The Garden Guide

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

Hillside climbing plants

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These notes can only touch upon the more careful use of a few of the many climbing plants and trailing shrubs. One of the many garden possessions that I ardently desire and can never have is a bit of rocky hill-side; a place partly of sheer scarp and partly of tumbled and outcropping rock-mass, for the best use of these plants. There would be the place for the yellow winter Jasmine, for the Honeysuckles both bushy and rambling, for the trailing Clematises lately described and for the native C. Vitalba, beautiful both in flower and fruit; for shrubs like Forsythia suspensa and Desmodium penduliflorum {Lespedeza thunbergii}, that like to root high and then throw down cascades of bloom, and for the wichuraiana Roses, also for Gourds and wild Vines. There should be a good quarter of a mile of it so that one might plant at perfect ease, one thing at a time or one or two in combination, in just such sized and shaped groups as would make the most delightful pictures, and in just the association that would show the best assortment. I have seen long stretches of bare chalky banks for year after year with nothing done to dispel their bald monotony, feeling inward regret at the wasted opportunity; thinking how beautiful they might be made with a planting of two common things, Clematis Vitalba and Red Spur Valerian. But such examples are without end.