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Fence Greening with Climbing Plants

Here you can find information on how to green a fence, partition, railing, an enclosure (for example, a rubbish site). This kind of greening not only beautifies but also functions as a privacy screen. Some fences are intended for greening right from the start and are planned in. Others are greened as an after-thought, often requiring additional climbing-plant support systems. You will see three possibilities of how to install wire ropes.


Suitable Climbing Plants for Fences

There are many suitable climbing plants for fences, as you can see in the photo gallery at the bottom of the page. Even espalier fruit and grapevines are an option-- the latter usually trained as horizontal cordons, vertical cordonsgarlands, or as in a vineyard. Low-maintenance wild vines are suitable, and mixed greening (simultaneous use of several climbing plants) is also a possibility. Additional recommendations can be found in the section dedicated to plant privacy screens ('privacy screen'). Vigorous climbers and strong twiners like wisteria and silver lace vine can only be used to a limited extent; if they grow unchecked, structural damage can be expected -- these plants are known to bend even iron railings!... wire mesh and metal nets would of course be even more vulnerable.

Wooden Fences

Additional climbing aids are recommended when greening wooden fences. Horizontal ropes with transverse rope guidance are particularly suitable; see photos below. 

Granite Steles with Wire Rope

This is a modern but risky combination. Horizontal wire ropes are susceptible to being climbed. They can sag or be ripped from their holders, or can even topple the fence steles. In individual cases in the private sector, this arrangement can work. Below, we show examples of 'tangential' or 'interrupted' rope arrangements.

Privacy protection fence with English ivy
Privacy protection fence with English ivy (Hedera helix)
Fence with sweet-peas as privacy screen
Fence with sweet-peas as privacy screen

Suitable Climbing Plants-- Photo Gallery

Fences with different climbing plants -- please click on the photos...

Hops provide an early privacy screen in spring
Fence greening with annual morning glories
Roses on a fence
Planting of scarlet runner beans on an iron fence
Fence greenery with akebia quinata
This fence is completely covered with wild vines every summer; the posts stand out as green 'hillocks.'
Wisteria on a railing
Railing greened with grapevines
Schematic of a fence greening: horizontal grapevine cordons (see section-- 'Climbing Plants / Grapevines / Training')
Schematic of vertical grapevine cordons on a fence (see 'Climbing Plants / Grapevines / Training')
Lattice for vines trained vineyard style, winter photo
Vine garland greening a wire mesh fence
Espalier fruit (apple) on a fence after the winter pruning.
Wild vine with multiple flower buds on a wrought-iron fence
Fence greened with clematis tangutica
A wire mesh fence with clematis viticella
Winter jasmine with snow
Evergreen honeysuckle in winter
Fence greening with several plants ('mixed greening'): ivy below, wild vine in the middle, crimson glory vine at the top
Metal lattice enclosure for rubbish bins - evergreen honeysuckle
Should be checked regularly to avoid building damage: bittersweet as a 'screen' for rubbish area
Stainless steel lattice with ivy at a bus stop

Tangential Cable Arrangements

Necessary greening support systems can also be installed on the outside or to the side of ("tangential to") a fence, as if the fence were a wall; horizontal wire ropes similar to system 1060 are usually used.

Greening of a plank-fence with roses (et al.) on horizontal steel cables, easy style "basic"
Climbing aid for clematis on a privacy protection fence-- wire rope system 5050, easy style "mini"
Wooden fence with grapevines, spring shoots-- vineyard style training with flat arch (see text above). The 3 mm wire ropes were led through staple nails glued in with composite mortar and tensioned diagonally downwards at the end of the fence.
The same wooden fence as in previous photo; here greened with winter jasmine
Anchoring of the five wire ropes in the photos from before. They lead to a hidden ground anchor EA 12800
Pillars of granite with inner, tangential cable guidance, bamboo
Details of the previous photo; several horizontal wire ropes according to system 1060, medium kit with cross mounts 10081
If the cables are exposed to extreme loads (vandalism, climbing), they will slide out of the mounts without damaging the mount itself. The cables can be re-tensioned later on.
Terrace partition in a private area for roses: ring bolts were inserted and screwed into the "T"-shaped steel profiles and wood panelling, as with System 0040.

Axial Cable Arrangements

When ropes are used to fill fences, they usually run along the central axis of wooden or metal posts (viewed from above)-- in the same way as wire frames or rope system 0050.

Interrupted axial cable arrangement - from post to post

Some supports or pillars cannot be drilled through. In this case, the wires are arranged axially from post to post on glued-in eyelets (small ring bolts WM 06030) per system 0040.

Wire rope tensioned between two posts, similar to special system 0040: here the assembler used a metal pipe as a brace between the posts.
Steel cables tensioned between granite posts, greened with clematis; loads exerted on the pillars may lead to a bending fracture... they should be structurally checked beforehand. In case of such loads: for every cable, half the break load is recommended.
Details of the previous photo: the eyebolts WM 06030 were installed with brass rawl plugs (dowels) DM 06025.
Seilverspannung mit 5 x Seilsystem 0040, dazu senkrechte Seile, mit Kreuzklemmen schlaff aufgeklemmt gemäß Seilsystem 5050.
Cable construction with tightly tensioned horizontal cables, eye bolts WH 07080, and mini press clamps SK 03006
Horizontal ropes (in public spaces) are prone to being climbed. The resulting tension may lead to the disfigurement of the granite pillars (displacement) and to the slackening of the wire ropes.
It would be more straightforward to simply install the ropes with some slack (not stretch them at all), as in this case. Virginia creeper in castle garden Sanssouci / Potsdam / Brandenburg