Climbing plants and the ways in which they can be displayed have long been a feature of ornamental horticulture and continue to be an area of intrigue and possibility. From grapevine laden pergolas depicted in the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, to Wisteria arbours of Japan, to modern green walls of today, such plants when combined with manufactured structures can be used to great effect. Our Arbour Garden illustrates what Australian species can do in this space and what plants visitors could potentially use in theirs.
You'll notice in the Arbour Garden:
- Climbing plants naturally want to climb to the top. This often leads to clumps being formed at the peak of a structure, leaving the base quite sparse.
- If screening from the base is desired, then this must be achieved through plant selection and consistent training and pruning.
- Climbing plants generally grow under tree canopy, so if planting in full sun make sure the plant selected can withstand these conditions.
Billy Bonkers (grafted standard)
Fuchsia Grevillea (grafted standard)
The most successful of all the climbers trialed in this garden. Capable of forming a screen from the base and has a very long-lasting flowering period over summer.
Notes from the Curator
The Arbour Garden is designed to showcase Australian climbing plants in a style reminiscent of the wisteria or laburnum arbours of abroad. One key distinction however, is that this garden utilises multiple climbing species, providing visitors with several avenues of inspiration for that narrow space in their home courtyard or driveway. In the understory, hedgerows of commercially available, low-growing cultivars line every garden bed. These are also directed towards the home gardener, as they are reliable plants suitable for smaller spaces. Rounding out this garden is a collection of grafted standard grevilleas. Once again, well-suited as a feature plant in a small space, especially the varieties that flower all-year round.