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6 June 2024 : 
Climbers & Wall Shrubs
Alan Eason

Alan Eason presented a light-hearted and informative talk on Climbers and Wall Shrubs.  Kicking off with some plants taken from his garden, Alan explained the different types of climbing plant – those that cling on, those that wind around, and those with adapted leaves to grip to supports and to scramble through other shrubs.  He also explained the best ways to support climbing plants – emphasising that the support structure should be in place before the plant is bedded in, with 1.6mm galvanised wire being the best balance between bendability and strength.


The accompanying slideshow initially illustrated different supporting structures and how to use them within the garden.  Alan pointed out common mistakes or ineffective support systems, and highlighted how best to make use of a climbing plant.  He suggested not to combine two clematis from different pruning groups, and not to plant too vigorous a rose on a smaller structure where it will always be looking for a higher position.  Alan also explained that planting shrubs just in front of a climber can help to hide unattractive stems.


The second half of Alan’s talk focused on different climbing species – working through exotic and tender plants which love the warmth and dryness of a south facing wall, through to honeysuckles, roses and different varieties of clematis.  The 55 members enjoyed the humour of Alan’s style and asked several questions about their own experiences with climbers.

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