it's all about the plants

Whether you’re an experienced gardener, or a novice testing out your green fingers, it's easy to be overwhelmed by the choice of climbers. There are so many different clematis, roses or honeysuckles to choose from, so here are a few thoughts to help you find the perfect partner for your obelisk or arch.

Climbers come in varying heights and the most important thing is to buy the right size. Too tall and it’ll swamp, or even worse, topple your structure, too small and it won’t reach the top. Look for the final growing size of your chosen plant and match this to your framework. Don’t be tempted to go more than a metre taller, or you’ll get a bird’s nest of congestion at the top. Some specialist nursery websites - such as the ones listed - let you search by climber height, or if you visit first-hand, check labels for plant height, or ask for help. Good places to start your search are thorncroftclematis.co.uk, classicroses.co.uk, jacksonsnurseries.co.uk.

Next thing to consider is where you’re siting your structure and how much sun or shade your new climber will receive. Some plants perform best in full sun, others such as Clematis ‘Hagley Hybrid’ or ‘Niobe’ need varying amounts of shade to keep their colour. Again, check your plant’s light needs before you buy. These are the two most important factors, along with good soil, to keep your plant happy, but you can refine your search further by thinking about whether you want scent from your climber, or flowers to please the bees.  Are you after a year-round cover up (evergreen climber) or do you want to see the framework over winter (deciduous climber)?

If you’re buying an arch, especially the double width structure, this will give you extra scope for a combination of climbers. Think about colour harmonies, or deliberate clashes, roses and clematis work well together, or having one flower slightly later than the other to extend the blooming time. Personally, I love annual climbers and am a bit of a grow-your-own fan, so I’ve used Alex’s obelisks and arches to grow Morning glory, Spanish flag, sweet peas, runner and borlotti beans and peas, which have all performed brilliantly.

If you still can’t decide what to grow, don’t worry, there’s no rush, all of the structures sold at Made by Moore look just as good unplanted as they do wrapped in greenery and blooms. 

by Rebekah Panayides (Alex's big sis)