Climbing plants - Fast growers for quick cover

Featured in the March 2011 handbook.

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Clematis Montana is the fastest growing of all the clematis and also one of the easiest to grow. In perfect conditions it can grow to a height of 12m (40ft). If it is cut back by about one third after the first flowering this will encourage vigorous growth.

Virginia creeper is a hardy climber with warm red foliage in Autumn. Ideally should be given a horizontal support.

Honeysuckle comes is several varieties which are vigorous and hardy, with strongly scented flowers ranging in colour from pale creamy white to bright orange red. They prefer a lightly shaded spot, well drained soil and plenty of compost.

Annual creepers - if you just want a splash of colour during Summer, here are a few suggestions:-

Sweet Peas are a beautiful, perfumed, dainty climber, available in a huge range of colours. They also have the added bonus that if the blooms are picked for indoors this encourages more flowers to appear on the plant. They are easily grown from seed outside, reach a height of approximately 1.8m (6ft) but do need support.

Nasturtiums do come in climbing varieties, available in yellows, reds and oranges and are ideal to cover a hedge or left to scramble over banks etc. They can be grown from seed outside and will spread about 1.8m (6ft).

Morning glory again is most suitable for mild areas. Available in blues, rich scarlet's and purples, easily grown from seed germinated indoors and will grow to about 2.5-3m (8-10ft) high in a season.

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