Home Security Month

Home Security Month: How Secure is Your Garden?

By | Fencing, Winter Gardening | No Comments

As the nights draw in, burglars become more opportunistic and take advantage of the early darkness. Burglaries are likely to increase by around 20% this time of year.

To remind us all to survey our home security this Autumn, October is Home Security Month. This includes your garden. Tools, statues and plants in gardens are often worth thousands, and the average value of stolen goods is £850. But we don’t secure them in the same way we would an iPad or television. Your garden is also your first line of defence against would be thieves who are targeting your home.

Weird Things People Steal


We wrote before about how 50% of dog thefts occur from your garden. More obvious targets include expensive electronics such as mowers and gardening tools (which can be used to break into homes). Bicycles, ornaments and furniture are also commonly taken. Then it can get weird. People have had decorative barrels, swimming pool pumps, and plants stolen by opportunists. Potted plants, hanging baskets, and even planted shrubs have been swiped and sold on. The problem has become so severe in some places that public places such as Anglesey Abbey have begun security tagging their snowdrops.

Choose the Right Secure Garden Fencing


It’s obvious that a short, cheap, weatherbeaten lap fence made from softwood won’t deter thieves very much. It can be harder to figure out what will keep undesirables away. Well, secure garden fencing will help. Colourfence is an excellent candidate. The surface is smoother, making it harder for burglars to get a foothold and climb into your garden. The material (zincalume) is tough, so it can’t be easily damaged or destroyed; and it isn’t susceptible to fire the same way wooden alternatives are. A trellis top can provide extra security; especially threaded with thorny climbers such as roses.

Choose the Right Gate


Colourfence also produce high quality, secure gates, which are made from a combination of Colorbond steel and high quality pre galvanised, powder coated square tube. The gates come in a variety of sizes and lengths, and can come with a range of locks, handles and drop bolts. They share the qualities of Colourfence fencing; they are extremely low maintenance and very durable. They are also weather resistant, and wind resistant up to 130 MPH – another important quality in October and the coming winter.

Tweaking Your Garden For Security


You can plant spiky shrubs next to your fence to deter people from climbing over the fence. This may seem harsh if you are being invaded by next door’s kids, but a thief may well see this and decide to look for easier prospects. Other ways to frighten them away include light and noise. Noise in particular can be your friend. You can try anything from a gravel driveway to a professional alarm. With light, you can try dusk to dawn security lighting or motion sensor lamps, which can startle people away and make your garden seem like too much trouble.

General Tips

  • Keep your bins away from your gates / fences
  • Microchip your pets
  • Use land anchors to secure your plant pots
  • Invest in good, weather proof padlocks for sheds and gates
  • Use a bike lock as well as locking your shed
  • Check your insurance covers your more expensive items.
  • Keep bushes trimmed back.
  • Make sure ladders are locked away.

Home Security23



Wind-Proof Fencing: Protect Your Home this Winter with Colourfence

By | Winter Gardening | No Comments

Did you know that not all home insurance policies cover storm damage? Fences and sheds are usually excluded from insurance policies, according to the Association of British Insurers. Even if you are covered for storm damage, insurers may disagree on what constitutes a ‘storm’ and decline to pay out.

Is this really a problem? Well, there were 12 major storms during Winter 2013-14, which was the stormiest period of weather the UK has experienced for at least 20 years.  Winter 2015-16 was the second wettest and there were nine ‘named’ storms from November onwards.



Insurance claims will also often be denied if you are deemed to be ‘liable’. This means, for example, if you knew your roof tiles were loose or fence panels were rotten. So the first thing to do is assess your property and garden. Try to spot any obvious issues; is your home in good repair? After all, compromised roof tiles or damaged guttering will be the first casualties. If you have trees or large shrubs in your garden, check them for dead or rotten branches (it might be worth getting an expert to check this for you).

Luckily you can do a number of things to prepare for stormy weather. You can even look at getting an optional add on policy specifically for storm damage. It’s worth keeping an eye on the news for storm reports, and setting up some news alerts online. You can even follow the Met Office on Twitter (@metofficestorms) for storm warnings.


12599824 - man cutting branches

First, focus on basic home maintenance. Arrange for a tree surgeon to prune back any shrubs or trees. Secure your car in a garage, store away any electronic items and make sure flower pots and garden ornaments are tidied away (to avoid smashed windows). Ensure your TV aerial is carefully fixed and check for any electrical leads that could come loose (this could cause severe problems). Also, strap any trampoline down as strongly as possible.

Next it’s time to think bigger. Sheds and fences are the two biggest ones. They will likely need securing or even replacing. Can your shed be easily dismantled? This is an extreme step, but some models can be taken apart very easily. This can be the easiest way to protect it during a spate of severe weather. Next, take a look at your fence – and be brutal. Will those three year old store bought overlap panels really survive Storm Desmond style 80 MPH winds?





If your fence is older, damaged, or starting to show signs of rot or wear, it might just be time to replace it. While this is an investment, it’ll be much better value than paying to fix your neighbour’s windscreen after your fence lands on it. One of the best alternatives to cheap overlap fencing is Colourfence. It’s a strong, durable fencing solution designed to withstand gusts up to 130 MPH.

Colourfence is made of zincalume steel. It’s corrosion resistant and rot proof; it’s also designed to stand up to the most extreme weather conditions. These strong fence panels require very little maintenance and are guaranteed for 25 years. They are also fitted by fully trained and accredited experts, so you don’t have to worry about cowboys or DIY mistakes.

So, is it worth it? Well; the reality is that our weather is getting more extreme. One Oxford University study found that climate change has increased the chances of Desmond-like storms by about 40 per cent.

Colourfence may be a higher initial investment than cheaper wooden panels, but work out as being the best value fence panels long term. The panels are specifically designed to withstand strong winds, and are guaranteed for a quarter of a century, so will be replaced in the unlikely event that they do get damaged.

How are you planning to prepare for another stormy winter?

Wind Proof Fencing Winter


The Best Alternative to Wood Garden Fencing

By | Fencing Materials | No Comments

Colourfence. An innovative metal fencing product, ‘Colourfence’ is made from Colorbond™ pre-painted steel. It comes in four colours, green, cream, brown and blue, with optional trellis toppers and gates available.


Colourfence is a better alternative to traditional wooden fencing. More durable, more secure, more eco friendly and much lower maintenance, it simply makes more sense whichever way you look at it.

What Makes it Better?

It’s more Durable

Colourfence is extremely durable. Steel fencing made from Colorbond steel originated in Australia, but is now manufactured here in the UK. It is designed to withstand extreme climate conditions, it comes with a 25 year guarantee and can withstand gusts up to 130 MPH. It is not subject to the same issues as wooden fencing; it will not rot, warp or peel.

It’s Virtually Maintenance Free

Colourfence is virtually maintenance free. All the fence requires is an occasional hose down, to keep it looking as good as new. In contrast a wooden fence requires regular, thorough scrubbing and cleaning (often with a power washer), plus annual painting or sealing with chemicals that can be dangerous for children and pets. On top of that, the fence will probably need partial or total replacement within about ten years.

It’s More Secure

Infills are securely locked into the post and rails as a deterrent to intruders, and a full range of lockable gates is available. It comes in heights up to 2.1m, (subject to planning) and panels are smooth meaning it is difficult to climb and there are no easily removed slats for intruders to exploit.

It is Fitted by Experts

Colourfence is supplied and fitted by a network of fully trained and licensed Franchisees. All Colourfence franchisees offer site surveys and free no obligation quotes to ensure you get exactly the fence you want at an all-inclusive price with no hidden extras.

View A time lapse of how a Colourfence is erected below:

It’s Eco Friendly

Colourfence is 100% recyclable and requires no toxic chemicals to maintain. Colourfence operate on the basis of an ongoing commitment to sustainability, as do Bluescope Steel, the manufacturers of Colorbond steel. They actively work on reducing waste and preventing pollution, as well as the principles of re-use, reduce and recycle.

Extra: Matching Gates

Our secure and durable gates come in two styles; either Colourfence, or ColourRail.

The standard Colourfence gates are manufactured from a combination of Colorbond steel and high quality pre galvanised, powder coated square tube. They come in a range of standard widths, in lattice or standard top, and can be accessorised with locks, handles and drop bolts to suit your needs.

ColourRail gates are made from heavy duty tubular steel and are ideal for situations where full screening is not required. They are available in a loop, loop and spear, spear, or flat top finish with non-standard heights and widths being made to order at a small additional charge. These gates come in the 4 standard Colourfence colours, plus gloss black.



Best Alternative (1)


Want to see Colourfence now? View our image gallery here


Top Tips to Make the Most of A Small Garden

By | Garden Tips | No Comments

Gardens in London properties in zone 1 & 2 can be as small as 8m2. Many of us feel lucky to have a garden at all! The main tips include keeping things to a simple colour palette, with light coloured fencing and natural wood. Sticking to clean lines, creating different levels and making the best use of vertical space are also helpful tips. With the grass, either leave it long, swap it for artificial turf, or break it up with wooden decking. Consider horizontal and vertical stripes for paving in the same way you would with your wardrobe, to broaden or lengthen the garden area. A couple of oversized planters, filled with simple, broad petalled blooms, will help create the illusion of space.

Bearing that in mind, here are some tips from wayfair.co.uk to make the most of a small garden.


Improve Health 2

4 Ways Gardening Can Improve Your Health

By | Garden Tips | No Comments

Recently, a British doctor has suggested that horticulture and therapeutic gardening should be available on the NHS. Reports over the past few years have suggested that doctors should prescribe gardening on the NHS. It’s suggested as a way to prevent as well as treat physical and mental health problems; it can help with insomnia and high blood pressure.


Gardening is great exercise – considered as ‘moderate to high’ intensity. The RHS has calculated that just half an hour of gardening burns an average of 150 calories. Kansas State University found that it has comparable health benefits to jogging or swimming. Plus, people were more likely to stick with it because it felt less like ‘exercise’ and more like fun.

Benefits include weight management, lower blood pressure, stress relief, and stronger immune systems. Older people can gain increased mobility and flexibility,

5 a Day


As well as working for your food, growing your own helps you get your five a day. It also means you get to choose what kind of fertilisers and pesticides come into contact with your food, and when to harvest. This means fresh, nutrient rich tomatoes straight from the plant, and courgettes at just the right level of juiciness. (Tomatoes and courgettes are among the easiest plants to grow and considered a great starting point for new growers). Eating from your own garden will also encourage you to eat seasonally; meaning your fruit and veg will be at it’s most nutritious and delicious.

Feeling Good

King’s College Hospital have collaborated with Lambeth GP Food Co-op (a co-op of residents, medical professionals and patients) to create food growing gardens. Patients are taught how to cultivate fruits and vegetables, which are then sold to support the initiative and the NHS. Gardening can help improve mental health, for individuals who feel blue or people in ‘therapeutic’ settings such hospitals. The exercise, social interaction  and sunshine can really help boost a person’s mood.

Managing Dementia


The King’s Fund has found that gardening can reduce isolation and help lower the risk of dementia. Studies have found that older people who gardened regularly had an up to 47% lower risk of dementia than non-gardeners.

The benefit is thought to come from a combination of exercise, anxiety reduction and improved motor skills. There is also evidence that garden environments stimulate the senses and improve awareness of surroundings.

Is your garden fence getting old and tired or is it a pain to maintain? Meet Colourfence; a high quality, virtually maintenance free fence which comes with a 25 year guarantee.


Improve Health

The Royal

Spotlight on The Sensational Royal Chelsea Flower Show

By | Gardening Events | No Comments


The Chelsea Flower Show has graced the UK since 1912, with display gardens including artisanal, urban and avant garde. There will be extra exhibits to commemorate the 90th birthday of the Queen.

The Gardens


Health, Happiness and Horticulture

The  Health, Happiness and Horticulture garden is designed by Ann-Marie Powell, and is the official RHS garden of the show. Part of the Greening Grey Britain initiative, the garden is meant to inspire, with colourful borders, bee friendly plants, bubbling water features and a delicious kitchen garden.

Modern Apothecary Garden

The Modern Apothecary Garden was designed by RHS ambassador and organic gardening expert Jekka McVicar. The plants are themed around the Hippocrates quote, “Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food”, accented by less edible plants which are designed for relaxation, such as lavender. (For St John’s Hospice).

British Eccentrics

Harrods have sponsored the British Eccentrics Garden, designed by the innovative Diarmuid Gavin. The award winning designer has incorporated the quirky charm of the old school British garden, with a slightly steampunk theme of complex machinery performing simple tasks.

The LG Smart Garden

Inspired by smart-homes and burgeoning technology, the LG Smart Garden is designed as a Scandinavian lifestyle space. Think clean lines accented by softer planting and the whiplike branches of multi-pronged trees. The ideal  showcase for the synergy between modern technology and nature.

The Winton Beauty of Mathematics Garden

The Winton Beauty of Mathematics garden is a celebration of maths and the algorithms that underpin all life. Key exhibit is a flowing copper band, etched with algorithms, which represents an emerging seedling. It works as a bench, banister and planter. Pines, rich purple perennials and metallic foliage create a fresh, bee friendly garden.


The Day


What’s On

The Great Pavilion features an interactive discovery zone and gorgeous floral exhibits, many designed to highlight innovations in plant science. There is a concert by Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Orchestra (at extra cost) after hours.

There are also numerous boutiques to browse, along with the competitors for the RHS Chelsea Product of the Year. The Garden Time GroTray and Hozelock – Cloud Controller look like they’d be great for helping you create a low maintenance garden!

The Dress Code

The dress code at the Royal Chelsea Flower Show is unofficial, but real. Think an elegant English garden party; champagne, tea and cake. Florals are practically obligatory, and flat shoes are encouraged. Men should wear a jacket and tie if possible (these can be floral if you are brave).

This is the season of changeable weather, so carry a large shoulder bag and fill it with an umbrella, sunscreen, bottled water, gloves, sunglasses, a camera, notebook and change for the shops.

The Catering

You can sate your hunger at a variety of eateries at the Royal Chelsea Flower Show. There are a number of fine dining restaurants, including the Rock Bank Restaurant, offering champagne and exquisite seafood.

The Village Fete area offers charmingly British cuisine such as finger sandwiches and fish and chips. The Plateau Picnic Area is ideal for vegans, vegetarians and people who adhere to special diets, offering gluten free snacks and an open air bar area.

Chelsea 3 (1)


Royal Hospital Chelsea

Show times
Tuesday – Friday (24 – 27 May)
8am – 8pm

Saturday (28 May)
8am – 5:30pm *

* sell off begins at 4pm


Time To Enjoy the Great Outdoors; What’s On This Summer

By | Industry News | No Comments

Spring is finally here, and that means summer is just around the corner! There’s lots of things to do and see this season, so we have compiled a collection of our most-anticipated flower shows and gardening events for 2016. Whether you go to all thirteen, or just make it to the one, it will be a summer well spent!




5-8 May | The RHS Malvern Spring Festival

Start your summer with a ‘bloom’! Get yourself down to the Three Counties Showground at Malvern, Worcestershire before the weekend is up.

6-31 May | Family Explorers: We’re going on a bug hunt at Stowe House, Buckinghamshire is a great day out for the whole family. You can enjoy the exquisite grounds of the Grade I listed country house, and the kids can enjoy getting their hands dirty with the creepy crawlies – the perfect opportunity to get them away from the television!

14-15 May | The RHS Plant Heritage Spring Fair

Take the trip to Devon to experience the lush Rosemoor Gardens in all their glory! This event has expanded massively since the first show over a decade ago, so get yourself down to see for yourself how much it had ‘grown’.

24-28 May | The RHS Chelsea Flower Show

If you don’t make it to any of our other suggested fairs, make this the one you do see. The television coverage just does not do this astonishing event justice!



Bowood House


3-5 June | Scotland’s Gardening Festival

Hit the highlands this summer to find the best plants and best landscape designers to bring your garden ambitions to ‘fruition’, at the Royal Highland Showground, Edinburgh.

4-5 June | Toby’s Garden Festival at Bowood House

After a successful first year in 2015, Toby Buckland is back in the stunning backdrop of the Grade I listed Bowood House, Wiltshire. This year it’s set to be bigger and better, with more specialist nurseries, live music, local food and presentations from the green-fingered experts.

16-19 June | BBC Gardeners’ World Live

On Saturday 18th to Sunday 19th, the kids can visit for free, so get this date in your diary! The popular event, at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, offers something for everyone, from the BBC Good Food Show to the NEW Rose Festival event!

24-26 June | GROW London

You won’t leave this contemporary garden and lifestyle fair without some ‘budding’ inspiration! Expect expert-led talks, gardening workshops for you and the kids, as well as free garden design consultations and of course food and drink at this unique event at Hampstead Heath.



 Kew Gardens

2-3 July | Kew Gardens Wild Food Festival

Excite your taste buds as well as your eyes whilst you enjoy the gorgeous wild landscapes at Wakehurst Place, West Sussex. Mum will enjoy sampling the stalls to collect together the picnic, Dad will be busy sampling the exotic spices and craft beers, and the kids will be running truly ‘wild’ in the famous Coronation meadow!

10-12 July | Kent County Show

This is the showcase event for everything farming, countryside and rural life – but if its flowers you’re looking for, you won’t be disappointed! The Flower & Horticulture Tent is bursting with dazzling floral arrangements. The exhibition gardens are built over a week leading up to the show and the hanging-basket and child-friendly flower competitions are a highlight!

18-21 July | Royal Welsh Show

Encompassing the best of Welsh livestock and quality food and drink with a taste in Welsh farming and rural life. From activities like forestry, horticulture, and crafts to countryside sports, this is the outdoor event for the adventurous gardeners!



garden border edging

14-15 August | Shrewsbury Flower Show

This year will mark the 129th Shrewsbury Flower Show, making this the longest-running event of its kind! Celebrate in style and good company – the headliners this year include celebrity gardener Sarah Raven.

20-23 August | Southport Flower Show

Another historic show, this event offers lots of opportunities for you to get involved! Exhibit your beautiful bouquets in the largest amateur grower’s competition in the country, or why not enter your photos of the gorgeous show gardens you visited this summer in the Stefan Buczacki Photography competition?

There’s lots more to see this summer than your own garden, so make 2016 your year to get out and enjoy the Great Outdoors at some of the country’s biggest and best flower shows!

Garden Shows

The Top 5 Gardening Apps

Spring has sprung: the gardening apps you need to download NOW

By | Garden Tips | No Comments

This spring, your most trusty gardening tool won’t be your ergonomic, back-saving shovel, or even your self-watering plant pot – it’s your mobile phone! So, with our favourite season finally on its way, its time for a spring clean on your smartphone!

Top 5 must-have mobile apps for green fingers

We have compiled a list of most popular apps for avid gardeners, all with a review for your consideration. Missed any of your favourites? Tell us below. 

  1. Garden Compass Personal Gardening Tool (Garden Compass, LLC)


This app is an indispensable tool for naming those stubborn garden pests to help you choose the most appropriate weed treatment. It also identifies the flora and produce you do want in your garden.


The camera function allows you to identify plants with the click of your camera. Digital Compass lets you store a list of the plants in your patch, giving you a ‘digital garden’ you can take everywhere.


The optimised format makes Digital Compass really straight-forward to use. The identification process is almost instant.


You have to sign up to have full access to the features of the app. Also, in order to have an unlimited list of plants in your ‘digital garden’, you need to purchase a premium membership.

Our Rating:

Download Here

  1. intoGardens (into all things)


A cross between an interactive gardening magazine and TV show, this is the ideal app to browse through after a long day in the soil. Brought you by British garden designer, James Alexander-Sinclair.


The camera function lets you take, caption and share snaps of your garden in all its full blooming glory. With in-app purchases, you can access articles, videos and other content from both garden novices and professional landscape designers.


The sleek, modern format is easy to navigate. The content is really varied, with something for everyone: there’s content on bird-watching to pond maintenance.


The app is free to download, but you’re limited to what you can access without making in-app purchases, which is a little deceptive.

Our Rating: (if you pay for the additional content).

Download Here

  1. Sprout It (Växa Design Group)


This clever app knows that every garden is different, so uses your location to give you customised information and reminders throughout the gardening season.


A wide range of species is contained in the in-app Plant Library for you to browse through. You use the Grow Plan function to set a separate plan for each of your crops, and the digital garden keeps up with growth and harvest in your actual garden, so you can watch your produce grow wherever you are.


The app is full of inspiration like themed gardens, to garden projects and recipes for your produce. It’s also free to download.


You have to sign up to use the app.

Our rating:

Download Here

  1. Vegetable Planting Calendar (Primolicious LLC)


The vegetable gardener’s handbook in an app – this guide to more than 90 different species is a great tool for beginners and ‘seasoned’ gardeners alike! It covers including planting, growing, harvest and the ideal storage of your produce.


The app allows you to favourite your most-viewed plant types for quicker, easier access to the information relevant to your garden. Each vegetable’s section includes advice on when and how to plant the species, so there’s no leave the garden to refer to your dusty gardening encyclopedia or get online.


Vegetable Planting Calendar includes detailed guides on both vegetables and herbs, and it is compatible for both Apple and Android, so this is one for the iPad and your mobile!


Some species are listed under their American name, so be aware if you don’t know your zucchini from your courgette. It also costs £1.49.

Our rating:

Download Here

  1. Grow Your Own (The Royal Horticultural Society)


This gardening app is brought to you by the UK’s leading gardening charity. Grow Your Own lets you keep a record of the species in your own garden and the green plant-themed format feels like you really do have your garden in your pocket.


An alphabetical compilation of our most popular fruits and vegetables, with the option to add your own personal notes. The instructions make it easy to get the hang of using the app if you’re not too tech-savvy, and the to-do list function is useful for keeping track of your pruning.


The plant profiles are very detailed, with guidance on plot size, planting/harvest periods and common problems.


All our favourites are there, but the database is a little limited. You can purchase additional bundles to add more obscure fruits, vegetables and herbs to the list for £1.99 each.

Our rating:

Download Here


Now you have your garden and vegetable patches in tip-top condition, why not give the rest of your patch the attention its craving? Colourfence will give your garden the border worthy of Eden, that will stand up to even the worst British weather, so your garden will still look lush even out of season!


World Naked

World Naked Gardening Day (7th May 2016)

By | Industry News | No Comments

“So what should you do? First of all, on the first Saturday of May, find an opportunity to get naked and do some gardening. Do so alone, with friends, with family, with your gardening club, or with any other group collected for that purpose”

World Naked Gardening Day lands on the first Saturday in May – in 2016 that’s the 7th. The movement, (acronym WNGD) was founded and organised by Mark Storey, consulting editor for Nude & Natural magazine and permaculturalist Jacob Gabriel, as a project of Body Freedom Collaborative (BFC). They also have links to the World Naked Bike Ride Day, and the fun and subversive guerrilla gardening movement.

Naturism has experienced a real resurgence in recent years, with London even opening a nude restaurant, Bunyadi. The French Tourist office are offering nude only getaways, there’s a NudeFest in Somerset, and naturist communities continue to open in America. Actress and PETA spokesperson Alicia Silverstone is a big fan of naked gardening, as was Bohemian socialite Edna St. Vincent Millay.

Tips and Tricks

Protect Yourself

“If I’m gardening naked and if I need to have a hat on or shoes on, that’s fine. People are pretty rational about that stuff. This is not a religion.” – Mark Storey, Founder of the movement.

Naturism can mean you get sunburnt is some really interesting and painful places. High SPF sun cream is an absolute must. When it comes to sun (and nettle) protection, even the founder encourages people to wear hats, shoes and gloves if necessary. Bug spray is another near necessity for au naturele pruning and growing.

Respect Others

Some sites, not affiliated with the official WNGD group, suggest doing your naked gardening in your local park or in the street. This is likely to result in a call to the either the hospital or the police, depending on how generous the onlookers feel; depending on the area, people may be more vocal in their complaints!

Remember that public nudity outside of designated spaces is classed as indecent exposure in the UK and you can and will be arrested if you try it. The best place to participate is on private property. Even then, it’s a good idea to consider your neighbours. If you have a high, sturdy fence, go for it! If you have a 3ft fence and next door’s kids have a trampoline, it might not be such a great idea.



The Best Climbing Plants for your Garden Fence or Wall

By | Garden Tips | No Comments

If you are looking to create interest and introduce height into your garden, few plants are quite as successful as climbers. Many are fast growing and will quickly cover a fence or wall to produce an eye-catching feature within a certain area of your garden, which might otherwise be bland or lacking interest.

Climbers can be easy to maintain and quick to establish depending on the type you choose. However, picking the right climber for your garden can sometimes be a challenge. Here I hope to cover some of the most common questions about climbing plants. This will help you choose which one is right for your garden and your personal taste.

Different types of climbing plants

Climbing plants use different mechanisms to help them attach to a vertical surface, such as a fence, and grow upwards. So first, let us look at the most common types of climber you are most likely to encounter in a garden.

Twining climbers: This type of climber uses its stems to clasp onto a surface and support itself. The main stem uses a lassos type motion to wrap around an object. Initially, they might need support or help to start climbing. Once attached they are self-supporting, needing only a little attention to tidy them up. Some common twining climbers include honeysuckle and clematis.


Tendrils climbers: This type of climber uses shoots to wrap around objects, holding itself upright and hoisting itself higher and higher. Sweet peas are a great example of this mechanism. It is important to keep on top of maintenance with climbers that use tendrils. If left unchecked they can often wrap around themselves and other plants. This creates a dense clump of tangled foliage, which is almost impossible to unravel without causing damage.

Aerial roots: As the name suggests, this type of climber uses roots to clasp onto vertical surfaces. Unlike roots that grow underground, aerial roots grow from the stem. You can see this most clearly when you look at ivy plants, however Hydrangea seemannii also uses the same method.

Other types of climber: Not all plants that we grow on fences and walls are natural climbers. Having said this, they are more than suitable to be trained in this way. The have strong, sturdy stems that will easily support the plant. Pyracantha, Ceanothus and some Rose varieties are fantastic for this.

Climbers for different soil types

Let us consider your garden’s soil types. The most challenging types of soil to grow in are clay and sand. Heavy clay soil retains moisture and can be subjected to waterlogging. Conversely, sandy soils are free draining where drought is an issue. Choosing a climber that can grow in these soil conditions can be a struggle. With a little thought, the result you achieve can be spectacular.

Best climbing plants for clay soil

As mentioned above, clay soils are prone to waterlogging. Therefore climbers for these soils should be tolerant of damp conditions.

Clematis is probably one of the most popular climbing plants, due to their variety of flower colour and form. Generally speaking, clematis will grow well in any fertile soil. As long as there is some drainage or organic matter incorporated into the planting hole, they will do very well in clay soil. The plant has a wide array of flower forms and a veritable rainbow of colours from white to rich, dark purple.

Although many varieties can grow to 3m or more, there are a few that can be grown on a 6ft fence. Clematis ‘Arabella’ reaches a height of just 1.8m and will produce a mass of small deep blue flowers July to September. For a more unusual, less typical clematis flower, try Clematis macropetala ‘Wesselton’. The large, mid blue flowers form a pendulous bell-shaped and are produced earlier than ‘Arabella’, from April to May. This one reaches 2m so is ideal for a 6ft fence.

If Clematis is not your thing, why not try a Honeysuckle, specifically Lonicera periclymenum ‘Rhubarb and Custard’. This great climber has many wonderful features. It produces an abundance of beautifully scented red flowers from June to September. Although tolerant of shade, they will do much better in full sun. Bees also love this plant, so if you are looking for a wildlife friendly climber, ‘Rhubarb and Custard’ is for you. After the flowers have faded, they form clusters of ornamental red berries. This Honeysuckle is easy to care for and low maintenance, so even if you are not a skilled gardener, you can still enjoy superb results.

Best climbing plants for sandy soil

If your soil is sandy, the chances are that you often struggle with drought conditions. If this is the case, then there are some fantastic climbers for you.

Sollya heterophylla is also known as the bluebell creeper due to its pale blue bell-shaped flowers, produced from June to September. Although Sollya is a fantastic plant, it is only half hardy so does require a little winter protection. This added skill makes it a rarity in our gardens, but with some TLC the results are great. It reaches a height of 2m so is perfect for a garden fence, ideally situated in a protected spot in full sun.

So far we have looked at flowering climbers, so here is one that is solely grown for its foliage. Muehlenbeckia complexa, or the maidenhair vine, is a fast growing twining climber. It will need a little help to start with, but once supported it will flourish. Although grown for its foliage, it does produce insignificant green flowers in summer. It reaches a high 3m but responds well to being trimmed back after it has finished flowering in September. It is also frost hardy, so might need a little winter protection in open areas.

Climbers for sun and shade

Like soil types, the amount of sun your garden receives can dictate the type of plants you can grow. It is no good planting a sun-loving plant in a shady garden or a shade-loving plant in a sun-baked garden. Let us look at a few options below.

Best climbing plants for full sun

A garden in full sun might sound like a dream come true, however, they come with their own challenges, namely being baked all day in the hot summer sun.

Sweet peas are a classic cottage garden climber that we normally grow as an annual for cut flowers. Lathyrus latifolius, also know as the everlasting sweet pea, is a perennial species that is ideal for growing up a sunny fence. ‘White Pearl’ is a wonderful variety that is popular for its pure white flowers that are produced throughout summer. Unlike its annual cousin, Lathyrus latifolius does not produce any scent, however, the abundance of flowers more than make up for this. Reaching just 2m high it is ideal for a 6ft fence.

Lathyrus latifolius

Jasminum nudiflorum, or the winter jasmine, is a truly divine climber. Like the common jasmine, it produces delicate star-shaped flowers. These are produced from January to March on bare stems of bright green. This intensity of colour early in the year will help to brighten up your garden on dull days. Its natural habit is to scramble so it will need a little support, having said that it is one of the easiest to train. Although it can reach 3m high, it resounds well to pruning after flowering in April.

Jasminum nudiflorum

Best climbing plants for shade

Often the best plants to grow in a shady garden are foliage plants and with climbers, this is no exception.

Ivy is the obvious choice here, but before you groan and read on, thinking that it is a common, boring plant, I would like to fight its case. There are some fantastic varieties, each with wonderful leaf form and colour, often variegated and never dull. Hedera colchica ‘Dentata Variegata’ is not only a wonderful garden plant, it is also excellent for wildlife, as are all ivies. This particular variety has diamond shaped leaves with a deep green centre, surrounded by a creamy margin. Because it is an evergreen, you will receive colour all year round. Conversely Hedera colchica ‘Sulphur Heart’, as its name suggests has a golden centre surrounded by a vibrant green margin.

Ivies are vigorous plants that can grow to 5m or more. Fortunately they tolerant hard pruning at any time of the year, so if you find yours is becoming a bit wild, simply prune it back to the required height.


If you are looking for a climber with autumn leaf colour, there is really only one that will do. Parthenocissus, or Virginia creeper, both regular and the small leaf variety, are without a doubt the most spectacular climbing plant for autumn. During the summer, their leaves are glossy and bright green. As soon as light levels and temperatures start to drop, these leaves turn a radiant shade of red which will turn your garden from tranquil haven to a warm and vibrant paradise.

The downside to Parthenocissus is that they are huge, and definitely not one for a small garden. If left unpruned they will easily reach 15m and for this reason, they should be planted on their own, without competition from other climbers. Having said that they can be pruned regularly in autumn or winter to keep them at a conservative size and to stop them invading your guttering or roof. Virginia creeper is also an important wildlife plant and makes excellent habitats for birds and insects.

Virginia creeper

Climbing plants for different aspects

Whether you have a north, south, east or west facing garden, certain plants will do better than other. Each aspect brings it own challenging conditions, and it is important to understand these before we select your plants.

Best climbing plants for north/east facing garden

Many people regard north/east facing gardens as the most challenging. They receive little light and are often the dampest. But there is a climber for every situation and in this case, it is Firethorn. Also known as Pyracantha, firethorn is a popular climber because it is not fussy. It can be grown as a hedge and is self-supporting, often needing little or not training. In May, it will produce an abundance of white flowers, which are followed by a profusion of red or orange berries throughout autumn. They reach 3m high but are easy to prune into shape with a hedge trimmer.


Best climbing plants for south/west facing garden

It seems that everyone wants a south/west-facing garden. These are suntraps that receive the sun all day long. However, the soil can be very dry and plants can suffer if they are not tolerant of drought. Passiflora caerulea is the ideal climber for a south-facing garden because it loves full sun. From July to September it will produce exotic looking flowers that are truly unique within the plant kingdom. These flowers are followed closely by orange, egg-shaped fruit, whilst the leaves are palmate and add a wonderful texture. They can be trained vertically along wires where it will quickly fill out and cover your fence.


The best climber for you

So now you will hopefully be more confident in finding the perfect climber for your garden. But remember that as well as finding a climber that will grow in your conditions, it is important to consider what you want to achieve and what you enjoy. Whether you want to grow a climber for its flower form or colour, a specific flowering or even just foliage as a backdrop for your other plants, there are plenty to choose from and the ones above are just examples.

With just a little bit of research at garden centres and online, you could find the perfect climber that will bring you joy for years to come, season after season.