Climbing machines are native to wooded areas and jungles, where due to lack of light due to the large trees they climb up between the branches to seek light by clutching and holding on to various systems.
Today, in gardening, flower climbers add to their great ornamental value, serving to hide unattractive facades or walls, beautify a fence or a balcony, act as screens to isolate us from the outside, create charming corners, for example a gazebo or a gazebo, act as a vine arbour, or simply give aroma, shade and freshness.
Any fast-growing climbing plant can even act as a screen against noise, although to do so it must be evergreen and grow on a trellis or vertical wall, which helps it to hold itself up.
But the great value of climbing plants is that they give a new dimension to the garden: the vertical one. Ideal for a small garden or a landscaped space. In addition, the speed of growth of most of these species allows them to form garden areas in less time than by using other plants.
Forms of attachment
These plants have developed diverse and ingenious systems to become entangled and cling to each other: fickle stems, thorns, adventitious roots, tendrils or shoots…
- Thorned climbers.
Climbing rosebushes and bougainvilleas, for example, are attached to stones or very rough walls thanks to their thorns; if other supports are involved, they must be provided with a lattice or frame and guided and attached to them.
- Climbers with adventitious roots.
The climbing hydrangea (Hydrangea petiolaris), for example, like ivy, emits small roots that adhere to rough surfaces.
- Climbing hydrangea with vine shoots or tendrils.
They have leaves or stems that have been modified into filaments that are rolled up to attach themselves to trellises, nets or other plants, as the vine does. An example is the Passion flower (Passiflora).
- Climbing plants with fickle stems and petioles.
Clematis (Clematis), bridal veil (Polygonum), wisteria (Wisteria), jasmine and the so-called false jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides) are easily entangled in railings, gazebos, trellises and lattices thanks to their long stems.
Choice of climbers
Knowing how to climb is essential to choose the plant that will best adapt to the support on which it will be guided and the place where it will be placed. But it is also very important to know its ornamental qualities, its type of development (some generate dense vegetation), whether the foliage is deciduous, semi-dead or perennial, and the time of flowering.
Perennial climbers, for example, are perfect for making areas permanently independent (neighbouring houses, garage roofs, unattractive views…).
If they are out of date, they isolate from spring to autumn, with the advantage that they warn of seasonal changes and do a general cleaning once a year. If their support is a lattice or pergola, they will protect from the summer sun and let the light through in winter. They usually give more flowers than perennials. Depending on the climate, some of them behave like semi deciduous.
The annual creepers die when the season ends, but in exchange the flowering is intense and spectacular, like the Ipomea.