor's Clematis must be the solution to my problems.   Clearly they are likely to have all of the answers to my questions.

    Many thanks,


  • SalinoSalino Posts: 1,609

    Hello Mr Brown,   I'm sorry to hear you are not in the best of health, I think a number of us here are also getting on a bit, so to speak... however, as I understand it, this Clematis variety wouldn't be amongst the most hardiest, which is why I put forward a little warning... we also don't know which part of the country you live, if salubrious Salcombe or similar, then no need to worry but if in the sight of Ben Nevis, then you might...

    ...I liked it's foliage as I recall and this clone has good colouring in the flowers so I hope you like it too... and that it will be successful for you.... it's a pity you cannot plant in the ground.... I'm not sure how long they will be happy in containers of that size... but, very best wishes...

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