Gardeners World episode 14 2002: Alan Titchmarsh gets going on a new project this week when he starts planting climbing plants.
Gardeners World episode 14 2002
Climbing plants can soften the look of fences, walls, pergolas and arches. In established gardens grow climbers, such as clematis, through shrubs or small trees to give added interest. Many climbers do well from cuttings, having a natural tendency to root easily from their stems. A slightly different technique is required for taking cuttings of climbers than when taking cuttings from shrubs and trees.
Most climbers do well from semi-ripe cuttings, which are selected from the current season’s growth. The base of the cutting should be hard, while the tip is still soft. This material is available in late summer, but suitable material can usually be found until mid-autumn.
Climbers have a natural tendency to climb and some will even self-cling, without requiring tying-in to supports. Wall shrubs, by contrast, do not naturally climb. If left alone, they bush outwards and grow like shrubs. With specific pruning and training techniques, they can be trained to grow against walls.
Aquilegia are clump-forming herbaceous perennials with long-stalked, ternately divided basal leaves and erect, leafy stems bearing bell-shaped flowers with spreading, coloured sepals and petals with spurs, on branched stems.
The genus name Aquilegia is derived from the Latin word for eagle (aquila), because of the shape of the flower petals, which are said to resemble an eagle’s claw. The common name “columbine” comes from the Latin for “dove”, due to the resemblance of the inverted flower to five doves clustered together. Columbines are closely related to plants in the genera Actaea (baneberries) and Aconitum (wolfsbanes/monkshoods), which like Aquilegia produce cardiogenic toxins.