The North Face – (Climbers for North-Facing Walls)
There are a few hard and fast rules for life in the Northern hemisphere – Christmases are cold, the toilet flushes clockwise and climbers grow best on a southern aspect. The inability to cultivate in a northern position, and the shade it guarantees, frustrates many gardeners since it inevitably means at least one border all but devoid of flowers. Fortunately this is a predicament that can be overcome as there are some climbers which will thrive under these challenging conditions:
Clematis alpina ‘Francis Rivis’
A medium sized climber with ferny foliage and delicate, pendant royal blue and white layered flowers throughout spring and early summer. Is extremely hardy, but prefers and alkaline soil.
Clematis montana ‘Elizabeth’
Vigorous and deciduous variety that will produce mid-dark green foliage and mildly fragrant shell pink flowers through spring and into early summer.
Clematis ‘Nelly Moser’
Another mid-sized deciduous variety with seven petalled flowers in pale mauve- pink, each with a central lance of coral pink which would fad in bright sunshine – prefers alkaline, well-drained soil.
Hedera colchica ‘Sulphur Heart’
An Ivy which is evergreen and which derives its name from the golden heart shape projected by its variegated foliage. Although, be careful as ingestion can cause severe discomfort so be wary of planting in a family garden.
A vigorous, wood-stemmed variety whose emerald green foliage highlights its flat heads of creamy-white flowers in June. It will grow in most soils.
This vigorous, evergreen, twining climber has pale green or purple flowers in the spring time and possibly purple, sausage-shaped fruits afterwards from which it derives it common name ‘sausage vine’.
Lonicera japoninca ‘Halliana’
Otherwise known as ‘Japanese Honeysuckle’ – a semi-evergreen climber possessed of yellow and white, very fragrant flowers and extremely hardy to most soil structures, ph levels and exposure.
‘Boston Ivy’ is a deciduous, self-clinging climber that produces lobes of green foliage that will turn brilliant reds and plums in the autumn.
Rosa ‘Golden Showers’
A beautiful cultivar of rose that blooms in sunfire yellow throughout summer and autumn-themselves possessed of a delicate fragrance provided the plant is well sheltered.
Rosa ‘New Dawn’
Winner of the RHS AGM (Award of Garden Merit) this thorny variety produces blooms in a pale salmon-pink hue throughout summer and autumn.