Real World Gardener Problem Climbers on Design Elements

August 10th, 2014

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network.<?xml:namespace prefix = "o" />


The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition. The new theme is sung by Harry Hughes from his album Songs of the Garden. You can hear samples of the album from the website


with Louise McDaid, Landscape Designer


This series came about because the question has been asked many times.

That being, why doesn’t xxx shrub, climber, tree grow in my place when it’s growing really well in my neighbour’s place or my relatives place down the road?

You can insert whichever problem plant you like. So to counteract that, over the next few weeks we’ll be discussing problems with climbers, shrubs, trees and just plants you like that don’t seem to thrive.

Climbers that end up with foliage all at the top and nothing lower down

This scenario might be ok if you want it to run along the top of a wall or fence, but if it’s in a prominent position the bare stems might not be attractive


Stephanotis floribunda

Some common offenders are stephanotis, pandorea and clematis. Something like wisteria that does this can be a feature – the bare stems twining up a pillar or post, when the flowers are out you hardly notice the stems and when it’s not in flower they add a sculptural element


It’s not unusual for a climber to do this – in the excitement of it growing and reaching upwards is so great that we mostly just let them go on their upward journey, impatient that they get as tall as they can as quickly as they can – and we usually give them lots of encouragement. This is our downfall!

Sometimes the problem is just not possible to be solved and you have to start again. In this case, most climbers grow fairly quickly and starting again isn’t such a big deal, plus it gives you the opportunity to try something new.

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