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Guest Blog... Pergola Planting with Jarmanmurphy

At jarmanmurphy we love developing planting schemes, and will cover every surface with plants at the earliest opportunity. Pergolas offer the chance to extend the greenery skyward with climbers and twining plants, allowing flowers and scent to surround you as you relax in their shade.

For the traditionalists out there, climbing roses and Wisteria are the first port of call. Their scents are divine, and if you select a repeat flowering rose variety, you’ll be in heaven for months. Many roses have clusters of bright shiny hips after flowering, which can really light up a dull winter day as they glow like tiny fairy lights over the frame. Chose thornless varieties if passing space is snug: Rosa Malvern Hills, has a soft, buttery yellow double flower, deliciously subtle scent, and coincidentally, is the rose we used on the Sitting Spiritually stand at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017; at the top end of the fragrance scale is R. ‘Wollerton Hall’, a delicious climber with flowers of soft apricot that fade as they open to cream. Wisterias are stronger growing, so will need regular pruning to keep within its space, but reward the garden lover with countless blooms dangling overhead.

A warm spot is the ideal space for Trachelospermum jasminoides or Star Jasmine. Surely this is one of the best evergreen climbers, really earning its place in our gardens, with its glossy deep green foliage that changes to red in autumn with a little sun. Simple star-shaped white flowers are held in sprays in summer and have an intense fragrance is hard to beat. Such a good value plant, and one that is easy to train over a pergola frame, needing only occasional tying in.

Lonicera periclymenum ‘Graham Thomas’ is a vigorous climber, but worth the amount of trimming necessary to keep in under control. The white trumpet-like flowers fade to warm yellow and are followed by red berries. A woodland native, this lovely plant tolerates some shade and can scramble away to 10 metres if left to its own devices.

It is possible to grow fruit too. Who could resist the sight of a plump juicy blackberry growing just at arms length? Rubus fruiticosus ‘Oregon Thornless’ is a spring flowering variety that produces a good crop of fruit in August and September. The grape, Vitis ‘Phonix’ is suited to UK gardens with full sun, sheltered position and good drainage, but if it’s happy, will reward with dense bunches of fruit and lovely autumn foliage.

If its instant coverage you’re after, try and plant as large a plant as you can as opposed to a vigorous variety which, generally speaking, will swamp the pergola frame and eventually begin to look unloved, creating a tangled ‘beehive’ at the top, and straggly legs at eye level. And no one wants that!

Lonicera Periclymenum Graham Thomas
Oregon Thornless
Star Jasmine
Wollerton Old Hall

Many thanks to Sarah Jarman & Anna Murphy of Jarmanmurphy 

sarah jarman +44 7872 972259
anna murphy +44 7812 086104

Posted by Siobhan on January 4th 2018

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