Advice please

Hi
I am just having my back garden fixed up . I haven’t  had any design input - I’m working with a builder & what’s in my head 😬. Our main garden is large with lots of grass so I really want a low maintenance area to potter about in & sit for a coffee / bite to eat .It’s 5m x 20 m and being mainly laid to slabs with a curvy border down one side for planting shrubs with a trellis placed on a chest height stone wall which runs the length of the garden that I intend to plant with climbers behind the shrubs to give some elevation & prevent it from looking like a playground . At one end of the garden I’m having a pergola 3 m x 4.5m , it is free standing ie not staked into the ground or fixed into the slabs ( it’s super heavy & apparently would take 8 men to shift it once assembled so won’t need fixing) . I would like to grow jasmine , wisteria & clematis trailing up the 4 posts & up over the pergola again to add height & provide a nice spot to sit under. So my question is .....two of the posts will be next to the border & so their climbers can be planted in that . The other two posts will need to have an area left “ unslabbed” near their bases for planting - I’m wondering how big should these two areas be ? Or , could I put these climbers into large pots , I’m worried that isn’t a long term solution & the plants may not thrive so would maybe better placed in the ground . Many thanks for your advice , all gratefully received
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  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 55,115
    edited 13 August
    Hi Tina and welcome to the forum 😊 What an exciting project. 

    Climbers will be much better planted in prepared ground ... you’re right in thinking planting them in containers is not suitable long term. 

    I would allow getting on for  1m x 1m of ground space for each plant if possible ... this will give plenty of room for improving the soil before planting, and feeding, watering and mulching to ensure the future development of the plants. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 25,285
    Totally agree with what @Dovefromabove has said. It will definitely benefit your plants if they have a good, healthy area to grow in rather than struggling in containers.

    My only worry would be that, although you say the pergola doesn't need fixing due to it's weight, there is a considerable extra weight once climbers are mature. Is it worth asking the question when it's being put in, or do you already have it in place?
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 55,115
    It’s not just the weight I’d be concerned about but the wind resistance once the pergola is covered with vines and foliage  :o
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 25,285
    That's what concerns me Dove. The whole combination in wild weather..... :o
    I think I'd concrete the posts - just to be sure  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Butterfly66Butterfly66 BirminghamPosts: 29
    Hi Tina

    Am intrigued re your pergola. I’ve seen lost if free-standing but this usually refers to the fact they are not attached to a building and they still need fixing to the ground. 

    Is it one you are buying as a kit I could look up? Thanks 
     If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”—Marcus Tullius Cicero
  • Tayside2Tayside2 Posts: 12
    Hi Butterfly66
    It is a Rutland county garden furniture premium pergola .
    Now I’m anxious 🤦‍♀️ I did have several long conversations with their team as I too thought they should be staked or secured in some way but they assured me that it was not necessary , although their other pergolas need to be . Each post was really heavy to move . It’s not up yet as the slabbing is still in progress & the advice so far has enabled me to make a decision with my builder today so thank you all 😊 . It is going to be in a really sheltered courtyard that is enclosed on all 4 sides . Many thanks Tina
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 55,115
    edited 13 August
    Is this the one? https://www.rutlandcountygardenfurniture.co.uk/products/premium-pergola-36m-x-36m/

    It does look weighty but I think in a larger more exposed garden I would definitely want that concreted in.  

    As it’s going to be sited in an enclosed spot I would be happy to be guided by a trusted builder. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 1,439
    If you decide to concrete the pergola in, check the length of the uprights - they'll need to be longer by whatever amount is to be sunk into the ground.  Or if they've already been cut to length for freestanding, you could try those metal spike things - I forget the name. 
    If you don't want to leave gaps in the paving for planting, you could have permanent climbers on the side near the border and annual climbers in big pots on the side that's on the slabs.
  • K67K67 Leicestershire Posts: 493
    edited 13 August
    Checked on Amazon for their pergola if it's Rutland and they say 


    • Galvanised Metal Spike feet specifically designed for our 95 x 95mm posts significantly increase stability and can also be purchased from us.
    Would certainly buy these if you are going to grow climbers 
  • Tayside2Tayside2 Posts: 12
    Yes , that’s the one but I’ve had it made to 4.5m long . In the link it states that it does not require staking or securing which is why I gave them a call . It’s all painted now & raring to go so there’s no turning back 😬😂 The builder was a bit surprised too until he moved the posts !!
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