Climbing plants have many different uses in the garden. Climbing plants can be trained to cascade over walls, fences or statues, or to climb up and over trellises and entrances. They are a valuable landscaping tool that add a little extra color, liveliness and texture to a garden.
Climbing plants are an excellent option for your garden for a variety of reasons: they hide ugly corners and lend more privacy to your environment creeping their way up arches, pergolas and gazebos. Their variations in height are important for a strong and impactful garden display; and to the smaller gardens they are a wonderful opportunity to have a strong floral display growing upwards thus creating your very own lush green wall. Their depth lends a sense of visual perspective to the garden. There are many climbing plants suitable for any garden situation:
Gardenia is a beautiful and fragrant plant for your home or garden. Delicate blossoms and a deep, sultry scent make these an attractive flower for many gardeners. Gardenia care takes some effort, as the plant is quite finicky about temperature, moisture and soil requirements. With a little care, you can have beautiful gardenias each year, but they may be too needy for the novice or distracted gardener.
Gardenia is often disappointment because it is extremely demanding. Gardenias should be planted in fall or spring, and need consistent temperatures of between 65-70°F (18-20°C) year round. For flower buds to form a night temperature of 60° to 65°F is required, and during the day it should be about 10°F higher.
There are some splendid bulbs, corms and tubers for your summer garden. Most are well known, with some surprise inclusions that botanically belong in this section. The stars include richly scented, beautifully colored lilies and gladioli, beautifull Allium, Begonias, Agapanthus and Dahlias.
Summer bulbs are seldom used in large drifts, or with other bedding plants, as are spring bulbs. The majority of them are best treated like ordinary plants in herbaceous or mixed borders, or perhaps used to add foreground interest and color in a shrub border.
Sweet William (Dianthus barbatus) consists of over 300 species of flowers including the carnation (the common name refers to Prince William, Duke of Cumberland (d. 1765), who put down the Jacobite risings). Originating in southern Europe and Asia, with some varieties found as far north as Russia, Sweet William is a biennial that comes in a variety of pink colors.
Sweet William is a biennial plant with a two-year life cycle, producing only leaves in the first year. Sweet William plants, which look very similar to carnations, can be grown from seeds, cuttings or plant divisions. If planting seeds, plan on starting them indoors six to eight weeks before the last frost for spring blooms. The young seedlings generally transplant well and can be set outdoors after the last frost. Seeds sown in the first year bloom in the spring of the second year.
Planting lavender (Lavandula) is a great way to start off the spring gardening season. Easy to grow, these fragrant flowers can be pink, blue, grey, white or purple. A little effort now will pay off for years to come as this low maintenance perennial yields its aromatic and useful blossoms. Purchase a plant from a nursery, choose the right location, prepare the soil and plant. Just add a little fertilizer and water and watch it grow. Following these simple tips will provide a high likelihood of success.
The easiest way to plant lavender is to start with an established potted plant purchased from a nursery. Many lavender varieties can be started from seed, but that is more difficult and doesn’t have a high success rate. Choose a plant in a 4″ to 8″ pot with healthy leaves that are green (or gray depending on the variety) but not brown.
Water in the garden – whether a formal pool, a small stream, a short cascade or a wildlife pond – will allow you to grow many plants that do not thrive in any other conditions. Even in the smallest plot you can have a trough with dwarf water lilies floating in it. In a larger garden a formal or informal pond can create a strong focus and set the garden’s style. It may incorporate a fountain or waterfall to create movement, sound and liveliness and water lilies will complete the scene.
Floating plants, marginal, deep water and bog plants all add to the interest of a water garden but need to be catered for carefully. Ponds should be made with shelves at different heights so that pond baskets can be put at the heights best suited to the various plants.