Did you know that average garden sizes are getting smaller? But there is one group of plants that benefits from smaller gardens; climbing plants and creeper plants.
The one thing that all garden designers do when planning small garden schemes is to travel upwards. Boundary fences, building walls, archways, pergolas, arbours, obelisks — they can all feature in small gardens and provide an opportunity for plants "on the vertical".
Climbing plants can frame windows with flowers to fill the house with scent and they can mask a stark boundary wall with colour and fragrance. By using different climbers together or combining them with shrubs, gardeners can compose planting schemes that will offer constantly changing pictures throughout the year; all this while taking up minimal ground space.
For best results choose climbing plants that flower at different times. This will offer the longest display. However, combining plants with flowering seasons that overlap with each other often provides the greater interest. Combining different climbers - roses and clematis is the classic combination - gives a long season of interest. Another classic example of this is to try growing climbers through other plants For example, an old apple tree can become a living support for a climbing rose.
Climbing plants use a variety of methods to cling on and ascend. Some have twining leaf stalks that wind around supports or other plants, others have aerial roots that can burrow into brick and mortar while others still have tendrils, adhesive pads or thorns to haul themselves upwards. Click here for guide on growing climbers by coastal conditions.