Climbers for a pergola - any advice welcome(22 Posts)
I'm sure it has been done to death but I need some advice.
Dh built a lovely pergola last year but sitting out there today I have decided it really needs some nice climbers. I remember reading a thread a good while back where it was suggested growing different ones so they flower at different times but I've forgotten the exact combinations suggested.
They would need to be grown in pots too as its over a decked area with a steep drop one side to water. I quite like honeysuckle and passion flowers but tbh I'm clueless.
Place marking - looking for something for a wall that gets the sun on a morning only
How much sun does it get? What aspect is it facing? Is it exposed or sheltered? How cold does it get there? And how big is it?
Passion flowers are lovely but only one is hardy, and then only in a sheltered spot. Good for pots as well.
Wisteria are lovely on pergolas, but can grow a bit too much and do need pruning. If you are going to buy one, buy it when it is in bloom so you know it flowers, some are very shy to flower. Don't really think it is suitable for a pot though. Can you put a hole in the deck so that the roots can get into some actual soil or is that impossible?
Honeysuckle gets a bit untidy in a pergola imo, but if you are prepared to train it and keep it in check it is lovely, and pretty undemanding.
Sweet peas smell great and as they are annual can help in the early years while the others get going. Morning glories are another annual which will help cover it quickly but will be out of the way when other things get established.
There are many clematis which would do well in pots, and they flower at different times depending on the type. There is also a huge range of colours to choose from.
For a wall which gets sun in morning only I think you can't beat rose mme alfred carriere - copes very well with shade, is almost without spines and smells fantastic. It would need an absolutely gigantic pot if it was in a pot though.
The pergola is 2.5 m square - . the deck gets Sun from mid morning til late afternoon although the trees provide dapple shade and then total shade from 5 onwards in the summer. It's quite a sheltered spot probably one of the most in the garden. We are in the east so not particularly cold I wouldn't say.
The deck goes over the bank down to the stream (so effectively levels off that area of the garden) so putting a hole in is not an easy task tbh. Dh looked a bit pale when I just mentioned that
I should add dh wants to grow hops for his homebrew - but neither of us has grown those before!!!
For one climber I would recommend (not certain of spelling) a rose called Banksaei Lutea. It is a highly scented, thornless, grows rapidly and does not need pruning.
Common jasmine is all over my mums, mixed with honeysuckle and wisteria. It looks and smells great!
Sounds like a lovely spot for planting! You could grow almost anything there, and if it is in a pot it is not likely to overwhelm the pergola. Go with whatever strikes your fancy! I would put jasmine for sure, it smells so nice when it is flowering I always like to have it near a sitting area, and something for later colour like one of the later clematis, which are easy to prune as you cut them right down every year and maybe a passion flower as you like them.
I've never grown hops but I do believe they are quite vigorous.
I have an arch with a prolific pink rose and a honeysuckle. Gorgeous scent. I would say any of the combinations clematis would combine well. Thorns a problem with the Rose but you might be able to plant one near by and train over the top for scent.
Go for the biggest pots that you can and when you first put the climber in put some annuals in too so that keeps the compost in the pot fresh. Go fo a tall pot as well to give a good root run and use John innes no 2 rather than multi purpose compost.
I had a wisteria in a pot for years. Honeysuckle might struggle a bit but jasmine and a clematis should be fine.
So much choice - whatever you choose make sure the pots are really big, and remember they will need regular watering and feeding to stay really healthy. If possible I'd put in an irrigation system at the same time. As it's square I'd go for your passion flower, honeysuckle (Halls Prolific is a good scented one), then add a clematis (Purpura Plena is one of my favourites but you might want to consider an amandii which is evergreen and flowers earlier, or a winter clematis like Wisley Cream), and a rose - check out the David Austin website for a climber that will be happy in a pot.
Thank you for the suggestions - when we're talking big pots how big do you think? I think I will need to purchase some new ones ( what a shame!!)
I know generally mn isn't a fan of decking but it works really well in that spot - next door have a patio in a similar spot but have had issues with it subsiding over the years. We're not bad at the big structural stuff but clueless when it comes to planting!
A lot depends on how much maintenance and what sort of look you want. Honeysuckle, while beautifully scented does need taming and can look quite ugly in winter. I would go for one of the species honeysuckle, which do not need as much work rather than the common ones. If you are prepared to pay a bit more it is worth it.
I would not be without summer Jasmine. It is easy to train. I have a stunning variegated leAf variety.
Not everything has to climb, shrubs will give you year round interest and can be planted in the same pot as a climber. Leave some space in the pots so that you can plant trailing plants to give a hanging basket effect. We always put stones over the soil in our pots, Scottish pebble are lovely, especially when wet. This will stop the soil from evaporating.
Hope you can post some photos
We have wisteria but it's in the ground. As mentioned up thread it can be aggressive. When we moved in it had reached the guttering at the top of the house having grown across a path to reach the house!
It gets beaten back every year now and looks lovely. Even when it has shed its leaves the stems form really interesting, thick, twisted shapes around the pergola.
Feeling inspired to try and get something in a pot that will flower later in the year.
I would be tempted to plant really rambling things in the earth at a distance and train the climbers up wires towards the pergola. That way, you can have large plants that really go mad across it, which will give a lovely leafy effect. Climbers in pots tend not to get enormous, and you have quite a large area to fill! I'd then use pots to introduce smaller, fragrant plants near the seating.
I'd choose at least one evergreen for winter cover and one or two scented climbers, because it'll be lovely to sit and smell them on summer evenings. I've a soft spot for akebia quinata, but rose and wisteria would look terrific, though the latter is a longer term commitment.
An off-the-wall suggestion would be a hardy self-fertile kiwi vine, e.g. actinidia arguta issai. This will give you fruit you can eat straight off the vine, and plenty of lovely green foliage.
I had an expanse of trellis on the top of a low wall and grew clematis and honeysuckle two of each one early and a late flowering one. It was in flowere all summer.
They were too succesful though and made the trellis collapse...
Oooh I like the idea of the kiwi vine and trailing something up wires
I happened to be passing a garden centre today and came home with a clematis and a honeysuckle (and two rustic pots - total sucker for a rustic pot me!) but even if I go with some other suggestions I'm sure I will find somewhere for them!
We had a vine that grew grapes after three years, not evergreen though.
I am trying to persuade my husband to build me one of these!
Join the discussion
Please login first.