The Garden Guide

Book: Colour schemes for the flower garden
Chapter: Chapter 13 Climbing plants

Climbers in cottage gardens

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When one sees climbing plants or any of the shrubs that are so often used as climbers, planted in the usual way on a house or wall, about four feet apart and with no attempt at arrangement, it gives one that feeling of regret for opportunities lost or misused which is the sentiment most often aroused in the mind of the garden critic in the great number of pleasure-grounds that are planted without thought or discernment. Not infrequently in passing along a country road, with eye alert to note the beauties that are so often presented by little wayside cottage gardens, something is seen that may well serve as a lesson in better planting. The lesson is generally one that teaches greater simplicity�the doing of one thing at a time; the avoidance of overmuch detail. One such cottage has under the parlour window an old bush of Pyrus japonica {Chaenomeles speceosa}. It had been kept well spurred back and must have been a mass of gorgeous bloom in early spring. The rest of the cottage was embowered in an old Grape Vine, perhaps of all wall plants the most beautiful, and, I always think, the most harmonious with cottages or small houses of the cottage class. It would seem to be least in place on the walls of houses of classical type; indeed, such houses are often better without any wall-plants. Still, there are occasions where the noble polished foliage of Magnolia comes admirably on their larger spaces, and the clear-cut refinement of Myrtle on their lesser areas of wall-surface.