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Fences can be a bit of an eyesore, especially when you’ve put in so much effort to create a stunning garden with beautiful borders and potted plants. This is where evergreen climbers come in! Some climbers can add a burst of colour for a few months, leaving behind nothing but bare stems and an even more unattractive background. I covered some of the deciduous varieties in my guide best climbers for fences here.
By growing evergreen climbers, you can add a touch of beauty to your garden all year round, up and over your fence, giving it a vibrant, sophisticated and, in some cases, tropical feel. But with so many options available, deciding which climbers to choose can be challenging.
That’s why I’ve compiled a list of the top 8 evergreen climbers that will add charm and elegance to your garden. My selection includes climbers that are easy to grow and maintain, require minimal pruning, and provide an excellent backdrop for your other plants. Here are my top 10 recommended climbers!
1. Clematis urophylla ‘Winter Beauty’
The ‘Winter Beauty’ is an evergreen clematis known for producing flowers in winter, hence the name. Said flowers are waxy, bell-shaped flowers that sit amongst the lush foliage. It is a hardy plant that will tolerate sheltered, warm spots and produce stunning white blooms. It reaches heights upwards of 400cm and a spread of up to 120cm (4ft). This plant is perfect for beginners because it requires very little aftercare once planted and is easy to grow.
2. Trachelospermum jasminoides
If you want the same white flowers as the ‘Winter Beauty’, but flowers that are smaller and a growing habit that is more prolific, this is the plant for you. This Jasmine is ideal for any place where you sit and relax along your fence because of its sweet fragrance.
The blooms will perfume the air all around your garden so it makes the perfect plant for planting around a patio area. The flowers are small, as mentioned, with a star shape. You will get thousands of them on a single plant. The flowers aren’t all that’s in store though because the foliage turns bronze and deep red in autumn, continuing the beauty into winter. It is a little more tender than some climbers and you will need to plant them positioned in a more sheltered spot and not in exposed areas.
3. Ceabothus ‘California lilac’
With its striking blue flowers and glossy evergreen foliage, the Californian lilac is a beautiful and low-maintenance option for any fence. While not strictly a climbing plant like clematis, ivy or Lonicera, Californian lilac, also known as Ceanothus, can be trained against a fence or wall. When training it against your fence, tie the stems loosely to the support using garden twine or soft ties, being careful not to damage the stems. Regular pruning after flowering will help keep your Ceanothus in shape and encourage new growth. To get the best out of it, I recommend planting Ceanothus in well-draining soil in a sunny position with enough space to grow to its full potential, maybe spacing 3 ft apart.
There are several Ceanothus varieties that are great for planting against a wall or fence and training, including:
- Ceanothus ‘Yankee Point’: This variety produces deep blue flowers in spring and early summer and can grow up to 4 metres tall. It is a very hardy variety that is well-suited for training against a wall or fence.
- Ceanothus ‘Puget Blue’: With its beautiful lilac-blue flowers and glossy foliage, this variety can grow up to 2 metres tall and is perfect for training against a fence or wall and is a little more compact.
- Ceanothus ‘Skylark’: This compact variety grows up to 1.5 metres tall and produces masses of deep blue flowers in late spring. It is an excellent choice for smaller gardens or training against a low fence or wall.
- Ceanothus ‘Blue Mound’: This slow-growing variety has a compact, rounded habit and can be trained against a wall or fence to create a stunning feature. It produces beautiful deep blue flowers in spring and can reach a height of up to 1.5 metres so again is perfect for smaller fences.
4. Solanum laxum ‘Album’
To grow Solanum laxum ‘Album’ against a fence, choose a location with well-drained soil in full sun or partial shade. It can grow up to 8 metres tall and 3 metres wide, so make sure to give it plenty of room to spread out. Ideally, it needs to be trained against trellis work or other support structures against the fence.
In terms of winter protection, Solanum laxum ‘Album’ is hardy down to around -5°C, but it’s best to provide some shelter during harsh winters or better ensure its planted in a more sheltered position. You can cover young plants with fleece to protect them from cold winds and frost but established plants in sheltered positions should be ok. This plant is generally low maintenance, but it will benefit from regular pruning to keep it tidy and prevent it from becoming too bushy. Prune in late winter or early spring, removing dead or damaged growth and cutting back any stems that have outgrown their space.
Pyracantha is an evergreen shrub but can be trained against a wall which makes it an excellent alturnative to a climbing plant such as Jasmine. They have sharp thorns, dark green leaves, and clusters of bright berries in the autumn, making them an eye-catching addition to any garden, and the berries are a great food source for the birds. Pyracantha is generally easy to grow and care for, but it does benefit from regular watering, especially during dry periods.
To grow and train Pyracantha against a fence, choose a location with well-draining soil in full sun or partial shade. It can grow up to 3 metres tall and 2 metres wide, so make sure to give it plenty of space to spread out. When training Pyracantha against a fence, you can either tie the stems to the fence using garden ties or train it up a trellis or other support structure. You can also prune it to keep it in shape and prevent it from becoming too bushy. Pruning can be done in the winter or early spring, cutting back any damaged or crossing branches and shaping the plant to fit the space.
6. Clematis armandii
This particular clematis is different from other varieties in that the flowers are much smaller and they take on the star shape appearance. However, this one grows particularly quickly so if you need to cover a large space very quickly this is a great choice. You will get pretty white blooms that have a delightful fragrance, making it the perfect plant for growing right alongside the storage area you have for your waste or recycling bins.
They will remain colourful and stunning all year round and have fairly large leaves so you never have to worry about your fence looking dull. There are also several varieties of the clematis armandii, with some taking on a more pinkish tinge to the flowers.
7. Clematis ‘Early Sensation’
Yet another clematis for consideration is the ‘Early Sensation’ variety. It is called that because it flowers early compared to the other clematis varieties. The blooms are large and fragrant, richly white with stamens with a dense, yellow-green hue.
The blooms are surrounded by green foliage that starts out bronze when it is young, progressing to a darker and darker green with age. You can train this plant easily up your fence and over. It reaches a spread of around 1 metre and a height of 2 metres so doesn’t get too big, making it ideal for smaller places.
8. Euonymus ‘Emerald Gaiety’
This evergreen shrub can be trained as a climber to add vertical interest to your garden, with its glossy variegated leaves providing an attractive backdrop to other plants. Euonymus ‘Emerald Gaiety’ is one of my favourite plants to grow as a climber; not many gardeners realise it can be grown as a climber and will even attach itself to a wall or fence like a climber with a bit of support to get it started.
To grow Euonymus ‘Emerald Gaiety’ as a climber, start by planting it about 60cm away from the wall or fence you want to train it against. As it grows, tie the stems loosely to the support using garden string. It’s best to prune Euonymus after flowering to keep it in shape and encourage new growth. This plant prefers a sunny or partially shaded position with well-drained soil. It can grow up to 1.5 metres making it a great climber to provide all year-round interest.
9. Hedera helix ‘Glacier’
This plant is known as the ‘Goldheart’ because the centre of the otherwise rich, dark, verdant leaves is filled with a creamy yellow heart-like shading.
Ivy is a fast climber so it will quickly take over your fence and offer a dense collection of leaves. It grows in walls or fences where there is sun or shade, perfect for brightening an otherwise dark region.
But be advised, it will reach up to 8 metres in both spread and height, so be sure to trim appropriately because it can be a little invasive. This is a plant that should be planted with caution because of how invasive it can be.
10. Sollya heterophylla
Referred to as Ultra Blue, this Blue Bell creeper produces some of the brightest blue flowers you have ever seen. You will have an endless supply of bell-shaped blue flowers all summer long that are unlike any flowers you’ve ever had before.
Grow it in an area with full sun or dappled shade and you can train it to grow around a trellis or any other support system so that it is as eye-catching as possible.
It is very easy to grow and once it is in place you have to do very little to care for it afterwards, making it perfect for beginners. You can plant it along your fence and almost forget about it. It reaches a spread of up to 60cm and a height of up to 200cm so is also perfect for smaller gardens.
11. Clematis cirrhosa ‘Freckles’
It gets its name from the freckled colour of purples that dot the inside of the flowers. This clematis will provide colour all through the winter and bloom early each year, producing cup-shaped flowers where other plants fail to flower.
It has glossy green leaves that require very little maintenance. This, too, has a large size when fully grown, upwards of 300cm in height and 150cm in spread.
12. Passiflora caerulea
Known more commonly as the blue passionflower, this is the most common of the passion flowers. It is a semi-green vine that will grow upwards of 10m or more, and cover your entire fence with some of the most unique, tropical blooms.
It’s probably the most eye-catching of all flowers and when planted in a sheltered position will create a stunning display. There are lots of tender varieties that are only really suitable for indoors so make sure you get the Passiflora caerulea variety.
Now that you know what your best options are, consider which ones you like most. It comes down to personal preference; no evergreen is better than the other, simply better in some situations or climates than others.
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Last update on 2023-11-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API