Climbing plants for Sun or Shade

Speaker: Marcus Dancer
25th March

Marcus told us he had been in horticulture since he left school and had had his own nursery in Sandleheath near Fordingbridge for the last 20 years specialising in Clematis. He also grows a wide variety of climbers. He mainly operates by mail order but appointments may be made to visit the nursery to collect plants. Otherwise he attends Farmers Markets around the region.

His web site at is a good source of information and contains an extensive plant list. Marcus’ talk was interesting and informative as usual.

A selection of his suggested plants

Shady positions:

The spicy scented Chocolate Vine akebia quinata; height 15/20 feet, vigorous and will grow in a wide range of areas. The Alba variety is very sweetly scented.

Akebia Quinata (The Chocolate Vine)

Akebia Quinata (The Chocolate Vine)


schisandra rubriflora – as above with dark red flowers in Spring.

Hydrangea petiolaris – evergreen, good coverage, height 15/18 feet. Can be pruned and trained easily.

Honeysuckle, Lonicera japonica – evergreen, mildew resistant, height 15/20 feet.

Schizophragma – self-supporting, flowers all summer.

All these climbers can be trained along a 6 foot fence. Self supporting plants will not damage walls provided they are in good repair.

Achelspermum Jasminoides

Achelspermum Jasminoides


Wall Plants:

Lonicera x purpusi “Winter Beauty”, self-supporting, height 8/10 feet, scented flowers December to March.

Winter flowering Jasmine – can be grown as a hedge, height 6/8 feet.

Spring flowering Clematis – Montana or Viticella. Do not grow in boggy ground.


Shady positions:

Fremontodendron – height 10 foot and can cause skin allergies.

Jasminium officianalis – vigorous, scented flowers June to September, old stems should be pruned out.

Abutilon – can be grown in containers, the smaller the leaf, and hardier the plant. Prune in the spring.

Campsis radicans – late flowering, available in lots of different colours, height 20 feet, can be pruned like Wisteria.

Rosa “Kathleen Harrop” thornless, height 8/10 feet and “Zephirine Drouhin” which is very prone to disease.

Passion Flower, passiflora caerulea – needs a well drained soil, vigorous, height 10/12 feet, may produce fruit.

Trachelspermum jasminoides – evergreen, self supporting, height 10/12 feet, very scented white flowers.

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