Climbers and wall shrubs scale vertical surfaces in a variety of ways, and the support you provide depends on their vigor and methods of climbing. Some, such as jasmine, honeysuckle and wisteria are twiners; clematis have coiling leaf stalks; and sweet peas, passionflowers andn vines cling with tendrils. Horizontal wires offer the most adaptable support for climbers, wall-trained shrubs and fruit trees. Training stems horizontally increases flower and fruit production.
Trees and Other Host Plants
To encourage a rambler rose to clamber up into a fruit tree, plant it 3 feet away from trunk and give it a rope - pegged to the ground and run to the lowest branch - to climb.
Wooden trellis can be used against a wall or as a screen. Climbing roses, honeysuckle, clematis and passionflower may secure themselves, but tying them in also helps.
These provide ideal support for large-flowered clematis, jasmine and climbing roses, and annual climbers, such as sweet peas, morning glory and runner beans.
No Support Needed
Plants such as Boston ivy have tendrils that adhere to walls without support. Ivy and climbing hydrangea have self-clinging roots on their stems. Some initial support is useful.
Planting in Pots
Large containers, especially glazed ceramic pots or oak half barrels, create the opportunity for covering walls, fences and screens, even without a bed or border. Some pots and troughs come with freestanding trellis support, but you can also add a trellis fan as shown here. Try small- to medium-sized species and cultivars, such as Alpine clematis, and annual climbers like Chilean glory vine and morning glory.