What climbers are best for winter interest?
Tall order, if you mean actual winter and not autumn or spring - Ivy, I think, particularly yellow/green variegated ones - some acquire reddish tints to their leaves during cold winters, and the flowerheads/berries make interesting shapes in frost.
9 Dec, 2010
One leaps to mind for me - Jasminum nudiflorum. It's the one with yellow flowers out right now. The only problem is that it's a scrambler, rather than a climber. But given a trellis or other plants for some support, or a bit of tying-in, it flowers bravely whatever the weather.
Yours might be out right now down in Cornwall, Beattie, but ours isn't, lol! Might be lucky and get a few after this cold passes, but I don't expect that any time soon. At least the stems are green in winter, but, as you say, a bit of a sprawly, untidy thing if not rigorously trained and tied.
Clematis cirrhosa! I have three, and they're all flowering. Even the cold hasn't stopped them!
I have C. cirrhosa 'Lansdowne Gem'
C. cirrhosa 'Freckles' and
C. cirrhosa 'Wisley Cream'.
In defence of Jasminum nudiflorum ours, in the north of Scotland, has been flowering for weeks now and is still doing so as the deep snow sloughs off it. We find that it need tying to some sort of support early in its life but then it will find its own way up as it gets more established. We trim rather a lot of of untidy stems off about once a year. I think that it is well worth growing though not necessarily just what Anita is looking for.
Agree, its an essential ingredient in a garden, and looks especially good against a white wall, but it does need a good cut back after flowering, and regular attention in a small garden to keep it in check and tied in.
Wow! C. cirrhosa is gorgeous Spritz! Such lovely colours! Is it klutz-proof? (i.e. do you think I could grow it in my exposed, sluggy garden?) And do rabbits eat it?
My winter jasmine came out just as the heavy snow hit London, and looks really nice.
Clematis cirrhosa var. balearica and Clematis cirrhosa var. purpurascens would be my top choices too - there are a wide selection of named forms of this species, many with really lovely flowers (ranging from pure white/cream through to deep maroon) and very attractive evergreen foliage too.
Although this is the best and most well-known winter-flowering species, there are a couple of others worth considering including Clematis urophylla & Clematis x cartmanii.
hi all, thank you for your great replies. I will certainly be purchasing a Clematis Cirrhosa. I am pretty new to gardening and do not seem to purchase the right plants at times. My garden is looking pretty bleak at the moment and wanted to get some winter colour in the garden for next year.
Bear in mind, Anitalynn, that most 'interest' in the garden in winter is provided by brightly variegated evergreens, and shrubs with berries rather than flowers, so a mix between these would be useful - flowers fade rather rapidly, so considering what a plant looks like when not in flower, and particularly in winter, is key. Not that I'm saying you shouldn't go for the cirrhosa, but that on its own won't solve the problem.
10 Dec, 2010
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