autor: Jordan Karakolev, Landscaping Architect
The climbers affix themselves to the substrate with small roots (tendrils), which are modified stems, leaves or leaf stems. They grasp strongly any surface they get hold of. Among theses climbers are the Clematis, the Ampelopsis and the Lathyrus, the Kobaea and others.
The leaning climbers are sometimes called semi-climbers, because they do not affix themselves to the supporting surface but only lean on it. These plants have long elastic but week shoots that cannot stand straight on their own and need to lean. If you deprive them of their support, they become ground-creepers or common bushes. The most popular of these are the rose, the raspberry and the cassis.
Vertical landscaping is very functional especially when it comes to decorating small areas, as it takes almost no space. Such green walls are an excellent example of garden adornment and give the feeling of rich luscious foliage. Climbers and creepers are suitable for any landscaping design and therefore are among the most favourite tools of landscaping architects. Twining plants scramble very well any defects in a wall, cover an unsightly industrial building, disguise fences and barren walls in a perfect way. Supports for these plants can be a huge array of garden elements – arches, pergolas, trellises, pavilions, and pillars, any lighting devises, etc.
Annual climbers make the right impression in a short period of time. Every year they can be used for arranging beautiful settings, combining the plants in a different way. Most of the annual plants have rich scented flowers and beautiful large leaves. Some of them also have interesting fruits. Usually these plants would love a lot of light. Fast-growing types are the Kobaea, the Cucurbita, the Ipomea, and the Lathyrus.
Climbers can be very useful as well. Green fences can be very good windscreens and protect you from the sun and curious eyes. The lower the dust and noise levels. They are an additional hurdle for the blowing winds and thus the gusts are felt softer. Furthermore, some of them have tasty and healthy fruits.
The idea that climbers destroy facades is simply wrong as vertical landscaping can damage a wall only if the choice of plants is wrong. Problems usually occur when unsuitable plants are grown and not enough care and maintenance are provided.
Therefore, picking the right climbing plant for a wall is a very important choice. On the one hand, plants prolong the life of a building by protecting facades from sharp temperature fluctuations and the changes of air humidity throughout the day.
If the outside wall is covered with thermal insulation or a facing material, it should be additionally strengthen, as it may not endure the weight of the climber. It should also be kept in mind that taking a climbing plant off a façade is not a simple task and there may well be some marks left that are not easy to fix.
Perennial climbers can grow for 20-25 years and produce a huge crown. Because of their fast growth rate, sometimes there may be problems with gutters or snow on the roof that cannot drop easily, stopped by the intertwined twigs. For this reason, growth should be monitored and the plant trimmed early every spring. Some types of plants can be aggressing enough to penetrate wooden elements of joinery for instance, which may eventually lead to their destruction.
– The choice of the right plant is very important, depending on its purpose (temporary or permanent) and the place you intend to plant it (sunny or shady)
For the perennial plants, it is of crucial importance to cut and trim them in due time. In order to keep the plant blossoming, the dried blossoms should be picked and the dying leaves and twigs as well.
And always remember that for a more audacious design the best thing to do is to seek an expert’s opinion.