Nutcutlet: I did think of having a piece of sculpture in that corner but there is a worry it could be stolen...........
So back to armandii.......people are pointing out it's faults and I am grateful for that as I have not grown it before. When it gets too big, does it take well to cutting back to encourage new growth? And there is still the question of whether it well do well in a big pot......maybe it will be restricted which may be a good thing going on some of the comments.
Aym: in answer to your question as to does it feel Mediterranean? Yes it does when the sun is out and it's warm. I love it and have tried to grow Mediterranean type plants in the central planting area. It was a major undertaking.....this was a farm yard courtyard with sloping contours to a central drain. My husband broke up the concrete, then dug out the clay subsoil, put in land drains, filled it back up with sharp sand, cow manure and soil, pretty much in equal parts. It is dry and well drained. Then we covered the surrounding concrete with self binding gravel.
Have a look at Arauja sericifera. It was evergreen for me against a south facing wall in Somerset. Vigorous when happy but may do for longer in a large container than C.armandii.
Aym: thanks for the recommendation of Taylors Clematis. I looked at their evergreen varieties and the cartmanii ones look suitable. I like the look of them and some are even recommended for for growing in pots (armandii was not one) so I am now leaning to one of those with perhaps 'Constance'. Just hope the cartmanii are hardy enough.
All this help; you people have been really helpful, thanks!
You can cut back Armandii but it is still very tough looking although the new growth is nice for a while.
If you are looking at this because it is evergreen I can so recommend jasminoides trachelospermum instead.
It is "evergreen", but the leaves turn lovely shades of red in winter staying on the plant. The white flowers are prolific and smell lovely. It does need a south or southeast site however. As it is slow growing, buying a big plant might be needed so it is a bit pricey
aym...........what's the 2nd photo in your 3 pic post above ? A clematis of sorts ?
Well things have now moved on a bit. Aym's chance remark about a trough got me thinking........and I found one on a scrapheap, cleaned it up, painted it, drilled holes in the base, persuaded some strong men to put it in situ for me and filled it with compost, topsoil, cow manure and sand. See the picture below.
I have gone off armandii for the reasons you helpful people pointed out. I am now leaning towards cartmandii, either 'Avalanche' or 'Early Sensation' as I really do want something evergreen and as I now have a trough I would like to plant an alpina as well but which one? I think blue would look nice against that wall. And as I now have a trough I can plant other things in it as well. I'm open to suggestions but want to keep the Mediterranean theme that I have made with the central planting. Maybe wildflowers for later in the summer; would a single box plant be a good idea, lavenders maybe.....
Bit late to this discussion but I wondered what form of support you are planning to use for the clematis or other climbers?
Personally, I would be very wary of attaching any plants directly to the weatherboarding. Attaching plants of any real weight (and I include roses and clematis which are not cut hard back every year in that category) could cause damage to the boards. Similarly, anything which clings and twines (such as ivy) can creep under the bottom edge of the boards and grow behind them. The boards will be lifted as the branches swell with age.
I would strongly advocate that whatever climbers you decide upon - that you grow them up trellis mounted just in front of the weatherboarding. The trellis can be stained the same colour as the boarding if you don't want to see it and can be lifted away or folded down when you need to maintain the wall. You will probably need to restain the wall (I assume it's rough sawn wood) about every 5 to 7 years - and you will need free and easy access for that horrible job.
I had a similar expanse at my previous property (but 3 times the height). I did, however, have soil in front of it and was able to grow roses up a line of rose posts. Plenty of space between the posts to access the wall - but somehow it looked as though the bottom half of the wall was covered in roses.
You could get a similar effect with FG's idea of a line of pots. I would go for an odd number of really big ones (pennies might come into the equation here though).
Lavender would certainly look good in your container as would some of the salvias and even some nice grasses.
Thanks Topbird (I like the name). I was thinking of using black wire for the supports but I take your point about about growing the clematis up trellis' stained the same colour as the boarding so they can be lifted away or folded down when we next need to treat the boards. I don't worry about the boards being damaged as the studwork and boards are strong. I like the look of the boards as they now are and don't want the trellis to be obvious but staining it may be a solution. The cartmanii clems aren't that big so it shouldn't be a problem but it may be a different story with the others.......so much to decide.
Well, I've made my decisions after careful consideration based on recommendations from people who have contributed to this thread. As you can see, Aym's chance remark about a trough led to me finding one and painting it black. I decided to go for Clematis cartmanii Avalanche, which is on the right in the picture below. I really do want an evergreen in that position as it is a little bleak in winter. It is covered in buds which will open soon. On the left is Clematis alpina Francis Rivis. It's grown a lot in the three weeks since I planted them and even has a few opening flower buds. I love the blue against the black weatherboarding. Have also planted a few early carnations and some lavender Hidcote.
Also I took on Topbirds recommendation to put up some trellis. Thanks for the help people.