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Something fast growing and leafy to cover ugly iron railings?

(13 Posts)
yawningbear Thu 08-Nov-12 14:09:18

We have a very small, think postage stamp small, terraced garden, the top of which has been fenced in to make safe for small people. It is ugly, horrible brick walls on ground and second tier and ugly railings at top. I am thinking of painting the brick walls and growing something up them and trying to grow something around the railings, but I am no gardener, so clueless as to what would work. Garden is south facing but overshadowed by houses up above, as garden is built into side of hill. It also seems very boggy. Any ideas as to what could cover railings relatively quickly? TIA

Aquelven Thu 08-Nov-12 19:57:02

One of the small leaved variegated ones would be pretty & being evergreen would provide disguise all year round.
If you wanted some colour you old grow a clematis to grow up through it & flower in summer.

yawningbear Fri 09-Nov-12 16:54:50

Thanks Aquelven, I was thinking Ivy could be the way to go and then try and grow other flowering plants amongst it for some colour. I have found a good website which helps identify what will grow well in the conditions etc so will have a go using that as well. It needs to be hardy, that I do know! Thanks again for the reply.

Pannacotta Tue 13-Nov-12 09:29:21

Clematis armandii is a nice evergreen climber with scented flowers in early sping.
It grows in a lovely draping way and is quite fast growing. Happy in shade but will flower more if it gets some sun.

It has a softer habit than ivy so I think it might work better on the railings - ivy woudl work well against the wall as it will sucker and stick to the wall.
I woudl try and find a smaller growing ivy though, not the native Hedera helix as thi sis probably too fasdt growing for a small garden.
If you find a good local nursery they will help you with this,

yawningbear Tue 13-Nov-12 20:15:37

Thankyou Pannacotta, I think the clematis looks lovely, I had walked past a house recently that had this or something very similiar growing over their railings and I loved it. Do you know if it matters when we plant it, is is best to wait til spring?

Pannacotta Tue 13-Nov-12 21:06:19

If you are fairly sheltered and not in a frost pocket then plant it now.
If your garden gets hit by the frosts then it might be worth planting in spring.

What I would say is that its not worth putting in a large, expensive plant.
I put in two at the same time, one was tiny and cheap and the other was quite big, trained on trellis and more expensive. They are both the same size now, 2 years later.

Dig a good sized hole and add plenty of decent compost when you plant and this will help it get away quickly. It also needs some support, either wires or trellis as its not self-clinging.

yawningbear Thu 15-Nov-12 18:57:17

Spring it is then. Thank you for the advice, I am really quite excited at the prospect of trying to make it look lovely, and just want to get on with it but it is very cold here already so best to wait.

Pannacotta Fri 16-Nov-12 13:07:27

yawning, there is another option you coudl look at, its another evergreen clematis but less vigourous than the amrnadii.
It is Clematis clarkeana WInter Beauty.
I have one on a fence and it has buds on, it flowers in Dec/Jan time, the flowers look like little bells.
Very lovely and teh foliage is good too.

WildRumpus Fri 16-Nov-12 14:12:36

I would def head in the direction of clematis rather than ivy if you think you might want to add other plants later. Ivy is enormously useful for covering tricky spaces quickly but it can be rather dominant and uncontrollable. Clematis will climb through other plants without causing them any trouble. When planting it make sure about an inch of stem is buried - for some reason clematis likes that. My 'garden' is 3m x 3m and mostly shady. I have slowly but surely been getting rid of ivy and introducing clematis. I have 6 now, flowering at different times. Also wisteria and trachelospermum jasminoides - lovely glossy fast growing evergreen with powerfully fragrant little White flowers in summer.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sat 17-Nov-12 20:36:01

Ivy could overwhelm the space very quickly. How about honeysuckle for fragrance?

yawningbear Wed 21-Nov-12 09:54:32

Brilliant, thank you both, I am going to note down the suggestions and go along to a local nursery I have found and see what they have. I definitely like the idea of things flowering at different times, and something flowering during the winter months would be a big bonus. I also love the idea of honeysuckle and I love jasmine. Would any of these grow well in large pots/planters? The garden is tiered, the top is a small patch of grass with railings, I can plant things in the soil here and try and grow up around the railings but the ground and middle level is concrete ground and brick wall, so I need things that will grow well in pots that I can either train upwards or that will grow in large pots on middle levels and grow down the wall? thanks again, I am feeling inspired and hopeful that my ugly pocket sized city garden could look beautiful in a couple of years time!

WildRumpus Thu 22-Nov-12 07:27:50

Yes to pots. My garden / postage stamp is mostly paved too and my wonderful DH built a sort of open pergola for me to train plants over. So there are large pots at the bases of the pergola. Trachelospermum
jasminoides is v happy in a pot. Fab for fragrance in a small space. Also worth looking at climbing roses. Roses - good partners for clematis. And if you want to get started on your garden now this is a good time of year to plant roses.
And then you can have another burst in spring. There are loads and loads of clematis to choose from. Armandii is excellent - evergreen, fragrant, shade tolerant etc. Also have a look at Montana Rubens for fast growing and mahoosive display of pretty pink flowers in spring.
Warning - plants can be v addictive - even with the smallest garden.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Thu 22-Nov-12 13:32:28

Oh yes. Plants are truly addictive.

Clematis montana could be a tad too rampant if your garden is really small, but as long as you use good compost (John Innes No 2 rather than multi-purpose) and the biggest pots you can find, any of the things mentioned here should be happy in pots.

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