Two Hour Gardening Project: Stage 26 Climbing Plants and Pergolas

One first-rate climbing plant, a look back over one year in the garden, and a glimpse of the future wind up the first part of this 2 Hour Garden section. If, what you have learnt over the year has encouraged you to appreciate your garden, it’s you who has gained by that. if you haven’t had time to do everything at every stage, you’ve a chance to try again this year. For those full of enthusiasm, we suggest some ideas to make your garden even more rewarding in the future.

Needs list: 1 climbing hydrangea.

Time budget: 1 hour in 2 weeks

Mid April weather/soil

We hope by now you’ve learnt the intimate relationship between weather and soil conditions. Weather is unpredictable, but it does have patterns and cycles. Learn to fit your gardening activities into these patterns. As always, work with nature, not against it. Success is yours.

Flower of the Fortnight

Our final flower of the fortnight is the climbing hydrangea (Hydrangea petiolaris) – a plant of many virtues. It is self-clinging, trains well, will thrive even on bleak north or east walls, and is striking both in leaf and in flower. It is not rampant like many other vines – where you spend half your life tying them in and training them. It needs a little tying and trimming its first 2 or 3 years to get it to climb, but little attention after that. It is slow to start flowering, but once it does, it’s a winner, turning a bare wall into something beautiful.

Like so many other Japanese plants, it is highly distinctive. A deciduous plant, winter stems are one of its attractions.


By now the word ‘chores’ should have lost some of its dread for you. Garden chores aren’t chores at all. They’re an on-going process that not only keeps the garden tidy, but also gets things done, improves the garden, makes it easier to keep looking good week by week and year by year.

Develop a routine (Stage 19): it helps you become more efficient at getting essentials done in the least time with least effort. Creates time for enjoying the garden. After all, that’s what you’re creating your garden for – enjoying: you’re not creating it so that it simply creates more work for you for ever more.

Leave space for bedding plants each year, for growing annuals, new plants and so forth. Resist the temptation to blanket the garden with shrubs. It will look dull for 10 months of the year if you do.

Start reading through this website, learning new skills in the garden. Complete schedule of chores by planting climbing hydrangea at foot of chosen wall. Move bulbs to shaded corner to let the leaves die off naturally: replace with bedding plants.

Project work: more plants, more ideas

shed and pergola

So far we’ve only made a start on the area behind the house. By now you should know enough to invent your own design for the area in front of your house. Apply the principles we applied to your back yard; adapt the back yard design to fit the front. Like simply take a half or a quarter of the back yard design and use that as the design for your front area.

Ring a few changes. Swap some things left to right. Use different shrubs, and a different tree. Some suggestions: try a mountain ash/rowan = Sorbus aucuparia, good bark, medium flowers, good leaves, brilliant fruits. Try weeping standard roses. And why not a hanging basket over the porch (get your garden centre to show you how to plant it) – perhaps a window box.

Start from the same basic ideas, but make it new, make it different. Follow the same work schedule for the front as you did for the back, and success will be yours.

A few more ambitious ideas for your back garden. How about a greenhouse? Lots of fun: money-saving too in the long run, since you can grow masses of seedlings there very cheaply. garden fountain and furniture

Invest in a garden shed: best place-to keep tools, mower etc.

Build yourself a vine-covered pergola for the patio. Follow the same basic construction principles as for erecting the trellis.

Place a fountain near the rockery amid the brightly painted stones under the flowering crab. Great fun, and the sound of trickling water always brings a garden to life. Then treat yourself to some garden furniture for the patio.

24. August 2011 by admin
Categories: 2 Hour Garden, Gardening Ideas | Tags: , | Comments Off on Two Hour Gardening Project: Stage 26 Climbing Plants and Pergolas


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