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Climbers with Eugene - Up, Up & Away

Thursday, 14 September 2006


One of the best traits of climbing vines is their ability to screen all the stuff you'd rather not see, like your compost pile, septic tank, weathered garden shed or a neighbour's ugly garage. Eugene is here to show us how it's done.

Climbers will add height, texture and color to your garden. Our fab landscaper Eugene is going to show us a range of climbers and tell us:
. Which ones are suitable for our own gardens
. Where to grow them
. What supports work best
. How to look after them
. What the results will be

Introduction to the Benefits of Climbers
Climbing vines are something you can grow besides trees and shrubs that will add height, texture and color to your garden. Flowering climbers in particular are a great addition to your flower garden if you have a fence, trellis or similar type of support for them to clamber over. One of the best traits of climbing vines is their ability to screen all the stuff you'd rather not see, like your compost pile, septic tank, weathered garden shed, a chain link fence, or a neighbour's ugly garage.

What kind of Support to Use
A trellis, an arbor, a rustic willow or wrought iron support, a fence, or any number of structures can add style to your garden. Just remember to make sure your support is sturdy enough and harmonizes with your house and garden design.
Climbing vines either twine around support structures or hold fast to upright surfaces. For example, wisteria weaves or twines, while climbing hydrangea and English or Boston ivy attach to walls with aerial roots or adhesive pads.
Then there are vines that clasp with tendrils or petioles, such as clematis, or those with thorns that hook onto supports, such as climbing roses.

Choosing a Climber for Your Garden
As with all garden plants, when looking for a climbing vine, choose the right vine for your setting - sun lovers in the sun, shady characters in the shade and moist soil for a vine that requires it.
Best for Sun - Clematis, Japanese / Chinese Wisteria, Climbing Roses
Best for Shade - Boston Ivy, Climbing Hydrangea

How to Look After, Manipulate, Prune etc.
Eugene will be making a strong case for planting in the Autumn as it is an excellent time to settle in plants. Use compost (preferably organic) and place mulch around the base.

Five categories (one climber example each)

Category 1
Self Clinging - Cissus Striata - €13.99
Cousin of Boston Ivy and Virginia creeper, this one will do well in most areas - sun or shade. This is the Roy Keane of climbers - it plays in any position - but it will co-operate with rest of garden, ha ha! A tough and flexible climber.

Category 2
Encourages Nature - Hybrid Clematis - €9.95
Very pretty and comes in a myriad of colours. However, a bit moody - can be difficult, prone to Clematis wilt. The Montana is the toughest one. Feet in the shade, head in the sun!

Category 3
Fragrant - Jasmine Azoricum - €10.95
Beautiful, will give endless satisfaction, compliments any wall, it needs sun to be at its best for flowering - warm south-facing garden preferable. You can get a winter flowering one - adds a bit of colour to your winter garden - yellow.

Category 4
Evergreen - Bluebell Creeper - €10.95
Eugene loves this one. Underrated, not so well known plant that Eugene has deep affection for. Combines evergreen qualities with beautiful blue flowers, makes it a must for sunny, warm gardens. Not too invasive - won't take off and conquer a garden.

Category 5
Shade - Climbing Hydrangea - €13.95
Great for shady spots in the garden - white in colour. Self-clinging also. Takes a while to get going so you have to stick it out.

Further Information
Climbing Plants available from most garden centres
Pergola and Trellis supplied by Clonee Sawmills Tel: 01 825 2017