What to Grow on an Agriframes Structure
Climbing plants have the capacity to bring surfaces and structures to life and change the mood of a garden as the season, or even the day, progresses. There are flowering plants such as clematis and solanum, vines which fruit or crop such as passion flower or grape, plants with daytime or evening fragrance such as jasmine or honeysuckle and evergreen plants with leaf variegation or spectacular Autumn colour.
Which ever you chose they are likely to need some help to get established and then a little care and attention over time to keep them looking at their best.
Before deciding on the size of your structure or the vigour of your chosen planting you may need to consider how easy (or not!) it will be to reach areas that may need pruning or tying in – it is a shame to go to the trouble of creating a beautiful sitting area if the uppermost parts of your arbour or gazebo are a tangle of bindweed or unkempt roses. Ideally you should be able to reach all around a structure and if you will need a ladder to access the very top then consider whether there is a suitable flat area to place it safely alongside so that you can enjoy the process!
Create a framework for the twining stems and twisting tendrils of the young plants – Agriframes infills are decorative in their own right as well as being functional in supporting young plants on an arch or pergola. Some climbing plants such as jasmine and bougainvillea have lax branches that ‘scramble’ rather than climb – again, using an infill allows you to guide them in the right direction until they reach the desired shape. The Agriframes Elegance Range is constructed with a close lattice framework that would also work very well with a soft stem climber or delicate sweet peas for a fragrant arch.
Climbing Roses generally need very little pruning except to remove any branches that threaten to grow out of reach, or obstruct a path; but they will need regular tying in. Clematis on the other hand are self supporting but vary on their pruning requirements, dividing largely into three groups: those that flower on the previous year’s wood need light pruning and shaping immediately after flowering; those that flower on short stems from the previous seasons growth need pruning back to a strong pair of buds on all stems; and those that flower on the current seasons growth need cutting right back in early spring to about knee height – not as complicated as it sounds and well worth the effort, just check the variety when you buy.
Much of the enjoyment of gardening comes with the tending of your plants and developing your own skill in getting the best from them. The triumph of a wisteria laden with blossom or a bumper crop of juicy grapes after years of hit and miss pruning is one to be savoured! A peaceful hour in the garden spent tying in and pruning climbers is rewarding and relaxing, but if you prefer to avoid more demanding or heavy duty maintenance then it is worth considering this when planning your planting.