To cover a wall or fence or to soften a pagoda or arbour but generally climbing plants add that country garden feel to most outdoor spaces.
Akebia QuinataThe chocolate vine is an unusual climber, that can suffer damage from late frosts. The maroon-chocolate flowers look almost artificial, with waxy 'petals' forming an inverted cup shape. These are clustered along the stems and have an exotic spicy fragrance with a hint of vanilla. They stand out against a background of light purple, three-lobed leaves, most colourful in full sun. In mild conditions the leaves last all winter but in cold areas expect them to be shed. After a particularly warm summer, large sausage-shaped fruit dangle from the stems.
Clematis Etoille VoiletteAn old French variety 'Etoile Violette' holds its own among modern varieties and has been given the Royal Horticultural Society's prestigious Award of Garden Merit (AGM) which is for plants of outstanding excellence. Vigorous and free-flowering, it produces its violet flowers from mid-summer to early autumn. As with all the late-flowering clematis, pruning is easy. Simply cut back the stems to a pair of strong buds 15-20cm (6-8in) above ground level before growth begins in early spring. This pruning technique makes late-flowering clematis useful for training into shrubs, trees and climbing roses.
Clematis Rouge CardinalAnother French variety 'Rouge Cardinal' produces masses of gorgeous crimson flowers from mid-summer to early autumn. Careful training is required as the plant tends to be quite floppy.
Hedera HelixA single English ivy plant can find many uses all round the garden. It can be used to cover a wall in shade where few other plants thrive, it can be trained to climb up or spread out along a low wall. Being evergreen, it is perfect for covering pergola poles, or creating a leafy backdrop under clematis and climbing roses that provides winter interest. Or use young plants to train around the outsides of winter hanging baskets. English ivy can be trimmed into shape at any time of year.
9cm pot €2.00
Jasminium OfficianlisCommon jasmine is a sweetly scented, twining climber, flowering from June to late summer/autumn. In a sunny sheltered spot a heady sweet scent lingers from the pretty white star shaped flowers. A versatile climber for a pergola or trellis on a warm wall, scrambling up high. After flowering remove old and over-crowded shoots. Prune hard in autumn when necessary.
Lonicera japonicaAlthough the flowers are smaller and less conspicuous than those of many other honeysuckles, this species has two big advantages a long flowering season and evergreen foliage. The flowers are sweetly-scented, small, two-lobed, and open white but fade to yellow so the same plant has both colours visible at the same time. Plants carry a sprinkling of flowers continuously from late spring until late summer.
Passiflora CaerulaThis popular passion flower has creamy-white flowers with purple-blue coronas. It has very distinct attractive foliage, plants make rapid annual growth each year as this clings with tendrils, plants won't damage brickwork or fences but need suitable supports to grow on. Passion flower is in bloom from mid- to late summer and, after a warm summer, it is not unusual to find large orange-yellow fruits forming. These can be left on the plants for decoration.
Pyracantha orange glow / orange Firethorn
Orange glow is a large fast growing, upright variety of Pyracantha that makes it ideal as a hedge. It has small glossy leaves and is spiny with clusters of white flowers in the Summer months followed by an abundance of long lasting orange berries.
2L pot 60-80cm tall €4.50
Pyracantha Red Column / Red Firethorn
Dense and spiny evergreen hedge with bunches of small white flowers in Summer and a magnificent show of round red berries in Autumn that the birds love but there really is plenty to go round. It's upright habit make it ideal as a hedge or for training against a wall and it is fast growing so will cover quite quickly to an eventual height of around 8-9 feet but will spread even wider.
2L pot 60-80cm tall €4.50
9L pot 125-150cm tall €15.00
12L pot 150-175cm tall €25.00
Trachelospermum JasminoidesEvergreen Jasmine is a climber with rich, dark green leaves which turn bronze in winter. From mid- to late summer, pure white, fragrant flowers are produced. It can be grown against a wall or with support but needs are protected position away from cold, drying winds.
Wisteria SinensisThe flowers of Chinese wisteria open in early summer, arising from bare stems as the foliage does not appear until the flowers are over. The species has lavender flowers, but named varieties are available in shades of violet, pink or white. It can be grown traditionally on the wall of a large house, with wall nails used to hold the framework of main stems in place, or allowed to scramble through a big tree where it looks most spectacular as well as being maintenance free. Like most wisterias, this is slow to get established and may take several years to start flowering but is well worth the patience.
Large Specimens on frames available