For any garden it is important to create a sense of intrigue and mystery through the use of colors, textures and heights. Whilst personal taste will always remain at the forefront of design, careful planning and attention given to the contrasts, focal points, and highlight colors are as important in the garden as they are to interior designers. A garden based on one level can be a stunning horticultural masterpiece but the simple integration of a few structural items can provide the vital component to add an extra perspective that both gardener and visitors can revel in.
A simple way of producing such height diversity is to add some trellising to the garden, allowing for a huge range of beautiful and stunning climbing plants to offer blooms and scents at an entirely new level. Adding both depth and interest to the garden the variety of climbers is immense, offering the perfect plant for everyone.
The Perfect Pair
Roses and clematis are often described as the perfect pairing for trellises due to their complimentary characteristics. With an enormous range of characteristics both plant groups offer the opportunity to carefully match colors, choose species which will maximize trellis coverage, and find suitable plants which will grow in similar conditions. In general climbing, roses normally need no pruning for the first two to three years, with gardeners simply training their stems along the trellis and tying them in as necessary. Meanwhile scrambling clematis stems and curling leaves will happily use both rose and trellis for support, using the structure of wood and plant to find sunlight for its flowers. Careful selection of flowering times can ensure that a succession of blooms fill the air as clematis fade and roses start, allowing for a beautiful flower laden trellis throughout the growing year.
In addition to height, fragrance is also an important aspect of gardens and can be particularly enhanced by a number of climbing plants. Some roses are specifically grown for their heady scents, offering beautiful fragrances along with gorgeous flowers. Meanwhile the pale purples and whites of wisteria offer an early season swathe of color and aroma, whilst honeysuckles will come into their own during the summer months, filling the evenings with an intoxicating perfume. And for those wanting scented flowers for the house and garden, sweet peas provide the perfect option for colorful scented bouquets.
There is also a huge array of climbers that, due to being annuals, will grow rapidly over trellising providing an almost instant season of color. The black-eyed susan vine offers huge orange and yellow flowers with a dark centre, whilst morning glories will smother a trellis in beautiful flutes of pale blues, whites and pinks. Meanwhile climbing nasturtiums will quickly scramble upwards creating a wall of color. And with annual plants creating large numbers of seeds, new plants for the following season will happily sow themselves.
Whilst you may be looking to trellises for flower purposes they also offer a fantastic way to grow certain vegetables and fruit. Beans and peas will quickly grow up trellis using their tendrils to hook their stems in. Meanwhile climbing tomato species and cucumbers need adequate height and support to aid the development of their harvest, whilst fruit species including raspberries, blackberries and loganberries can all be tied or wired onto trellis to make a succulent source of summer puddings for the table.
With so many options within the climbing plant niche there is always something for everyone. And whether your trellis is to be smothered in year long blooms or help grow some mouth-watering food for the table, the addition of horticultural height to any garden will add an entirely new aspect for all to enjoy.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Geoff Wakeling is a London based writer and gardener who works within the media industry as a garden expert. Running a landscape design and maintenance business, he also holds a degree in Zoology, runs a gardening website, The Guide to Gay Gardening, and has articles listed on Ezine and eHow.