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Clematis or...?

(27 Posts)
ArseyTussle Sun 19-Feb-17 11:23:36

I want a vigorous twining climber for the front of my house, which is east facing. We suffer with strong coastal winds, so I need something tough. I'd LOVE a wisteria as they're just so beautiful, but I'm worried it wouldn't survive.

So, a Clematis Montana? Our neighbour has a very healthy one, so I'm sure it would grow here. Which variety would look good against a red brick modern house?

AstrantiaMajor Sun 19-Feb-17 13:22:04

I had Montana Rubens on my East facing wall. I think some of the other pinks are a bit wish washy.

ArseyTussle Sun 19-Feb-17 14:04:13

Yes, I know what you mean, I prefer much stronger colours, but they seem to be the smaller varieties. I suppose I could go for white. Or maybe a honeysuckle?

MaudOnceMore Sun 19-Feb-17 15:43:04

I was going to suggest honeysuckle - needs a bit of pruning to prevent it becoming a tangled mess but has the huge benefit of scent.

Clematis viticella jackmanii might also do well there.

ArseyTussle Sun 19-Feb-17 17:18:48

I'd like minimum upkeep if possible; my plan is to get the biggest growing variety and clothe the front of the house, so ideally I wouldn't have to get up on a ladder frequently to fight with it!

AstrantiaMajor Sun 19-Feb-17 17:32:52

What about summer Jasmine. I once had a variegated one, but I cannot remember its name

elephantoverthehill Sun 19-Feb-17 17:36:28

What about summer and winter jasmines?

ArseyTussle Sun 19-Feb-17 17:52:23

I love jasmine, but the RHS site seems to say all varieties need a sheltered site.

ArseyTussle Sun 19-Feb-17 17:55:39

How should I go about mixing types of climber? I'm wondering whether the impact is better if the whole wall is one plant (there are no windows on the upper floor on that side, so there's a lot of wall available for impact!).

JT05 Sun 19-Feb-17 23:09:02

I have a summer jasmine in Scotland growing over a pergola,facing the Irish Sea. It seems to do all right. But it hasn't spoken to the RHS!grin

MrsBertBibby Mon 20-Feb-17 08:17:52

Anyone got a clematis suggestion for us? The current incumbent grows fine, but the pink flowers are totally meh, it flowers away happily, but you have to remember to look at them. It's right by the front door, so I'd like something that's a bit more of an exhibitionist.

Ideally, I want one that can be cut right down each winter.

Newtssuitcase Mon 20-Feb-17 08:21:46

Is there something similar which will grow well on a north facing wall? I have two very big ugly facades to the house (north and east) and would love to cover them but don't want to spend a fortune on plants which then don't thrive.

ArseyTussle Mon 20-Feb-17 08:25:36

Good to hear about that, JT, perhaps if I get one they can be penpals! grin Do you prune it or let it ramble? And is it evergreen?

My research so far has shown the bigger clematis have the white or pale pink flowers. The shadier clematis by and large have lovely colours but don't grow very big.

I think there are some shade loving honeysuckle that are cut downable each year.

MrsBertBibby Mon 20-Feb-17 08:29:51

I used to have a climbing hydrangea which seemed ok in my very gloomy old front garden.

My parents used to have a fabulous virginia creeper which wrapped all around their house, including the non sunny side. I did hate sweeping up those bloody leaves in the autumn, though.

JT05 Mon 20-Feb-17 08:35:57

The Jasmine is deciduous and rambles over a 6ft pergola. I prune it back to the old wood, at this time of year and away it goes again. It is well established and seems to survive the harshest weather, it was already there when I bought the house.

AstrantiaMajor Mon 20-Feb-17 08:38:35

I had a beautiful variegated summer Jasmine which was tough as old boots and needed no looking after. I like them because they keep their leaves through the winter, losing them in spring, just before the flowers arrive, I did have a climbing hydrangea too but it took about 4 years before it flowered.

ArseyTussle Mon 20-Feb-17 11:00:37

I'm glad you say that about your hydrangea, I have two and they are just a collection of twigs and buds, nothing meaningful yet, I obviously need to be more patient!

shovetheholly Tue 21-Feb-17 07:52:54

I love a Montana (especially the new ones with coloured foliage and scent), but I don't think I'd put one on the front of my house. It's a pretty visually important area, and they look really ugly over the winter.

Clematis grow all over the place- you get varieties from hot climates and varieties from the mountains. So there will be one that can withstand your conditions - have a look at the alpina ones!

You could even grow a couple of climbers so that you have year-round interest. There's a lovely one called clematis naupaulensis, which does an extraordinary thing. It flowers in winter, and then drops all its leaves in summer before regrowing them in autumn. You could pair that with an alpina form and have something to look at in all seasons.

ArseyTussle Tue 21-Feb-17 09:08:36

Hhm, I see what you mean.

Those alpina are lovely, but only grow to 8ft. If I were mixing types of clematis would you suggest alternating them? Is it specifically Montana that will look ropey in the winter or will that be the case with all clematis?

What do you think about something like an evergreen climbing honeysuckle? I'm wary of anything clinging, very scared indeed of things like Virginia Creeper or ivy.

I love aristolochia macrophylla but now I'm wondering whether that would look awful in winter too.

This site is a treat for those of us who love green-clothed houses!

ArseyTussle Tue 21-Feb-17 09:18:54

Sausage vine?

Do pyracantha have to be tied in once they get tall, or do they just lean against the house? They're very boring though, aren't they?

hollyisalovelyname Tue 21-Feb-17 09:43:31

What about Solanum, the potato plant. It comes in white and also light purple ?

shovetheholly Tue 21-Feb-17 15:04:07

Definite no to ivy!! Virginia creeper is less bad, I think - there is a Chinese one which is nicer and less vigorous - called Parthenocissus henryana.

And yes to alternating the clematis, though I think you'd have to make sure that you didn't have one that was rampant which would eat the other alive. Montana, I think, looks a bit ropey (literally) because it's so vigorous. So you get this strange tangle of bare stems over the winter, though the flowers are a magnificent compensation in late spring!

There is a house near my friend's where they have espaliered a pyracantha, and it looks rather smart. Escallonia might be another bet.

How far are you from the sea and where roughly are you? Is your house salt-lashed or a bit inland? I ask because some of the best wisteria I know grow relatively close to the sea - but this is in Suffolk, so warm, dry summers! Also, if you're not very salty, magnolia grandiflora can look magnificent on a wall and tolerates wind.

I hate to put anyone off planting something, but do think about the way that plants on the outside of a house can sometimes bring moisture through the walls!

ArseyTussle Tue 21-Feb-17 17:46:14

Moisture through walls! <faints>

We are about 300m from the water, and depending on the wind direction we definitely get salt. At the north end of the UK.

I love magnolia, and there is one in the next village along (maybe about 500m from the sea but perhaps with more houses in between it and the water) that seems to be doing OK. That's a deciduous one though.

OllyBJolly Tue 21-Feb-17 17:55:37

I have a winter jasmine and it is just glorious from November until March. Cheerful when everything else is so dreich! It's evergreen and I use it to support sweet peas in the summer.

shovetheholly Thu 23-Feb-17 09:21:24

Hmmm, in that case a magnolia grandiflora might not be such a good idea!

(It sounds absolutely lovely, by the way. I grew up near the coast, and am massively land-locked now, and I miss it!)

A quick look online suggests that clematis Montana is a really preferred plant for your conditions!! smile I wonder if you can grow something evergreen with it to give you something over the winter? You might not be able to grow through it, due to how vigorous it is, but you could do so close by?

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