Grow your own trel­lis

Who needs modern ver­ti­cal gar­dens when you can grow your own old-fash­ioned trel­lis? Jackie French shows how to start grow­ing up.

Australian Women’s Weekly NZ - - FILM MAKER -

Once you needed a mas­sive back­yard to have a gi­ant gar­den. These days a sky­scraper can be­come a hang­ing flower bed, and a sunny wall can have a vegie patch. But ver­ti­cal gar­dens can be ex­pen­sive, and dan­ger­ous if not well en­gi­neered. The eas­i­est, cheap­est way to “grow up” is with wires or net­ting at­tached to posts for plants to grow on, be­cause trel­lises give you a lot of gar­den – fast.

1 For cov­er­age: potato vine Plant one for a two-me­tre-square, all-year blaze of white (or pale pur­ple) flow­ers on glossy fo­liage. Potato vine can be­come a weed, so hack it back to keep it neat and stop it tak­ing over. Weed­ing too vig­or­ously close to the base will stim­u­late rapid, vig­or­ous sucker growth.

2 For el­e­gance: clema­tis Clema­tis needs moist, well-drained soil, well mulched to keep the roots cool, or shaded by low neigh­bour­ing plants, with their heads in the sun. Feed at least twice a year when they are grow­ing well. Prune after they have bloomed and cut the larger va­ri­eties back so they will put out more growth and flow­ers. Choose from hun­dreds of va­ri­eties. Some will bloom ex­trav­a­gantly in spring, others all sum­mer but not as spec­tac­u­larly.

3 For fruit: pas­sion­fruit There is noth­ing as de­li­cious as a sun­warmed pas­sion­fruit, eaten straight from the vine. Feed well – a slow­grow­ing pas­sion­fruit vine is prone to the virus that gives you “woody” dry fruit. You should get fruit by the end of the first year.

4 For scent: man­dev­illa You need a frost-free area for these, and per­fectly drained soil as their roots can rot, but they’re worth cos­set­ing as their scent wafts around the en­tire gar­den. The vividly coloured ones have neg­li­gi­ble fra­grance, while the scent is strong­est in the white Chilean man­dev­illa, Man­dev­illa laxa, and, as a bonus, this is one of the hardi­est of the species.

5 For clas­sic beauty: roses If you want re­li­a­bil­ity, choose white or pink Ice­berg; pale pink New Dawn is so vig­or­ous it can cover four square me­tres in a year. Use plant ties to at­tach branches to the trel­lis, to shape it well. Ex­pect lots of canes in the first year, but few flow­ers. Then wait for it to be spec­tac­u­lar once it has made it­self at home.

6 For spring: wis­te­ria Wis­te­ria’s blooms are beau­ti­ful in spring, rang­ing in colour from deep blue to pink, with a faint, per­va­sive honey scent. Plant and be pa­tient – wis­te­ria char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally grum­bles for a cou­ple of years, then dou­bles in size – and when a six-me­tre wis­te­ria dou­bles in size, it’s big.

Wis­te­ria has beau­ti­ful deep blue to pink blooms, with a per­va­sive honey scent.

Clema­tis

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.