Saturday, 9 April 2011

new climbers

Over a year ago I planted creeping fig on the western fence to cover the ugly corrugated metal.  It got to the point where the climber looked like this.
http://www.alexareynolds.com/garden11/westfence1.JPG
I was getting frustrated at how slowly they were climbing upward and how much they were forming little clumps on the ground.  But when I had a closer look I found out why.  Turns out the little grabby-pads on their leaves can't grab metal!  So they can't actually climb up the fence.  Gee.  Wish I'd known that 18 months ago.  What a waste of time and money!

So I did a bit of research and decided on Chilean jasmine, Mandevilla laxa.  It's a hardy, shade-loving vine with small white flowers that should form a nice dense cover.  So far they've shot up quite quickly, despite fighting off heaps of aphids.  I've strung some wire across the fence in a zig-zag to give them something to climb on.  They climb by twisting their stems around things, so I think I need to string up more wire if I want a thicker cover.
http://www.alexareynolds.com/garden11/westfence2.JPG
Let's hope by next summer there's a bit of a lush cover and some lovely white flowers!

2 comments:

mrlb said...

cableHi, I'd love to see how the climber is doing now in spring?!

Alexa said...

I'll get some photos soon. They're as high as the top of the fence but still leggy. Lots of new growth coming in.