Several climbing plants on one wall -- is that possible? Can we create a multi-coloured wallgarden? Absolutely! --as long as the plants like the same conditions and thrive side by side. It gets a little more complicated when the plants are to grow intertwined with each other on the same support system. Here we describe a few possible combinations.
A juxtaposition of different climbing plants is easily possible, be they woody perennials, herbaceous perennials, or annuals. We know such combinations from display gardens, where various kinds of wine grapes and roses, for example, grow happily side by side.
However, one has to be aware of the growth vigour of all the plants, as some vigorous plants (silver lace vine (Fallopia baldschuanica), wisteria, clematis vitalba) will easily overgrow and blanket others which are less vigorous. Also, pruning back the different plants with their individual requirements ('species-specific cut') becomes a bit trickier when their shoots have become intertwined. We recommend planting the plants in separate planting rings or well separated from each other in a planting strip. If there is only one planting hole available, it is best to keep the rootballs of the individual plants separated by root barriers.
Some climbing plants have stunningly lush and dense foliage, yet their flowers are rather insignificant. It makes sense to combine these climbers with flowering plants. Favourites are the ivy (Hedera helix), Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia 'Engelmannii'), woodbine (Parthenocissus vitacea), Boston ivy (Parthenocissus tricuspidata) or the grapevine (Vitis vinifera), which are combined with flowering annuals. These can be grown in separate pots, watered and fertilised separately, removed yearly in late autumn, and brought out again in spring for some new planting. Where large façades are greened with self-clinging climbers, flower (window) boxes can add charming colour accents.
A much loved and undeniable combination pair are the clematis and climbing roses. However, annual climbers lend themselves very well to combinations. Here, the art lies in combining them so that their spectacular floral displays appear either at the same time or at different times...