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Best Climbers for Part Shade

I'm looking to increase wildlife habitat on our unused pergola. The trouble is, it's quite shady being west facing, especially at the bottom. The higher you go, the more light it gets. I'd love a honeysuckle and a rambling rose....any ideas? Many thanks!



  • Hi,

    From experience I know that climbing Hydrangeas are great for wildlife, they are very attractive to birds for nesting, such as robins and tits. They work very well growing in the shade of a west facing fence/wall. They get covered in clusters of beautifully white flowers through the summer.

    I would definitely consider it!


  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 20,441

    Honeysuckle is OK with shade and so is the lovely rambling rose "Malvern Hills".

    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • Thank you both of you. I had no idea that Hydrangeas can climb! (I'm new to gardening) What will they think of next?! I'm on quite a tight budget too. Which honeysuckle do you recommend, Busy-Lizzie? I have looked at native climbers such as wild honeysuckle. Also I'd really like a rose that has scent but also hips too. Do you only get hips with wild roses btw?

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,869

    re the honeysuckle, I've got 'Graham Thomas', in too much shade really but still flowers and a lovely scent.

    The climbing hydrangea is great, don't be tempted by the evergreen one, it lacks the charm of the Hydrangea anomala / petiolaris. 

  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 20,441

    I like Graham Thomas, pale yellow and cream, but I think I prefer Serotina as the flowers are red as well so brighter coloured.

    There is a climbing rose called Sir Paul Smith which is scented and has hips. I don't have it. Peter Beales Classic Roses has it  I have a climber called Paul's Scarlet which isn't scented, doesn't repeat flower but it does have hips.

    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • Thanks, everyone. That has given me plenty of food for thought for our tiny garden. And that's answered my question - good to know that cultivated roses have hips too. I'm assuming hips are good for birds and to make rose-hip syrup I hope!


  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,869

    Be careful choosing though, they don't all have hips.

  • What are hips ? I'm starting my garden from scratch and want a climber up my shed. Have buddleia planted there on other side to attract butterflies etc .
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,135

    The fruits that form on roses Tania image

    What direction does your shed face? Honeysuckles work well growing over structures, but they like a bit of damp shade at their feet  image

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

  • RedwingRedwing SussexPosts: 1,311

    Honeysuckle 'Belgica' is good; it's close to the wild form and attracts pollinators and birds to the berries.  I've also heard that 'Graham Thomas' is good too but haven't tried it myself. 

    Based in Sussex, I garden to encourage as many birds to my garden as possible.
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