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Northumberland, United Kingdom Gb

I have an ugly but needed coal bunker that would benefit from being covered by plants. I see that the climbing hydrangea (I've got Hydrangea anomala petiolaris) and the Goldheart Ivy (Hedera helix Oro di Bogliasco) are self clinging. I have not got a garden to plant them in but OH is v handy building raised beds. Any idea how large the bed would have to be - for example would 150litres of soil be enough? Also the bunker is made of concrete (it's a real monster!). Will the plants cling to concrete?



Yes the plants will cling to concrete but those are two huge climbers for a coal bunker Julier ! And it would have to be one strong huge raised bed to contain the roots of those two .Would a smaller growing ivy not be a tamer option ? there are some beautiful ones out there that would grow from a raised bed happily and once they get going the cover quite quickly .You could also add some pretty plants in the bed with them :-)

25 May, 2012


Depends how crazy you want to go, but have you considered a Sedum roof?

25 May, 2012


I'd like to see a photograph of this bunker before recommending something...

25 May, 2012


Hi all! Bamboo - the bunker is soooo ugly I'd be ashamed and probably arrested for posting such a vile picture. It has been cobbled together from various old bunkers and whilst OH wants to render and paint it I'd rather disguise the blasted thing! Perhaps if my attempted "makeover/comb over" is successful I'll post before and after pictures. Who knows someone else might have an even uglier eyesore to cover and need inspiration :-)
Andip - the roof is the hardest part to cover as the coal is tipped into the top so we need to have access so I felt that something fairly thuggish that could cope with being hacked away during the winter months would be in order :-)
Susie - I've got two other ivies, Irish and Sulphur Heart, which I may add to the mix. As long as they self cling I'm not being too choosy (and from your comments these plants aren't choosy either :-D)

25 May, 2012


I was just worried that you'd have a thirty foot monster growing over it Julie! Having had to dig up gold heart as it was literally pulling the fence down I can certainly tell you it had massive roots but will cover anything and everthing probably eats children too that stuff lol

25 May, 2012


Ha ha Susie! The only things it can damage are the coal bunker and the raised bed OH will make so I'll take my chances :-)

(Can you tell I have a bit of a fixation about this bunker??!!) After 2 consecutive years of being snowed in, and having to have a pile of coal dumped in my front garden because they could not access the back lane (GRRRR, took ages to scrub the decking in spring!) I reluctantly agreed to the larger version and to have it moved nearer the house. So it's now the first thing I see from the kitchen and dining room windows. Hoping that in a couple of years it will almost be disguised.

25 May, 2012


How are you going to cover it if they top load Julie ?? You can't lift the ivy off .What about a really fast growing evergreen like Lonicera halls prolific could grow that right over the top and just lift the whole lot when they come to fill up .I covered my oil tank with that .Tough as old boots ,fast growing and you can hack it back and it soon comes back.

26 May, 2012


Hi funny you should mention Hall's prolific as I've also just bought that! Found a solution that even the OH seems to approve of. I've got some flexible green plastic trellis - came on a roll from a local wholesalers. I've used two eight foor canes plunged into a very deep planter and woven the plastic trellis around to form an upright. Once the hydrange and ivy starts to romp away I can take the canes out and just let the plastic trellis rest over the bunker. Fingers crossed I've found a solution.

27 May, 2012


Hmmm not sure this is going to work Julie as they both grow by gripping on to their support with ariel roots and don't know of they'll find plastic trellis the kind of thing to grip on to but hey nothing ventured nothing gained Give it a try :-))

27 May, 2012


Oh dear, me and my bright ideas! I think I'll go back to Plan A and let them cling to the bunker. Last post on the dreaded bunker methinks for a while :-)

28 May, 2012


How's the caribunker (lol) coming along? Did you try the trellis roll? X would love to see some pics :)

21 Jun, 2012


Well I followed Susie's advice and probably just as well because Morrison's had climbers for £1.79 so ended up buying 8 of them and needed the plastic trellis elsewhere :-D) Anyhoo, OH is promising to build a deep bed next to the coal bunker to facilitate deep root run for the climbing hydrangea. But in the meantime I drilled some drainage holes in an old 50litre plastic kitchen waste bin and have put the hydrangea, an ivy and some sweet peas in. It looks pretty horrendous at the minute but the ivy is already starting to cling so in about 10 years it might look attractive :-) Just saw noseypotters photos of the boston ivy which was one of the cheap plants I bought from Morrison. I've planted it against the house wall but seeing what happened with his I think it's best added to the coal bunker pot! Will try and get a pic when/if it ever stops raining!

21 Jun, 2012


Sounds good, I contemplated using an old kitchen bin as a planter, still got it in skip corner so might give it a go.... Also got a bust mop bucket..... That's getting some plants put in it too ......

22 Jun, 2012

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