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Climbers for wooden arch

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Question from Jenny Sagi

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Having just installed our third arch can anyone suggest a climber that dies down in winter as roses and jasmine have added to the resistance when the winds are strong and resulted in both previous arches breaking and falling down. Thanks

  • Views: 765
  • Replies: 4
  • Posted: Wed. 2nd April 2014 13:42

Re: Climbers for wooden arch

Reply from Samantha Jane

Hello there,
How about Clematis viticella 'Polish Spirit'? It has purple abundant purple flowers for a long period. Being one of the viticella group it is pruned to 1-3ft in winter. There are lots of other varieties in the group to choose from. I manage a large Rose Pergola and I have interplanted with Clematis viticella's because I can cut them all back before I start winter pruning the roses.
Best wishes!
Samantha

  • Posted: Wed. 2nd April 2014 14:28

Re: Climbers for wooden arch

Reply from Julieanne Porter

I would have thought roses and jasmine would add to the arch's strength. Has the arch been put in the ground deep enough to give it strength to withstand strong winds? How thick are the wooden poles?

For a deciduous climber, go for something like a Clematis. Since you will be walking under it, maybe go for a fragrant one such as Clematis x triternata 'Rubromarginata' . Or you could try a semi-evergreen (which doesn't have as strong branches as roses or jasmine) such as Clematis cirrhosa 'Freckles' which flowers late winter/early spring.

Another alternative would be sweet peas which you sow each year and die off at the end of autumn - plus you get lots of fragrance and you can pick them in bring them into the house.

But if the base of the arch isn't deep enough in, and the arch poles not thick enough to stand up to strong winds, it might be the arch that needs strengthening before you plant any climber against it.

  • Posted: Wed. 2nd April 2014 14:32

Re: Climbers for wooden arch

Reply from Clockhouse Nursery

We agree with the first suggestion....there are also many large flowered clematis to choose from. Pick varieties that recommend 'Hard Prune' rather than 'Light Prune'. Hard prune types can be cut in much the same way as your previous answer, light pruners generally just have their dead leaves brushed off leaving the stems in place.
Annual climbers are also an option although some may not reach right the way over your arch. Sweet Peas, Thunbergia, Ipomoea etc may be worth a look...or to throw a curve ball in the mix...what about runner beans, flowers and produce.

  • Posted: Wed. 2nd April 2014 14:34

Re: Climbers for wooden arch

Reply from Christine

I agree with another member who suggested Clematis tritinata rubromarginata. It can be hard pruned in winter so should be less of a problem in windy conditions.

We live in the Lincolnshire Wolds & it can be quite windy here so this was our choice on a trellis. Only planted last year so early days but pleased with it so far.

  • Posted: Wed. 2nd April 2014 14:51