Climbing plants for the garden, evergreen or deciduous?

Frequently we are asked what is the best climber for a privacy screen.

Well there is no short answer, what works well in a sunny open position won't necessarily work for a more secluded spot in the garden. Hopefully this article will help point you in the direction of a suitable climber that works best in your garden.

Evergreen versus deciduous versus self attaching.....

Firstly you need to decide which form is best for the position. If you have a patio area/arbour or garden arch that needs summer shading, but would benefit from open sunlight during winter, then consider a deciduous form of climber. There are some superb forms of this plant, such as the ornamental grapevine vitus Vinifera, this plant turns a beautiful red/orange foliage in the autumn and winter. Vigorous growing it is an excellent choice for covering a garden arch quickly. Banksia rose is another old favourite with gorgeous yellow and white double flowers. Clematis are another deciduous form renowned for their enormous star flowers in a variety of colours , Finally Wisteria with their abundance of long trailing flower petals in purple or white. Another great form of climber, just make sure you have plenty of room for this one as they can run rampant.

The evergreen forms of climber are the best option if you need a permanent screen or constant shade. Amongst the best forms consider Chinese star jasmine, its not as highly perfumed as regular jasmine but very hardy and adaptable in any garden position. Grows well on trellis work or poles leading to a pergola. Consider also Gelsimium or yellow jasmine, not quite as vigorous as Chinese star jasmine with a larger orange/yellow flower. Another option is plumbago which is a semi climber like Mandevilla which stand upright to a metre without support. Just add trellis work to encourage them onward and upwards. Pandorea or wonga wonga vine is another old favourite which has many new release species, such as golden showers and snowbells. Available in white or yellow colours. Consider also happy wanderer with their purple pea flowers, more of a semi-rambling groundcover than a true climber. But they could be used a low hedge climber if needed.

The last form of climber are the truly spectacular self-attaching forms which can slow ‘grab’ onto a wall with their tendrils and draw moisture and goodness as they slowly make their way covering an area. One of the best forms is of course the English ivy, large foliaged and vigorous this plant has its place in large gardens. Consider the fine foliaged ficus pumila or creeping fig, beautifully contrasting lime, green foliage, hardy and adaptable. Even finer foliaged the Muehlenbeckia or maiden hair vine is an excellent option to climb fine trellis work or chain.

These climbers all have differing environmental requirements, to find out more contact us at

Hopefully this article has given you some ideas of climbing plants to consider in your garden.

By Leigh Murphy


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Climbing plants for the garden, evergreen or deciduous?
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