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I am looking for something which will conceal/cover a single storey garage wall. Unfortunately its North facing so it does somewhat limit what grows there, and the added issue is that I would be looking to plant in a planter which I will build along the wall, about 18''x18''. Currently its concrete below, but I am planning on smashing it all up and laying gravel. It is right next to a manhole cover so I dont want to put it into the ground for fear of upsetting any foundations. 

The area is fairly sheltered as its right next to the house, and 12 foot opposite is an extension of the house. We have to stare at this wall when looking out on the garden so would like something attractive which will cover the wall. Something evergreen would be a bonus!


Is it possible?


How about an ivy or a climbing hydrangea, ideal for a north facing wall apparently.


I was going to say hydrangea petiolaris, but that is a climbing hydrangea.

How about a winter flowering jasmine? Evergreen,small leaves,  tough and no trouble, bright yellow flowers during mild spells in winter - loves north walls. Might need to attach wires to wall to spread out the branches which can then cascade down from the top - the branches are floppy rather than twining/climbing. Needs the occaisonal prune after flowering.


Hydrangea seemannii has very attractive evergreen foliage and creamy white flowers in summer.

BTW. Steady as you go with smashing up that concrete near the drains!


Its part of a bigger project (the whole garden) but its something I wanted to get on with so I can get some coverage on it this summer into Autumn. 

I've got a Trachelospermum Jasminoides which I planted last summer over the front of the house last year, and even though its on an east facing wall, its growing really well. I'd have loved to get it to grow over the garage but it'll be no good on a North wall. 


Will Ivy or Hydrangea work in a planter? 

You can see it just to the right of this shot. I'm planning on bricking that door up on the wall and running a planter right along. The garage will be coming down eventually to make way for an extension right across the back of the house, but its probably 7-8 years away so I want to make it as colourful as possible in the meantime. I'm planning on digging up all that concrete, and covering with membrane and gravel, perhaps putting a coldframe down under the window on the left as its not an area of the garden that is much used.



If it's only going to be in its pot for 7 or 8 years and you feed it and water it well, it should be OK, I think.

Great, any tips on what varieties to go for?


I only know hydrangea seemannii from my own experience,

Do your Hydrangea's still grow well in little sun? 


Mine is on a north facing wall, surrounded by paving slabs with only about 40 cms of earth visible all round, in a place that is surrounded by high shrubs and trees. The only rain it gets is runoff from the slabs. It has grown about 30 cms this year so far. Lovely glossy evergreen leaves. Couldn't be happier.


I have hydrangea petiolaris growing in a north facing position and it is doing well. It takes a while for it to cling to the wall itself so a bit of trellis stuck into your pot would help it on its way.It is in full flower at the moment. I purchased a second plant last year (for school garden) from Homebase at the end of summer - good sized plant in pot with trellis attached. It is now happily growing away in a shady spot on the school wall. Great bargain...knocked down from £25 to £4 because it was losing its leaves...which it does naturally, I love a good bargain!

Should also mention although it is deciduous, you are left with a rich brown tracery of stems in the winter after yellow autumn foliage. I think it is a great plant. Keep it fed and it will look after itself. I'll see if I can post a pic. for you.

Thanks for the advice so far, could I maybe combine the 2 so that I get an evergreen coverage as well as differing flowering seasons, or would one choke the other one out? 


I could even plant Ivy, with Hydrangeas breaking it up, so that I get a blast of flowers between an evergreen covering which will provide interest all year round? I'm aware of the vigorous nature of Ivy. 


I'm just starting to find my feet gardening. Our previous house was awash with decking and grass, so we tended to restrict planting to pots of which there was an abundance however, we struggled to get perennials the following year. I'm trying to be a bit more measured and research the varieties which will grow best in the garden and in which spot. This looks a decent forum to discuss ideas, so I'll put up my plans soon for what I aim to do to the garden. 


Less is more, I think.



I think Nut mentioned that she has an evergreen climbing hydrangea 

Not all ivied are quick growing and. A variegated one would give you good all year round colour.

Armenia Quinta the chocolate vine also does well on north facing walls. Semi evergreen it has lovely purple red flowers sometimes followed by purple fruits. Would give you some summer colour.

Gloire de Marengo and Sulphur Heart are two variegated ivies which will lighten a dark area without being too rampant.

Hydrangeas welcome some shade chicken chaser. There are lots of perennials and shrubs which will grow well in containers and raised beds in shade, so if you want to have a variety there are lots of choices. Hardy geraniums will tolerate trickier sites and give you a long flowering season 


 Just planted this spring.

 Mine in flower in the shade against my garage wall.

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