As the title of this post suggests, I recently planted out three climbing hydrangeas in The Woodland Garden. The variety of hydrangea we chose is hydrangea anomala subspecies petiolaris, which is a self-clinging vigorous hydrangea which has pretty white flowers in the Spring/Summer and vibrant fresh green foliage. It should help create a pretty focal point for this side of the house when it flowers and the white blooms will be somewhat luminous at night when this area of the garden will frequently be viewed from the seating area in The Blackberry Garden. This plant can also grow in shady to semi-shady areas, so we elected to plant all of them next to the north facing house wall that edges this area of the plot as it is the shadiest part of the plot, but it gets the morning sun. A northerly or easterly aspect is preferred by this plant so this seemed like a great spot all round for them!
I spaced the plants about 30-40cm away from the wall to prevent rain shadow, added the obligatory mix of compost and bone meal into the planting whole and angled them towards the wall to encourage them to begin to cling onto the wall. They don’t look like much to look at yet and I don’t expect to see much if anything in the way of flowering from them this year, but they have sturdy root systems. I’ve am aware that they may be slow to grow in the first year, but after they have established their root systems, they should grow away mostly unattended and with vigour. The only maintenance I can see myself having to do for these climbers is ensuring their branches are always growing in front of any guttering to prevent them pulling if from the house wall etc, pruning around the windows, deadheading where possible and an annual mulch/feed. These climbers will therefore be much less high maintenance than other climbers in the garden like the clematis, honeysuckle and wisteria which all require a degree of pruning and a support system creating for them to allow them to climb!
Anyway, I’ll be tracking how these climbing hydrangea do and I’ll take some photos are they begin growing.
Written by Bethany Wright