Think of the most beautiful gardens, and more often than not you'll find that it's climbers that create the magic. Monet's garden, or the hanging gardens of Babylon, wouldn't be quite the same without them. Beyond the romance, climbers are one of the most useful of plants. They screen out neighbours, transform an ugly view (even entire buildings) and the dappled light they cast through a pergola is nothing short of exquisite, not to mention a cheaper solution than walls and screens.
- Plants that need no support and develop their own suckers for attachment; eg. Ivy.
- Plants that twine their way around support structures such as timber, lattice or steel mesh; eg. Solanum Jasminoides.
- Plants with no effective natural means of climbing that will need to be trained; eg. Climbing Roses and Bougainvillea.
- Propagation: Climbing and scrambling plants are commonly grown from seeds or cuttings. The best cuttings are taken from young growth which is just beginning to harden. Most climbers produce roots from these nodes, so a clean cut below the node generally promotes good root development. When propagating from seed, ripe seed produces the best results. The life of a seed from fleshy fruits is often limited, so these seeds should be sown as soon as possible after collection.
- Soil Preparation and Planting: Most climbers and scramblers grow in well-drained soils, rich in organic matter. Clay soils can be improved with the addition of gypsum, while sandy soils are improved with the addition of compost and other organic material. Evergreen climbers can be planted at most times of the year. Mulching around the plant will help keep the roots moist and cool and will limit weed growth.
- Supports for Climbers and Scramblers: Wire mesh, lattice, arches, walls, fences and pergolas are traditional and highly effective supports for climbing plants. Many climbers also look particularly interesting when trained on tree trunks. Light climbers and many scramblers can be grown among shrubs, where they provide added interest and texture to the garden.
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75 Gardeners Rd
Kingsford NSW 2032
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