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How To Cover An Arch Or Pergola With Scented Climbers

Create a focal point with scented climbers growing over a pretty arch

Growing scented climbers over an arch can create a focal point and some height to your garden. Make sure that the arch you choose is suitable for the type of climber you want to grow; the more flimsy metal arches are really only suitable for growing Sweet Peas, for all the other climbers go for a substantial wooden or wrought iron arch secured firmly to the ground. Make sure that there is adequate space at the base of the arch for planting as all these climbers are not suitable for growing in containers.

Akebia quinata (Chocolate Vine)

  • semi-evergreen
  • needs a sheltered south or west facing position in full sun or partial shade. Early morning sun can damage flowers after a frost so avoid an east facing position
  • moist, well-draining, humus rich soil
  • border-line hardy; may need protection in winter in the north of the country
  • vanilla scented
  • reddish-purple flowers in late spring/early summer; very occasionally will bear fruit if you have two plants in a warm sheltered position. Flower colour may fade in strong sunlight
  • usually pest and disease free
  • regular pruning not necessary, just trim to keep its shape
  • keep watered and feed in early spring with a balanced fertiliser; Growmore or blood, fish and bone
  • height 12m (39’) in 10 years

Image: Apple2000

Clematis
C. flammula

  • evergreen
  • needs sheltered position in sun or semi-shade
  • moist, well-draining, humus rich soil. Like all clematis, keep the roots and base of the plant cool by planting behind other plants
  • border-line hardy; may need protection in winter in the north of the country
  • almond scented
  • star-shaped creamy white flowers in late summer/early autumn
  • in the first year after planting prune down to about 30cm (12”) above 2 – 3 healthy buds; once established cut back in winter/early spring to about 90cm (3’)
  • keep watered and feed in early spring with a balanced fertiliser; Growmore or blood, fish and bone
  • height 4m (13’)

C. armandii

  • evergreen
  • needs sheltered position in sun or semi-shade, facing south or west
  • moist, well-draining, humus rich soil, either alkaline or neutral. Like all clematis keep the roots and base of the plant cool by planting behind other plants
  • border-line hardy; may need protection in winter in the north of the country
  • almond scented
  • small white star-like flowers
  • regular pruning is not necessary just prune back to 2 – 3 healthy buds, about 30cm (12”) above ground the first year after planting. After which just prune to keep tidy and contained
  • keep watered and apply a balanced fertiliser after flowering
  • height 8m (26’)

Jasmine officinale (Poet’s Jasmine)

  • semi-evergreen in mild frost-free areas otherwise deciduous; forms a dense cover
  • needs sheltered position in sun or semi-shade, facing south or west out of the wind
  • moist, well-draining, humus rich soil
  • border-line hardy; may need protection in winter in the north of the country
  • heavy scent when planted in a sunny position
  • small white starry flowers
  • cut back when finished flowering at the end of summer
  • keep watered and apply a balanced fertiliser in spring
  • height 12m (40’)
  • J. grandiflorum has larger flowers and pink tinged buds

Lathyrus odoratus (Sweet Pea)

  • annual
  • needs full sun
  • moist, well-draining, humus rich soil, add extra organic matter when planting and a balanced fertiliser such as Growmore or blood, fish and bone. They like their roots cool so make sure they are always kept damp, mulch after planting
  • masses of different colours and varieties
  • keep picking the flowers to encourage the plant to keep on producing more
  • height 180 – 240cm (6 – 8’)

Lonicera (Honeysuckle)
Depending upon the varieties you choose you can have a succession of flowers from May to October.
L. x americana

  • deciduous but can be evergreen if it’s a mild winter
  • sun or partial shade, any aspect but needs shelter in the north of the country. Needs cool roots so plant behind other plants
  • moist, well-draining, humus rich soil
  • border-line hardy
  • flowers start white then go to yellow with dark purple in summer to early autumn
  • cut back in late winter/early spring
  • mildew can be a problem so make sure it is always damp and has good airflow by cutting out any congested stems
  • keep watered and mulch in autumn
  • height 4m (13’)

L. japonica ‘Halliana’

  • evergreen if winters are mild
  • moist, well-draining, humus rich soil
  • any aspect in the south, south or west facing in the north; not exposed or windy site
  • border-line hardy
  • scent best in early morning and the evening
  • flowers start white then change to yellow
  • doesn’t really need pruning just cut back to fit the space and remove any dead or diseased branches in early spring
  • height 3.6m (12’)

L. periclymemum ‘Serotina’

  • deciduous
  • moist, well draining, humus rich soil
  • performs best in partial shade but will tolerate full sun
  • borderline hardy in the north
  • flowers cream with crimson/pink buds
  • cut back after flowering
  • height 4 – 6m (15 – 20’)

Roses
There’s nothing quite like the scent of roses on a summer’s day and they come in a range of colours from deepest red to pure white. There are full-cupped English rose types, dainty floribundas and perfectly formed hybrid teas.

  • deciduous, may keep some leaves if the winters are mild
  • full sun preferably but will tolerate a little shade; some varieties are more shade tolerant than othersd
  • deep, fertile, humus rich, moist but well-draining soil. When planting add plenty of organic matter in the form of well-rotted farmyard manure or good quality peat-free compost. Container grown roses can be planted any time of the year provided soil conditions are suitable but bare root plants, usually cheaper, are planted from late autumn to early spring when they are dormant. They benefit from mycorrhizal fungi being added to the planting hole
  • hardy
  • cut back in winter; cut stems back to a node when dead-heading
  • mildew can be a problem so make sure they are always damp and have a good airflow by keeping the centre of the plant fairly open. Black spot can be problematic in wet weather so spray with a fungicide at the first signs and take off and burn any infected leaves. Some varieties are more resistant than others
  • keep watered, feed with a rose fertiliser in early spring and summer, mulch in autumn
  • many of the David Austin English shrub roses will make small climbers if you don’t prune them hard
  • height varies 1.8 – 5.5m (6 – 18’)

Trachelospermum (Rynchospermum) jasminoides (Star Jasmine)

  • evergreen
  • moist, well-draining, humus rich soil
  • south facing, full sun
  • needs protection from frost
  • small white star-like flowers from June to August
  • prune after flowering
  • height 3m (10’)

Image: pizzodisevo

Wisteria

  • deciduous
  • moist, well-draining, humus rich soil with a large root run
  • full sun, dappled shade, shelter from cold winds
  • hardy
  • prune twice a year; 2 months after flowering and mid-winter, generally take branches back by about two-thirds
  • make sure they are grafted plants not seedlings as they can take up to 15 years to flower and the resulting plant may not be good quality
  • feed in early spring and mid-summer after the first prune, make sure they are kept well watered
  • height 9m (28’)

W. x formosa

  • violet/blue flowers in May/June

W. x venusta (brachybotrys)

  • large cream flowers
  • can be difficult to source, but worth the search

For more information, hints and tips on gardening just get in touch with our team in the Outdoor Plant department here in store.

One of the more elegant ways to have in a garden is to add climbing plants, flowers or vines. These plants can be trained to grow on structures such as arbors, trellis and pergolas. Some can be trained to grow freely up the exterior walls of a home, though there are some precautions. Climbing plants can be grown for their flowers, for shade or even for food. Here are the 14 best climbing plants and flowers:

Grapes

Grapes not only produce an abundance of fruit when they’re properly cultivated, but they’re also one of the better climbing plants for shade. These climbers can grow up to 50 feet high and produce not only edible fruit but spectacular fall color. Because of these qualities, grape is an excellent choice to be grown on pergolas. Viticulturists say that in order for a grape vine to produce grapes the plant has to suffer somewhat, but this doesn’t have to be the case. Grape vines like relatively hot summers, well-drained soil and fairly high humidity. To get a good yield of fruit and to keep the vines from going rampant, the gardener will need to do some fairly hard pruning in the winter. The traditional time to do this is on January 22, St. Vincent’s day.

Virginia Creeper

Another vine grown for shade is the Virginia creeper. It is a vigorous climber and can be trained up a structure or on a wall. Unlike ivy, it clings to the wall with tiny adhesive disks and doesn’t damage the mortar. It keeps the side of the house where it’s grown cool in the summer and warmer in the winter when the leaves fall. The inconspicuous greenish-white flowers appear in spring. The blue-black berries are poisonous to humans, but birds love them. Virginia creeper has large leaves that are separated into five leaflets, which distinguishes them from poison ivy, which only has three. It’s the host plant for a variety of butterflies and moths, including the Virginia creeper sphinx moth. The plant isn’t fussy about soil and does best in full to part sun.

Honeysuckle

Honeysuckle is one of the perennial flowering vines that keeps its leaves throughout the winter in warmer climates and can produce its fragrant flowers well into the fall. These flowers attract bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. Honeysuckle, like Virginia creeper, isn’t fussy about soil as long as it drains well. It likes full sun or semi-shade and needs to be pruned now and then lest it becomes invasive.

Wisteria

Some people are wary of wisteria, but few things are more extravagantly beautiful than those racemes of purple, white or pink flowers that are some of the first flowers to appear in spring. The problem with this climber is that the woody vine is heavy, and whatever supports it needs to be sturdy. Wisteria can grow in alkaline, acid, well-drained or even damp soil and needs full sun.

Clematis

There are hundreds of varieties of clematis that produce flowers of different shapes and sizes in colors of blue, white, purple or pink in the summer. Not only are the flowers of this climbing plant beautiful, but it produces attractive, flocculent seed-heads in the fall. Clematis does best in moist, fertile, well-drained, loamy soil and full sun.

Roses

Many roses have climbing habits and are stunning on arbors and trellises. One concern is that climbing roses don’t have the tendrils, hooks or adhesive pads of some other climbers, so these perennial climbing flowers need to be tied to their support. Among the best roses to grow as climbers are the giganteas, which are tender and should only be grown in warm climates. The flowers are very big, fragrant and long-lasting. Kordesii climbers are winter hardy and come in brilliant colors, and ramblers extend the rose season by blooming late. They can be easily trained on trellises and arbors and need good air circulation.

Roses thrive in slightly acidic, loamy soil in full sun. They are notorious for needing pruning, mulching, fertilizing and a lot of water.

Carolina Jessamine

Also called the yellow jessamine, the scent of this climber rivals even the most fragrant rose. The flowers are golden and trumpet shaped, and the plant can grow up to 17 feet. In warmer climates, the Carolina jessamine blooms in January and likes sandy soil and bright sunshine.

Chinese Gooseberry

Like the grape vine, this climber also produces fruit. The cream-colored flowers appear in late summer and give way to the pale green fruit. Since this plant is tender to frost, it’s best grown in warmer climates. It grows well in any well-drained soil, and likes full sun.

Hops

These are the plants that produce the cone-like fruit that helps produce beer, and different ones produce different types of ales and lagers. The hops, which are found on female plants, have a lovely, calming aroma, and some people stuff their pillows with hops to cure insomnia. Hops like well-drained soil and full sun or semi-shade.

Trumpet Vine

These perennial flowering vines get their name from the shape of their flowers, which are often a deep red-orange and appear in late summer. They cling to supports with aerial rootlets and are not fussy about soil as long as it’s not waterlogged. Trumpet vine may need a bit of pruning now and then because it can be aggressive.

Russian Vine

This tough and enthusiastic climber can be trained up a trellis, over an arbor or a pergola. It produces lovely cream flowers tinged with pink in the summer and fall, likes all types of soil and can thrive in full sun to shade.

Vines for Hot Climates

These perennial climbing flowers not only have a profusion of brilliantly colored flowers but are just the thing for folks who live in hardiness zones 9 and above and people who have greenhouses. They include:

Bougainvillea

This vine with its profuse flowers of white, pink, red or purple can grow to 40 feet tall. Though it’s a bit cold tolerant, it must have full sun and does best in well-drained, acidic soul that’s kept on the dry side.

Sky Vine

This vine is known for its celestial blue flowers. Like the bougainvillea, it needs sun and heat, but unlike the bougainvillea, it needs regular watering. It’s a vigorous plant that will cover a pergola in a short amount of time. The flowers can be cut for indoor arrangements.

Petrea, or Queen’s Wreath

This vine produces long clusters of purple flowers that resemble those of the wisteria, and like the wisteria it has woody stems that make it heavy, so it needs a strong support. The Queen’s Wreath flowers on and off all summer with a late season burst of blooms in the autumn.

Climbing plants lend their beauty and fragrance to even a small space. The best climbing plants are fairly easy to care for, long-lived, attract birds and beneficial insects and even keep down energy bills!

Plant Identification of Tropical Climbers

fleurs de jasmin image by Unclesam from Fotolia.com

Tropical vines are popular in outdoor landscapes in warm climates, as well as in greenhouses and other sunny spaces in cold winter climates. Some of the most popular types include passionflower (Passiflora); mandevilla; jasmine (Jasminum); Gelsemium, Clerodendron; Bougainvillea; Dutchman’s pipe (Aristolochia) and Allamanda. Commercially available tropical climbers are often hybrids of species originally native to various regions of the Southern Hemisphere. In addition to clambering up support structures like arches and trellis, some shorter tropical climbers can be grown in hanging baskets.

Colorful Mandevillas

Mandevilla is a member of the Apocynaceae or dogbane family, and is characterized by glossy, green, ovoid to elliptical leaves, a semi-woody base and large, showy flowers. The funnel-shaped base of each flower opens out to five petal-like lobes. The plants will climb to about 3 feet if grown in containers, and taller if grown outdoors. Probably the most popular mandevilla is ‘Alice Dupont’, a pink-flowered hybrid developed in the United States. Mandevillas are also available in shades of red and white.

Fragrant Jasmine

Jasmine is a shrubby vine, fabled for its intensely fragrant, five-petaled flowers. Several species are popular in commerce. Jasminum polyanthemum, or winter jasmine, bears white flowers (sometimes with a tinge of pink on the outside), with somewhat leathery leaflets clustered in groups of five to seven. Jasminum officinale, also known as “hardy jasmine,” is more cold tolerant than other species and can survive outdoors in USDA zone 6. Like other jasmines, its leaflets are rounded at the base and pointed at the ends. The flowers are white. Jasminum grandiflorum is not cold hardy, but is similar in appearance to other jasmines, with a sprawling habit. In some varieties, the white flowers are double in form.

Passionflower

passion flower image by Pat Lalli from Fotolia.com

Passionflower (Passiflora) belongs to the genus Passifloraceae, which contains about 350 species of climbing plants. The passionflower has long been popular for its blooms and distinctive fruit. Identifying passionflowers is easy if the flowers themselves are present. The “flower” is actually an array of five bracts and five petals, giving the appearance of 10 petals. The flowers contain a circle of long filaments emanating from the center, with stamens and styles raised above the flower on a stalk. The leaves are often dissected with an odd number (three or five) of lobes.

Red Orange Bougainvillea image by verdantspaces from Fotolia.com

In warm climates, Bougainvillea, a South American native, can be seen blanketing walls and other supports. The flowers are small, yellow and insignificant, but each is surrounded by three vivid bracts in colors ranging from pink through red, orange and purple. The leaves are usually alternate on the stems. Some hybrids can be grown in hanging baskets, with stems that only reach 2 to 3 feet. Larger species can grow to heights of 5 feet or more with support. Bougainvillea varieties sometimes also have variegated leaves and/or doubled layers of bracts.

Dutchman’s Pipe

The flowers of Dutchman’s pipe (Aristolochia) make the genus unmistakable. The long, tubular blooms, which can be 10 or more inches in length, open out into heart-shaped lips. Some of the showier species like Aristolochia gigantea have maroon to chocolate-purple flowers netted with white veins. The vines are woody and the leaves can be heart-shaped or ovate. Aristolochia can be grown in containers, with some of the commercially available varieties climbing to only 3 feet. The vines grow to much greater heights when planted outdoors in climates that mimic their habitats in Mexico and Central and South America.

10 beautiful climbers to grow

Climbers can transform a garden, covering bare walls or fences, scrambling over pergolas and arches, and adding height to planting schemes. You can make the most of climbers in even the smallest of gardens, and many will grow happily in a pot.

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Find out how to plant a climber.

Many have spectacular, sweetly scented flowers as well as attractive foliage.

Discover 10 scented climbers to grow.

Browse our choice of 10 beautiful climbers, including clematis, roses and passionflower – many of them recent introductions.

Climbers can transform a garden, covering bare walls or fences,
scrambling over pergolas and arches, and adding height to planting
schemes.
1

Clematis ‘Maria Sklodowska Curie’

Named in honour of Marie Curie, this large-flowered clematis produces stunning double and semi-double white flowers, with pointed petal tips, from May to July. Grow in a sunny, sheltered and well-drained spot. Prune after flowering and it should flower again in late summer.

Height: 2m.

Double, white blooms of clematis ‘Maria Sklodowska Curie’ 2

Clematis ‘Innocent Blush’

Suitable for growing along trellises and other supports, Clematis ‘Innocent Blush’ has single and semi-double flowers which are light pink, with a deeper pink blush. They appear from May to July. Prune after flowering and it should flower again in late summer.

Height: 2m.

Single and semi-double, pale-pink flowers of clematis ‘Innocent Blush’ 3

Clematis ‘Viva Polonia’

This free-flowering clematis bears an abundance of red flowers mottled with white – they become more white towards the centre. ‘Viva Polonia’ means ‘Long Live Poland’ and its colours reflect the Polish flag. It is frost hardy, and prefers a sunny position. Flowers May-July.

Height: 2m.

Deep-pink and white flowers of clematis ‘Viva Polonia’ 4

Clematis ‘Edda’

Clematis ‘Edda’ has large and vivid purple flowers that are slightly flushed with red, from spring to late summer. It is more compact than many clematis, making it suitable for growing in a container on a patio or balcony – or even in a hanging basket.

Height: 1.2m.

Reddish-purple blooms of clematis ‘Edda’ 5

Clematis ‘Sally’

Multi-flowering Clematis ‘Sally’ bears deep pink flowers that appear from late spring until late autumn. Normally pink-flowered clematis fade in strong sunlight, but ‘Sally’ becomes a deeper pink. A very good repeat-flowering plant.

Height: 1.5m.

Pink blooms of clematis ‘Sally’ 6

Rosa ‘The Lady of the Lake (Ausherbert)’

This beautiful rose bears long and flexible stems, bearing sprays of pretty, semi-double flowers of a delicate blush pink colour. It flowers regularly throughout the summer because, unlike many ramblers, it repeat flowers. It also tolerates shade and has good disease resistance.

Height: 3.5m or more.

Blush, double blooms of rose ‘The Lady of the Lake’ 7

Passiflora ‘Constance Elliot’

Passiflora ‘Constance Elliot’ has large, scented, ivory-white flowers from May to November, followed by edible orange fruit. It will grow quite happily in semi-shade and can be grown outdoors or in a cold conservatory. Hardy.

Height: up to 2.75m.

Exotic ivory blooms of passionflower ‘Constance Elliot’ 8

Thunbergia alata ‘Orange and Red’

Also known as black-eyed Susan, Thunbergia alata ‘Orange and Red’ is a vigorous grower, with large flowers and dense foliage. It has orange blooms with flashes of burnt orange/red through the petals, with a black eye. Flowers May-October.

Height: 1.5m.

Black-centered, orange flowers of black-eyed Susan 9

Trachelospermum asiaticum

Trachelospermum asiaticum is a vigorous twining climber with small green leathery foliage that turns a rusty red colour during the winter. Flowers April – early August. Not reliably hardy, in northern and exposed regions provide winter protection, or grow it as a conservatory plant.

Height: up to 3m.

Tiny, gold-centered white flowers and glossy foliage of Trachelospermum asiaticum 10

Bougainvillea ‘Vera’

Bougainvillea ‘Vera’ is a tender, compact, upright, evergreen shrub with thornless stems with stunning colour. It’s best grown in pots so it can be brought indoors for winter. It can be put outside after frost, usually at the end of May. Flowers May – August.

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Height: 1.2m.

Vivid-pink flowers of Bougainvillea ‘Vera’

Orange Trumpet Vine

Orange trumpet vine (Pyrostegia venusta) is one of the most spectacular winter flowering climbers you can find and is sometimes called the flame vine. If you want to make a statement in your winter garden then this is the plant for you!

This vigorous, twining climber comes from South America and is well suited to Australian soils and climate. It’s magnificent orange flowers appear in winter and last right through to spring. It will easily cover a boring fence or garden shed but why not grow it on a pergola or arch for where the flowers can hang down on display. Suits many garden styles including cottage, tropical, coastal or modern.

How To Grow The Orange Trumpet Vine
The orange trumpet vine is a strong, evergreen climber that grows quickly. Choose a position where it has plenty of room to grow or plan to keep it pruned. It can grow over trees and shrubs if left unchecked.

The orange trumpet vine likes the warmth and need lots of sun and a bit of shelter from cold wind. It is generally frost sensitive but established plants can handle a light frost. It’ll grow in a range of soils but will perform best if you improve the soil with compost, manures and some pelletised organic fertiliser. Good drainage is also important so if you have heavy clay soil apply some eco-flo gypsum prior to planting.

Once planted, water in with eco-seaweed to establish the plant and mulch around the base to help with moisture retention. Whilst fairly drought tolerant it will appreciate some watering during the hot summer months especially in the first year.

Please note the orange trumpet vine does need some support for it’s tendrils to cling to. Use sturdy wires or trellis that can take the weight of the mature plant.

Fertilising and Maintenance of Orange Trumpet Vine
Feed young plants with a combination of eco-seaweed and eco-aminogro every 2-3 weeks to encourage strong growth. Established plants will appreciate some manure, compost or pelletised organic fertiliser each spring and autumn especially if growing in poor soils.

Ideally after flowering prune the flowering stems back to keep the overall vine dense and close to the structure it is growing on. If you find the vine has gotten away on you then you can prune very hard at any time during the warmer months. It’s a tough plant and can handle a serious haircut if needs be.

Pests and Diseases of Orange Trumpet Vine
The orange trumpet vine is usually trouble free but occasionally mites can appear. Spray with eco-oil when you first see them and repeat the spray if needed.

Plants with orange flowers

Orange flowers are brilliant at bringing warmth and intensity to the garden.

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They comes in different shades, too, from more yellow tones of Berberis darwinii, to the reddish orange blooms of Mexican sunflowers.

Orange flowers aren’t exactly demure, so don’t be afraid to combine them with other intensely coloured blooms to provide daring combinations. Great Dixter’s Christopher Lloyd did just this, pairing up luminous oranges with purples, pinks, reds and yellows to dazzling effect.

Exotic borders are particularly accommodating to orange flowers, where the warm colours can echo the balmy origins of the plants.

Of course, this is far from all the plants with orange flowers you could grow – find plenty more on our Plant Finder.

Discover some of the best orange flowers to grow, below.

Reaching an impressive 1.5m in height, foxtail lilies are at home in a sunny spot, in well-drained soil.

Nasturtiums

Nasturtiums (tropaeolum) are vigorous, hardy annuals. In the case of Tropaeolum majus, all parts of the plant are edible and it can be grown as a companion plant alongside brassicas, helping to draw away small and large white butterflies.

Orange blooms and webbed-shaped leaves of nasturtium

Mexican sunflowers

Blazing hot Mexican sunflowers (Tithonia rotunidfolia) are free-flowering annuals, ideal for spicing up beds and borders. They’re also brilliant plants for polllinators and last well as cut flowers. Try combining with salvias, agastaches and aromatic nicotianas.

Orange mexican sunflower

California poppies

The California poppy, Eschscholzia californica, is a hardy annual that’s perfect for sowing in pots and containers, or in gaps in borders. Check out our advice on how to sow California poppies outdoors. For darker orange flowers, try a cultivar like ‘Mikado’.

Mid-orange Californian poppies

Geums

There are geums to grow in just about every shade of orange, from peachy ‘Pineapple Crush’, to luminous ‘Totally Tangerine’, to burnt orange ‘Firefinch’. Try growing them in a mixed herbaceous border alongside verbascums and scabious.

Geum ‘Fire Opal’ beside contrasting blue flowers

Lilies

In this case, you have the option of growing oriental lilies (lilium) or daylilies (hemerocallis) – or both if you like! If you have clay soil, daylilies are ideal, whereas oriental lilies do better in a well-drained, acidic soil.

Orange lily

Kniphofias

Aptly named red hot pokers for their hotly coloured blooms, kniphofias are easy-to-grow hardy perennials. Try growing alongside other plants that also enjoy moist, well-drained soil in full sun, such as achilleas and Euphorbia mellifera.

Red hot pokers in a contrasting orange and purple border

Eremurus

These magnificent perennials are native to western and central Asia. Reaching an impressive 1.5m in height, foxtail lilies are at home in a sunny spot, in well-drained soil – a gravel garden or similar is ideal. Many varieties have orange blooms, but yellow- and white-flowered varieties are easy to find, too.

Spires of orange foxtail lillies above yellow flowers

Campsis

Trumpet vines (campsis) are fast-growing climbers are perfect for quickly covering sunny walls and fences. Despite exotic appearances, they’re hardy to -10°C. For rich orange blooms, take a look at cultivars like ‘Indian Summer’ and ‘Madame Galen’.

Trumpet vine ‘Indian Summer’

Berberis darwinii

Berberis darwinii is a robust, evergreen shrub, producing masses of luminescent orange blooms in April and May. It works well as a compact hedge, too. Other barberries with orange flowers include Berberis x lologensis and Berberis linearifolia.

Orange flowers of berberis ‘Darwinii Compacta’

Witch hazels

Witch hazels (hamamelis) are deciduous, winter-blooming trees with distinctive, fragrant blooms. There are lots of cultivars with orange flowers, as well as others with red and yellow flowers. Check out ‘Aphrodite’, ‘Jelena’ and ‘Orange Beauty’.

Advertisement Golden-orange witch hazel ‘Aphrodite’ Arrowhead, green vulcan grass

Plants to combine with orange flowers

  • Verbena bonariensis
  • Agastaches
  • Salvias
  • Aeoniums
  • Phlox
  • Heleniums
  • Cannas
  • Briza media
  • Wangenheimia lima

30 of the best climbing plants

Here’s a selection of the best climbing plants. We’ve divided the list into climbers for walls, borders and vigorous examples. Climbing plants, including favourites such as honeysuckle and jasmine, all share the successful strategy of relying on the support of other plants or objects to reach the sunlight. This obviates the need to invest much in producing supportive tissue, such as the wood in trees, and means climbers aren’t subject to the usual restraints on growth. Of course, luxuriant growth brings its own problems – vigour must be matched carefully to the appropriate space, and abundance restrained where necessary.

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Climbers for walls

Trachelospermum jasminoides. A star-shaped Jasmine with white scented flowers and evergreen leaves. A twining woody climbing plant. Photo: Gardeners’ World/Jason Ingram 1

Pileostegia viburnoides

Self-clinging, evergreen and shade tolerant with frothy white flowers in late summer. This climbing hydrangea has a slow rate of growth, but this makes it less work to restrain once established. 6m. USDA 8a-10b.

2

Parthenocissus henryana

Native to China, this Virginia creeper has tastefully variegated leaves that turn vibrant shades of red in the autumn. It self-clings and will tolerate the shade of a north-facing wall. 4.7m. AGM. RHS H5, USDA 6a-9b.

3

Hydrangea anomala subsp. petiolaris

Deciduous, but in season it completely clothes its space with large, green leaves and white, lace-cap inflorescences. Another climbing hydrangea that will cover a shady wall fast. 12m. AGM. RHS H5, USDA 4a-7b.

4

Jasminum nudiflorum

Can be persuaded to adopt the semblance of a climber by training and cutting back immediately after flowering. If allowed some freedom, this winter jasmin will flower abundantly in winter and early spring. AGM. RHS H5, USDA 6a-9b.

5

Trachelospermum jasminoides

The scent of ‘false jasmine’ is not that similar to true jasmine, but equally powerful. The star jasmine is quite hardy, although the similar Trachelospermum asiaticum is said to be hardier. Best on a sunny wall. 12m. AGM. RHS H4, USDA 8a-11.

6

Hedera algeriensis ‘Gloire de Marengo’

Good for lighting up dark walls without any fuss. A vigorous, self-clinging, adaptable variegated ivy, with smart, glossy leaves tinged with white. AGM. RHS H5, USDA 7a-10b.

7

Lonicera x tellmanniana

A honeysuckle lacking scent, but abundant, vivid-orange flowers offer excitement enough. Tolerates shade and may be pruned by removing flowered growth annually. 4.7m. AGM. RHS H5, USDA 7b-10b.

8

Cobaea scandens

The most vigorous of all annual climbers, and perennial in a frost-free climate. In one year, from seed, the ‘cup and saucer vine’ can cover an astonishing area with bell-shaped flowers from late summer to first frosts. 1.8m. AGM. RHS H2, USDA 9a-10b.

9

Schizophragma integrifolium

Similar to Hydrangea anomala, although you will need more patience. This climbing hyrdrangea is distinguished by the shape and size of the sterile florets that encircle the inflorescence. 6m. AGM. RHS H5, USDA 7a-10b.

10

Actinidia kolomikta

An extraordinary relative of the kiwi. Its leaves appear to have been dipped in white paint then spray-painted bubble-gum pink. Said to require full sun, but this doesn’t appear to be quite true. 9m. AGM. RHS H5, USDA 4a-8b.

Climbers for borders

Rhodochiton atrosanguineus produces beautiful flowers along the length of its twining stem. Photo: Maayke De Ridder 11

Ipomoea tricolor ‘Heavenly Blue’

Perennial in a Mediterranean climate, it can achieve sufficient bulk here to make its presence felt from a late April sowing, without causing too much of a nuisance. Will flower until frost cuts it down. 3m. AGM. RHS H1c.

12

Tropaeolum speciosum

A perennial nasturtium that needs acid soil and prefers a cool summer. The flaming nasturtium is herbaceous, arising from tubers and will run when happy. Works well among evergreen shrubs, such as camellias. 3m. AGM. RHS H5, USDA 7a-10b.

13

Ipomoea lobata

An intriguing member of the bindweed family, with flowers that are simultaneously an intense orange and yellow in the early bud stage, maturing to cream. Sow Spanish flag in late April and plant after all danger of frost. 3m.

14

Clematis ‘Prince Charles’

A prolific blue-flowered clematis, similar to Sissinghurst’s ‘Perle d’Azur’ but with slightly smaller flowers and improved resistance to powdery mildew. Cut back hard in spring and watch it go. 2.4m. AGM. RHS H6, USDA 4a-8b.

15

Bomarea multiflora

Twining herbaceous climber, a relative of Alstroemeria, that arises from a tuber. The trailing lily may come through the winter protected by a thick mulch. Something this gorgeous deserves some effort. 6m. AGM. USDA 10a-11.

16

Ipomoea coccinea

Delicate in growth with striking scarlet flowers, this true annual is rarely seen and deserves to be grown more frequently. Straightforward from seed sown in late April and then planted out after all risk of frost is over. 6m.

17

Solanum laxum ‘Album’

A twining climber with abundant clusters of flowers that look fragile and fresh right up to the first frosts. Trim lateral branches to around 15cm in winter. On the tender side, so site carefully. 6m. AGM.

18

Rhodochiton atrosanguineus

This ‘purple bell flower’ produces beautiful flowers along the length of its twining stems, and looks effective growing along horizontal twigs or branches. Can be sown late April, or August and overwintered frost free. 2.5m AGM. RHS H2.

19

Lapageria rosea

Achingly beautiful, but requires shade, shelter, good drainage (yet plentiful summer moisture), is slow to establish and an apparently ambrosial beacon for slugs. 7m. AGM. RHS H3, USDA 9b-11.

20

Clematis ‘Frances Rivis’

A good early flowering clematis with nodding flowers of great charm in spring. Works well in partial, deciduous shade as part of a woodland scheme. Prune lightly after flowering, if at all. AGM. RHS H6, USDA 4b-9a.

Vigorous scramblers

Lonicera periclymenum ‘Serotina’. A scented deciduous honeysuckle for early summer. It produces pink and white flowers and is great for attracting wildlife into the garden. Photo: Gardeners’ World/Jason Ingram 21

Clematis ‘Alba Luxurians’

One of the most vigorous of the viticella cultivars. Cut back hard every spring, you’ll be amazed at the coverage you get over the course of one season. Flowers profusely July to September. 3.6m. USDA 3a-9b.

22

Rosa ‘Wedding Day’

The scrambling rose flowers have the agreeable quality of changing colour as they mature, from pale primrose to almost white. The different stages appear side by side in each many-headed inflorescence. 9m. USDA 7a-9b.

23

Clematis ‘Bill MacKenzie’

A tough, vigorous, clematis, offering both striking flowers and seedheads over a long period. It’s tolerant of drought and extreme cold, but does best in full sun. 6m. AGM. RHS H6, USDA 5b-9b.

24

Lonicera periclymenum ‘Serotina’

Honeysuckle, with vivid colouring and a long flowering season. A vigorous and at times untidy grower; it can be kept within bounds by carefully removing flowered shoots in winter. 6m. AGM. RHS H5, USDA 5a-9b.

25

Rosa ‘Chevy Chase’

A rambling rose with a touch of opulence. The flowers are small double and crimson, with tightly clustered petals. Great in combination with the dark, glossy leaves of a mature holly, which makes a suitable host. 7m. USDA 5a-9b.

26

Rosa ‘The Garland’

Trained to cover an archway, this rose has always been the most arresting sight in the garden where I’ve been working for the past four years. Now it’s happily rambling on to a neighbouring yew tree. 7m.

27

Wisteria floribunda ‘Alba’

Often grown in spur-pruned tiers on a wall, although if you allow it the freedom to romp into trees, it will seek out the sunshine to flower well, and assume something of its natural character. 12m. USDA 5a-10b.

28

Vitis coignetiae

A vine in the more precise sense of the word: a close relative of the grape. Grown for its large leaves, which turn spectacular colours in autumn. A wonderful way to enliven evergreen trees. 12m. AGM. RHS H5, USDA 5a-9b.

29

Rosa ‘Paul’s Himalayan Musk’

Vigorous rambling rose, with delicate flowers. Perfect for hoisting up a large tree. Will take time to establish itself, but once it does you will be rewarded with grace, scent and a profusion of flowers. 9m. AGM. RHS H6, USDA 4a-9b.

30

Clematis montana var. grandiflora

Well known for its extraordinary vigour, which makes it difficult to contain. Its stemmy growth can look rather untidy, especially in the winter. All will be forgiven when it flowers. 12m. AGM. RHS H4, USDA 6a-9b.

Where to see and buy

• Burncoose Nurseries

• Great Dixter


• Penwood Nurseries


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• RHS Garden Wisley


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