Plant of the Month: August

Climbers & Clematis

Bring some vertical beauty to your garden with a climbing plant. If space is limited, a climber will liven up a dull wall or fence and add interest to a tatty shed or garage. Give climbers a sunny position and a structure to scramble up, and they can reward you for years to come.

As August leads us towards a mellow September and autumnal conditions, it’s a good time to get new plants established, including the clematis. Some clematis are fast growing and evergreen, others are more delicate and contained, so choose a variety best suited to the space you have.

The yellow blooms of honeysuckle attract pollinators. Did you know that bees are drawn to yellow and blue flowers? Honeysuckle has a lovely scent too. Both the honeysuckle and clematis like their roots cool and their blooms to bask in the sun, so they’re ideal to plant behind lower-growing plants in your garden borders. Add a thick layer of mulch to keep the base of the plant from baking in the sun.

Wisteria is an elegant beauty, with its delicate floral clusters that almost resemble grapevines. In a sunny position, the wisteria grows quickly to provide a beautiful canopy. It’s a hardy evergreen that needs a strong structure such as a south facing wall, with a trellis or wires to train it. Pruning is essential to ensure your wisteria isn’t a mass of foliage and no flowers. Trim back the previous year’s growth in early spring.

Make sure you have a support for your climber such as a trellis, arch or obelisk. It’s best to have it in place before planting, so the roots aren’t disturbed by adding it later. Check regularly and help new growth climb upwards by carefully attaching it to the growing structure, but take care not to damage the tender new growth.

As always, keep your new additions well-watered during dry spells.

Whatever the size of your garden, there’s probably room for a climber or two, so come and take a look at our Plant of the Month selection. Climbers are 20% off in August for Garsons cardholders.

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