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Would less invasive wisteria be okay for this arbour?

BulbsBabyBulbsBaby Posts: 16

We have a sort of lovely arbour in our back garden and I'd like to make more of a feature of it. Initially I'd like to paint it a soft green (find the current reddy brown stain a bit harsh) and then grow something up it. I had thought of a shrub type Wisteria as a slower grower and because I love the colour (this sort: but am now wondering is this is naive and whether being a wisteria it's a bad idea.

I love rambling and climbing roses as an alternative but I don't have much time for maintenance. Also the back garden is not south facing but I'd love to get some growth under the arbour roof to screen the cheap looking plastic roof sheets. I figure the wisteria will be vigorous enough to do this where as a rose probably wouldn't. However I have no real idea what I am talking about so would appreciate your more experienced views.

The arbour is about 4m by 4m and seems sturdily constructed. 


  • BulbsBabyBulbsBaby Posts: 16


  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,560

    I have never heard of a "less vigorous wisteria" and, to keep them flowering, they need pruning twice a year and training in to their supports.  They also do best in full sun.  See here for mor einfo from the RHS -

    On the other hand, there are roses and clematis and honeysuckle which don't need full sun and will do well in partially shaded areas or dappled shade.   There are now several rambling roses available that will give repeat flowering as long as you remember to dead head regularly - not exactly strenuous or time-consuming.

    First things first, get you arbour painted as that will take some time but will look stunning when done.   Then prepare the soil for planting your chosen climbers.  You'll have plenty of time to select varieties while waiting for the paint to dry.........

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • BulbsBabyBulbsBaby Posts: 16

    Thanks Obelixx - those other rambling roses sound very interesting ! A bit of deadheading would be easy especially compared to the wisteria pruning. I agree painting it first is the way to go. Once that's done I can get going. Hoping to get it sorted for this summer so something can be planted before then.

  • BulbsBabyBulbsBaby Posts: 16

    Thanks Phillipa, I agree two different shades would stand out more. Should have said I am planning on replacing the fence (been repaired at least twice a year since we have lived here - total pain) and painting it the same colour. Hoping to put climbers up the new fence to as I'd love to have more colour in the garden. The fence and arbour were stained about three years ago and it has faded quite a bit. Would be good to get another coat of something on as once we have climbers I think we'll have lost our chance of doing it again! 

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,560

    Think about the colour of the climbers you may plant before deciding on paint colours.

    Have a look here then check descriptions for repeat flowering ramblers

    You'll find all sorts of clematis here - You can search by colour or pruning group or both and then try you local nursery or garden centre or an online supplier for the varieties you like.    For ease of care I would recommend group 3s for starters as you just cut them back in spring and they regrow and flower on the new stems.

    Richard Hodson who sometimes posts on here is agreat source of advice and clematis - and there's also Taylors and Thorncroft and Kelways if you google.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
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