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Hi Folks,

I just moved to a new house and was wondering what is the best option to cover the end wall of a large garage that backs onto my property, its S/E facing and is about 30 ft long and 30 ft high at the apex.  Ideally I am looking for something that is evergreen and has a flower / fragrance in summer though, I don't mind if there is mainteance involved but my overriding priority is to cover the wall within a few years (pic of wall attached).  Any ideas are greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance,



Clematis montana, white or pink, would love it there, it would have enough room to become the gorgeous huge plant it want to be.  You would need to put up plenty of good heavy weight wires for it to grow upon - lovely.  Climbing hydrangea would go well too, though it does take its time to start gripping but once away can cover big areas.  Maybe both, as you have a good large area to cover. 

Thanks to both Chellie and Bookertoo for responding, really appreciate it.  I like the idea of the clematis but worried about pruning - what level of cutting back is required will it not leave the wall exposed until the new growth comes on ?


If you use a montana it really requires little or no pruning as you want it to cover a large area, just the odd stem to tidy it up, not complicated as the summer ones are often seen to be.  After flowering it it leaves a covering of pretty leaves, and a good stenciling of twisting stems in the winter.  Once established it may support other lighter clematis when its own flowers are over - we do that here.   What it will need is a good strong set of support wires as a well grown montana can weigh a tremendous amount in full flower, especially when wet.  Grandiflora and rubus are  the the largest, there are others which are more perfumed and slightly less strong in growth. 


Sounds fantastic, will definitely go with that. When is the best time to plant, can I do it now ?


yes you can plant it now.

It will need some supporting as well.

As it is such a huge space why not have a couple of things, to extend the flowering period. I have a May Queen Climbing rose in my garden. far too big really for the space. It really wants a massive area to ramble over. Lovely flowers and scent.

The other thing I though of was virgina creeper, it will cover your wall quickly, is self clinging,  although not ever green, the colours of the leaves in the autumn are spectacular. 


When you say the garage backs on to your property, does that mean it is not your building?  If it does not belong to you do not plant anything on it; certainly do not attach trellis or wires to it.  If you do it is tresspass and the owner of the wall might have something to say about it, especially if your plant obstructs the guttering or climbs up on to the roof or round the sides.

By all means plant shrubs in front of it, but otherwise do not touch it if it is not yours.


That is quite right of course, but I did imagine that Dom would speak with his neighbour before doing anything if the building does not belong to him.  Most people who cannot see the back of their buildings are pretty reasonable about the adding of plant supports.  You can only ask huh?

No issue with the neighbours - told them what I was planning to do and they think its a great idea.  Thanks to all for the great feedback, really really apreciate it.



You could consider planting a Kiftsgate rose - gets to 30 ' and has scented creamy flowers in June followed by red hips in autumn which are good for birds.  Combine this with a clematis montana for spring flowers and a scented honeysuckle for summer flowers and you have an extended season of interest.    All offer nectar for insects and thus food for birds.

As stated, you'll need to support them but this is easy enough if you are permitted to screw in some serious vine eyes to the wall and then stretch heavy gauge wires between them.  You'll need a wire at 18" intervals up the wall.

Make sure you improve the soil with plenty of good garden compost and/or well rotted manure before planting and put your plants in at least 18" away from teh wall so their roots have better access to food and water to maintain growth and health.

Thanks Obelixx,

I really like your suggestion, could I ask what is best way to plant - for example, should I plant 3 diffreent flowers next to each other  - a rose next to a clematis next to a honeysuckle and repeat this again across the area ? or should I plant in blocks -   all the roses together, clematis together etc.  Do I need to be concerned that one species may smother another ? how many of each plant would you think I need ?


Akebia quinata and Clematis Etoile violette would be good

Pam x


Not knowing what time of day the pic was taken, but as it is shady, I can advise that I planted a bobby james rose along my workshop wall that is about 50' long,

bobby was along the wall around the corner and heading towards the fence on the other side of the field. I cut him back to 4' last year, and again he is nearly along to the end of the wall.  He is growing along with a Hydrangea petiolaris, which is much slower to cover an area, but of course that is self supporting. There are various Clematis that use Bobby as a frame to pull themselves up by.



Dom, given their vigour, I would have though one of each would do the job.  It may take them a season or two to get there but there will be less refreeing afterwards.

I would give each plant its own separate planting hole and initial support to get it started so they don't compete for nutrients and I'd plant them spaced at 2 or 3 feet apart at the open end of the wall away from the rain and light shade of that tree/shrub to the left.


Hi obelixx,

I said I better show you the latest pics of my wall, I have removed the tree, rotavated the whole garden and put in new grass seed.  I measured the length of the area I wish to cover and its 33 ft, so if I am looking out my kitchen window back up the garden I should probably plant by flowering season Clematis first, rose in the middle and honeysuckle farthest away from the house - would that be ok ?  How much room do I need to leave between the wall and the hole for the plant ? I would like to plant as near as possible to the wall to maintain the lawn ?



Planting too close to the wall will mean the plants struggle for water and nutrients.  It woul dbe best all round if you can dig out a border at least 3' deep and plant other stuff between the climbers to hide the base of the wall but the first job would be to get the holes drilled to take the vine eyes and then stretch and tension strong wires between them.

Then you would either prepare planting holes or dig the border and start planting along it.  I reckon you have room for a big ramblming rose planted in teh middle of the big wall.  Kiftsgate (creamy white) or Paul's Himalayan Musk (lilac) will cover 9 metres heigh and 6 to 9 metres wide depending on training and both will provide perfume while in flower and then hips.  I woul dthen a plant the clamtis montana half way between the middle and one end and the honeysuckle half way between te middle and the other end.   You could also train smaller ramblers along the lower wall - see her for scented options, colours and sizes - 

Plant them at least 2' 6" out from the wall and bury any graft union on teh roses at least 2 inches deep, sloping the plant back towards the wall.  As the shoots grow, tie them in as horizontally as possible to encourage flowering shoots.  make sure ties are loose enough for the stems to move in the wind and not get rubbed and damaged against the wires.

I would then advise perennial plants and bulbs to fill the remaining gaps and extend the season of interest - snowdrops, narcissus and hellebores for winter and spring interest followed by hardy geraniums, aquilegias, phlox, heleniums, achillieas and any manner of perennial to take you through from spring to autumn and hide the base of the wall.

After a couple of seasons you'll need to take out a  third of the main rose stems and any dead stems every spring to maintain growth and vigour.  The clematis and honeysuckle will only need pruning to keep within bounds.



Hi obelixx,

Thanks so much for all the fantastic advise - guess what I will be doing this weekend !! 



Have fun.  Post a photo when it's planted up.  Sorry about the typos.


You are really looking for a self clinging climber. Montana, Wisteria, Russian Vine, Jasmines, are all non-clinging and will need support - a lot of support all over the wall and wire is expensive. I also think you need to go for an evergreen or for most of the year you will be looking at the bare wall.

Self clinging climbers and evergreens are Hedera (Ivies), some Hydrangea and Virgina Creepers. A mix of an evergreen Ivy and Creeper will look good and not that expenses. Should cover the wall quite quickly as well.

When the self clingers are established you can add the like of Clematis - they can piggy back on them.