Last updated on January 21st, 2020
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6 Amazingly easy to grow climbers plants for encouraging wildlife into your garden
Climbing plants are fascinating for both humans and animals. They cover our walls, patios and fences, providing ample room for wildlife seeking shelters such as bees and birds caught in a sudden downpour, food in the form of berries and the insects they attract and places for birds to nest. They are also able to provide shade and overall décor in our gardens and hide unsightly walls and fences.
Today we look into five climbing plants that provide birds and pollinators like bees and insects with food and shelter. After we are done, we bet your garden will be teeming with life.
Rambling roses possess flexible branches which makes them perfect to conform to trellis and arcs. As per rambling rose tradition, they only flower once during early-midsummer. Not to be confused with climbing roses, rambling roses have smaller blooms but nonetheless beautiful.
During autumn, rambling roses produce hips that can be commended for their attractiveness. They need pruning once in a while to avoid a tangled mess. Popular rambling rose species include Rosa filipes ‘Kiftsgate’, Rosa ‘The Albrighton Rambler’, and Rosa ‘Wedding Day’ among others. Climbing roses are also suitable and usually flower for longer periods and often twice a season. In fact all roses are great for wildlife as they also attract insects which the birds can feed on.
Clematis tangutica ‘Bill MacKenzie’
From the Ranunculaceae family comes the Clematis tangutica ‘Bill MacKenzie’. These large plants are characterised with ternate/ pinnate leaves and small star/ bell-shaped flowers.
These climbers usually bloom from early to late summer. This deciduous climber has bright yellow leaves and belongs to group 3 pruning. If well maintained, the climbers look glorious in full bloom and provide plenty of colour for local wildlife and much-needed nectar and pollen for bees.
Lonicera periclymenum (Honeysuckle)
The Lonicera periclymenum (Honeysuckle) is a deciduous woody plant that gives out a sweet scent and is not to be confused with the Shrub Lonicera. These twinning plants are characterised by oval leaves borne in adjacent pairs. The climbers bloom in summer presenting long white and yellow trumpets but there are many varieties which are different colours.
These whorls sometimes have a tinge of red. After the flowers bloom red berries will follow briefly after. The red berries ripen in late summer/autumn and seem to be a favourite with wild birds, they also provide materials for birds to make a nest as well as places to nest.
Passion Flower (Passiflora)
Passion Flower (Passiflora) happens to be a woody climber from the Passifloraceae family. They are easy to tend to and bloom between spring and autumn. The climbers can be spotted by their showy flowers with a distinct corona. These climbers have over 550 species, therefore, present a variation of colours and sizes. Many however tend to have a purple/ amethyst colours and some bear fruit. Some of the variations include P. caerulea, P. antioquiensis, P. mollissima, and P. × exoniensis, just to mention a few.
P. caerulea, as shown above, is probably the best choice as its very hardy in the UK and is loved by a range of local wildlife. it’s also evergreen proving all year round shelters and nectar for bees.
Wisteria provides shelter for nesting birds and insects as well as nectar and pollen for bees. They can annoy you or please you depending on how you treat them. The trick with wisteria is getting the right species and prune them correctly to ensure successful flowering, which can sometimes, be an issue for some gardeners but it’s worth taking the extra time as they look amazing when in flower. These deciduous climbers come in a variety of colours and tend to have a pleasant smell which is an added bonus.
The twining plants grow fast producing cascading flowers that are hard to miss. Wisteria can get invasive spreading to every nook and cranny. Pruning around August and again in February is essential to keep the growth in check. Famous species include Wisteria brachybotrys ‘Shiro-Kapitan’, W. brachybotrys ‘Showa-Beni’, W. ‘Caroline’, Wisteria ‘Burford, and Wisteria floribunda ‘Alba’ but our favourite is Wisteria Amethyst Falls as it doesn’t grow as tall and can be planted in pots.
It is easy to deal with plants that you understand. In any case of confusion, talk to your local gardener to get in-depth tips. The birds, bees and other animals in your garden deserve nothing but the best. The scenery will be the cherry on top of the cake.
Main Photo by Jon Robinson on Unsplash