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By Siskin

Aberdeenshire, United Kingdom Gb

Are there any good climbers that will tolerate shallowish-soil? I'm currently beginning to re-landscape my garden, the previous owners having turned it into a gravel desert. One of the first things I've done is dig borders, which I've been duly enhancing with soil conditioner / store-bought manure. I really wanted to plant some climbers, preferably clematis, in the border nearest to the house so as to give the garden more privacy. However, the soil in that particular border is terrible quality - the house is quite new, and when I first started digging the soil looked more like concrete / builder's grit than soil. I've been introducing a lot of organic compost and manure to it since November in the hope of improving the soil quality, but the bad soil isn't integrating well with it at all. The compost layer is about ten inches deep now, with the bad soil under it only a couple inches more, before it becomes undiggable. I have a feeling this is too shallow for clematis to grow? Is there anything more I can do, or is there a nice bushy climber out there that will grow in only ten or so inches of good soil? Many thanks in advance for any responses :)



My favourite climbing rose - Mrs Hebert Stevens - grew against a new house after not much more than being heeled by the fence fixers.

Personally, I'd go for a rose rather than clematis as they're a lot more forgiving in the early years.

28 Feb, 2014


Thanks very much for your suggestion. I've had a look and it is indeed beautiful. I can't seem to find a seller locally though (I'm in Aberdeenshire). But I'll keep hunting :)

28 Feb, 2014


Another option might be to set up whatever trellising this spring, and just for this year limit that wall to annual climbers. They are a lot more forgiving of poor gritty soils, cheap to buy as seed, will give interest to the wall for mid and late summer, and be easy to rip out in October.
You then have another autumn and winter for continued ground improvement before you put the more expensive choices in...

1 Mar, 2014

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