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Pergola structure project help needed on climbers

(11 Posts)
BrilliantlyStupid Mon 08-Jun-15 13:36:13

I am not a gardener but I am keen to learn and would love some advice on a project I want to undertake.
I have inherited a large wooden structure in my garden which used to have a plastic roof on and was used as storage. The roof has blown off and it is no longer used as storage. So what is left is a wooden structure with roof beams. I would love to grow climbers over it and turn it into a shaded haven in my garden. The structure has a small strip of earth approx 20-30cm around 2 sides of it. The other 2 sides boarder the fence.
Firstly, is this enough earth to plant in or would I need to grow plants in containers?
Secondly, I would love some ideas of what to plant. It needs to be easy to maintain, quick growing (as I am impatient!) evergreen (so we don't need to look at ugly structure all year round!), pretty flowers in the spring/summer.
Please help me!

SonceyD0g Mon 08-Jun-15 13:38:36

Evergreen honeysuckle is nice. We have one on our pagoda. It's in a planter

Pjran Mon 08-Jun-15 13:46:19

I have a beautiful evergreen clematis which flowers winter and spring, climbs anything. Also, buy a later summer flowering one, they'll look beautiful on your structure. Easy maintenance, ideal plants with no thorns.

BrilliantlyStupid Mon 08-Jun-15 14:04:05

Thank you for the ideas - they both look v pretty. Is it better to stick with one type of climber or mix a few varieties?

florentina1 Mon 08-Jun-15 15:28:04

I would go for summer jasmine, the evergreen clematis, and the rose Rambling Rector. All of these are white, very hardy and beautifully scented. If you want a bit of colour you can plant climbing annuals in pots to, ring the changes each year. nasturtium,sweet peas, black eyed Susan are just a few that spring to mind.

David Austin and Peter Beale do,good online catalogues for roses showing colours, and conditions tolerated.

traviata Mon 08-Jun-15 19:41:34

also consider akebia quinata, and solanum Glasnevin (semi-evergreen)

BrilliantlyStupid Fri 12-Jun-15 09:56:02

Thank you so much for all of your suggestions, you have given me some great ideas. I'm going to dig over the soil surrounding the structure this weekend to see if I could plant straight in the ground....should I enrich the soil in anyway before I plant?

florentina1 Fri 12-Jun-15 18:24:47

You will probably find that the soil will be quite dry around the base. When planting dig a hole bigger than you need and fill with good quality compost. Some have feed already in them (miracle grow for example) One problem is, if you are at work all day. Newly established plants do need lots of water to get them started. Most big climbers are better off planted in the autumn.

Perhaps you could buy some pot grown climbers and just tie them loosely to the structure for now. Then untie them and plant them in late,September.

If you are going to choose roses, David Austin, has a good online catalogue. CROCUS Is another good site for information and good quality plants.

If this was previously a roofed structure, it is possible that there will be quite a lot of concrete around the base.

Please,keep us posted about what you decide. I have a tiny walled garden which looks after itself now, as I am getting a bit old to do i I get enormous,pleasure from reading about all the gardeners on MN.

BrilliantlyStupid Fri 12-Jun-15 22:25:11

florentina1, thank you for your advice you have been incredibly helpful flowers
There are paving slabs on the base of the structure and it looks like there is a membrane poking out underneath. I work from home so can easily water the plants as much as needed. I think I am going to go with your suggestions of summer jasmine, the evergreen clematis, and the rose Rambling Rector. They look amazing! I have 6 posts where I can plant plants to climb upwards, should I plan for 2 of each to get started?

florentina1 Sat 13-Jun-15 08:10:32

What are the dimensions of the structure? These are very vigorous climbers. If you google NGS 35 camberwell road, you can seethe eventual size Of Rambling rector. It is the rose planted outside the white artist studio.

florentina1 Sat 13-Jun-15 08:26:45

The clematis I have is called Cirrhosa, it is much more hardy than the other varieties. another beautiful scented and quick grower is the double philadelphus.

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