Best Way to Brighten Garden Walls and Fences

Even a small one-storey house has enough wall space for a few climbers, and invariably there are walls and fences throughout a garden that need brightening with flowers or attractive foliage.

Here are some suggestions for other climbers which lend themselves particularly well to walls and fences, with ideas on specific ways to position them, sometimes in combination with other plants.

Garden Walls 1 Best Way to Brighten Garden Walls and Fences

Summer displays

  • Abutilon vitifotium: A slightly tender, deciduous shrub that is best grown against a warm wall. From early to late summer it bears large, saucer-shaped, pale to deep blue flowers. It forms an attractive combination with the bright yellow, daisy­like flowers of Senecio ‘Sunshine’ and the sweetly-scented, yellow flowers of Genista cinerea, a broom that blooms during early and mid-summer.
  • Ceanothusrigidus (Californian lilac): A half-hardy, evergreen shrub that welcomes the protection of a warm, sunny wall, where it bears long clusters of purple-blue flowers during spring and early summer. Plant yellow-flowered shrubs in front of it, such as shrubby potentillas which have a long flowering season.
  • Cytisus battandieri (Moroccan broom): Deciduous or semi-evergreen shrub for planting against a warm, sunny wall. Pineapple-scented, golden-yellow flowers appear during mid-summer. They contrast well with the blue flowers of the herbaceous agapanthus.

Garden fense 1 Best Way to Brighten Garden Walls and Fences

  • Lonicera japonica ‘Aureoreticulata’: Its green leaves have veins picked out in yellow. It is ideal on a small trellis with a sage and the variegated Mentha rotundifolia ‘Variegata’ (with creamy-white edges to the leaves) planted in front of it. Low stems of the lonicera will clamber through the sage and mint.
  • Rosa ecae ‘Helen Knight’ (sometimes sold as Rosa ‘Helen Knight’): This dainty, hardy, deciduous shrub rose with prickly stems and small, fern-like leaves displays yellow, saucer-shaped flowers during early summer. It forms an attractive duo with Clematis montana (mountain clematis).
  • Solanum crispum ‘Glasnevin’ (Chilean potato tree): Scrambling, bushy climber with a semi-evergreen nature and pendulous clusters of purple-blue, star-shaped flowers with yellow anthers from early to late summer and often into autumn. It forms an ideal background for plants in containers, such as Osteospermum ‘Prostratum’ (previously known as Dimorphotheca ecklonis ‘Prostrata’) with its large, white flowers.
  • Tropaeolum speciosum (flame creeper): A deciduous, perennial climber with long-stemmed, trumpet-shaped, scarlet flowers from mid-summer to autumn. It is often planted to scramble through shrubs, but can be used in combination with evergreen climbers such as the small-leaved and variegated ivy Hedera helix ‘Goldheart’.

Winter displays

Jasminum nudiflorum (winter-flowering jasmine): Hardy, deciduous, wall shrub with clusters of bright yellow, star-shaped flowers peppered along bare stems from early winter to early spring. It happily cohabits with the evergreen Mahonia aquifolium.

Garden fense Best Way to Brighten Garden Walls and Fences

Spring displays

Lonicera nitida ‘Baggesen’s Gold’ (yellow-leaved Chinese honeysuckle): An evergreen shrub that can be trained to cloak a wall. Plant grape hyacinths (Muscarf) underneath it to create a color contrast in spring.

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