Climbers are perhaps amongst the most versatile plants you can get for your garden. And no matter what type of gardener you are, the kind of plants you have a penchant for, or how much time you have to spend tending to your garden, they’re a perfect addition. Here are 8 reasons why (of the many!).
Add Some Colour During the Winter
Most flowers make an appearance in the warmer months, right? Not the Orange Trumpet Vine, for example. Perfect for the colder months, this climber will pop and show the most vibrant colour right when everything else is hiding or a depressing grey.
And that’s not the only climber that thrives during the long winter months. The Camellia, the Wintersweet, and the Winter Jasmine will all inject a beautiful colour, often solitary amongst other dormant plants.
Work in Warmer Climes Too
It’s already been mentioned: climbing plants are versatile. They not only add colour to those monochrome winter months, but many species will also work fantastically well in warmer climates.
For example, these six climbing plants will grow beautifully in Australian gardens. The Passionfruit, for instance, is one of the best sun-loving plants out there, and it grows incredibly fast, producing fruit in approximately 6-8 months. And it’s not the only one.
Vines Add Verticality
When thinking about your garden, don’t just think about the horizontal. Climbers let you take advantage of your property’s vertical space. This is particularly useful if your home is in the middle of the city, and you’re struggling for the room; climbers can still make you feel like you’re in a lush, full garden, even if you’re in a buzzing metropolis.
Growing upwards will give you the sensation that your garden is bigger. They can also help you grow fruits that you otherwise wouldn’t have space for. Kiwis, grapes, blackberries; all of these can be had climber style, rather than taking up valuable real estate in your veg patch.
Resource for Local Wildlife
Humans aren’t exactly doing a great job for wildlife. Disappearing green space, pollution, encroachment on habitats, all bad news if you’re a wee critter, bird, or other creature.
The flowers will create an environment for butterflies and bees, while climbers that grow fruits are fantastic for local birds. Not only that, they provide shelter for harsh weather or even a nesting spot. If you’re not keen on a nest in your garden, here’s a top tip: avoid ivy!
Shut Out Nosy Neighbours
When you’re in your garden, you want to feel like you’re in your own private oasis. Away from the rat race, just you and your thoughts, family, or friends. The problem? Neighbours, passing traffic, people walking past. There’s just no privacy.
Climbing plants offer an eco-friendly way to create a private space. Self-clinging types like trumpet vine (Campsis), for instance, are the perfect choice for achieving this.
Great for the Environment
Climbing plants aren’t just great for local wildlife, but they also give the environment a boost. They help fight against the effects of pollution, they serve to insulate your home (or even your shed and other outbuildings!), which in turn helps regulate temperature during summer and winter. This helps lower your energy usage throughout the year, lowering your carbon footprint.
There are several climbers that are particularly helpful to the environment. The Pyracantha and Hedera, for example, have been shown to absorb nitrous oxide, lower the concentration of ozone in the atmosphere, and capture harmful elements. Not bad for the humble climber!
Add Shade to Your Garden
Climbing plants are also a great option if you want to cast shade in your garden. They don’t occupy the same amount of space as tall trees (not an option in a small space!), and they also grow much faster. Of course, you will need to ‘guide’ the climbers over a structure, but that’s easy enough to do.
The great thing about climbers is that they also follow the growing season, which can’t be said for man-made alternatives (like awnings). They won’t block the sun when it isn’t quite hot enough to be bothered by it, will provide shade in the peak summer, and plenty of leaves will still be there when autumn gives you a last taste of those summer beams.
And Hey, They’re Nice to Look At!
Finally, the shallow reason: climbers are gorgeous. There’s nothing wrong with wanting plants simply for their aesthetic qualities, and climbers offer plenty of beauty points. They just have a unique charm that no other plants possess, no question about it.
There’s plenty of choices, whether you opt for the elegant draping of Boston ivy (just look at this virtual tour of Lincoln College, Oxford; wow!), something a little more unusual, like the trumpet vine, or anything in between. When it comes to climbers, there’s something for everyone.