The Gardening Year Jun 2019

June

Training climbing plants

Climbing plants grow especially strongly in the spring months - and can quickly produce a small jungle in your garden. It is better to take action early and to bring them under control with climbing frames or aids.

Not all climbing plants are the same

There are many different types of these plants, and their names tell you how they climb.

Self-climbers

This type does not need a climbing frame at all and can climb walls by itself with its adhering roots. The best-known examples of this type are ivy and wild vines. Even if most of these plants do not need any aids, it is usually still a good idea to give them a little support when they are starting out in the form of a wire system.

Tendril climbers

These plants, such as the universally popular clematis, entwine their movable appendages around objects to gain a hold. Use a trellis to help them produce an attractive, controllable growth.

Spreading climbers

This type develops long, pliant shoots and they anchor themselves with their thorns wherever they can get enough grip. The best-known examples are almost certainly rambling roses. Horizontal wires or rods can be used to guide them to where they are wanted.

Lianas

Better known under the name of creepers, these like to use other plants - mostly trees growing upwards - to slowly but surely wind their way upwards. It is best to use stable and vertically-standing climbing aids so that they can still provide support after many years even with luxuriant growth.

Climbing aids

It is still advisable to use some of the tried and trusted 'helpers' so that you do not have to wait too long for success.

Training espaliers

You can easily make these freestanding aids yourself. Those who are less skillful with their hands can simply buy what they need. They are available in various shapes and forms.

Trellises

These climbing aids are often used as a flowering visual screen – and are available in wood, plastic or metal to suit your taste. After a while they are completely covered by the climbing plants and so give the impression that the plants have formed a wall all by themselves.

Wall espaliers

As the name implies, you attach these climbing aids to walls – preferably using dowels so that they will remain firmly attached. Ensure that the espalier or trellis is at least 10 cm away from the wall so that the facade that is behind will not be damaged by the climbing plant. You already have the best basis for a natural "wall decoration".

Arches

Bring the flair of an English garden to your home. Because these aids have been extremely popular for garden design for centuries now - and even outside the British Isles. They are especially effective as an entrance gate especially if
 they are abundantly filled with something such as rambling roses.