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The Three Musketeers


We made a sinful trip to the Garden Centre recently. It not only involved taking advantage of their café, but also spending far more than we should have on plants themselves. The result is a trio of climbers sitting on the patio, waiting to be planted or over-wintered (I haven’t made my mind up which).

They kind of remind me of the Three Musketeers, all lined up waiting to go off to where they’re needed to eliminate unsightly gaps and cover bare areas of fencing. From left to right we have:

  1. Hydrangea Petiolaris (climbing hydrangea)
  2. Clematis “Star of India”
  3. Lonicera Similis var. Delavayi (evergreen honeysuckle)

The hydrangea I got because I like the intricate lace-like flowers, the clematis is for practice as I’m not very good at growing them and the honeysuckle is to replace the one that I took out because it was bereft of any fragrance what-so-ever and for a honeysuckle, that’s incredibly disappointing.

Unfortunately, the other half doesn’t like hydrangea and the response to the clematis was “What? Not another one? You’ve killed all the others, you should just give up”. I thought the last comment was a little unfair as I have had some success with clematis, they just take a little longer to get established in the garden but at least I’m good at taking cuttings of them.

I’ll have to see how these plants do. It will take a good few years for them to start reaching the sizes needed to cover the areas they’ll be planted in. Updates will be posted upon death or success. I do have a soft spot for climbers as they’re so useful for covering bare painted fences and adding height to the garden. I’ll leave off on updating the Plant List for a while as it could be seen as tempting fate, especially when it comes to the Clematis.

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author & gardener

Sunil Patel

I'm Sunil Patel, this is me. I created the Garden at 13 Broom Acres and I open it to visitors. I also bake and write blog posts giving a "behind the scenes" look into what it's like to maintain such a garden.

Visit the blog, then come and visit the garden. We can have a good sit-down, a jolly chinwag and a relaxing cup of tea with a sinfully generous slice of home made cake.

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Claire 06/09/2012 - 9:20 pm

Hi Sunil, have you got a big space for this particular honeysuckle? It looks like it grows to similar proportions to mine (too lazy to get up off the sofa and see which one). I grew mine just up the fence which it reached the top of in the first season and it is now looking overgrown, straggly and asking to be pulled out. I lament not giving it room to roam. I would like a hydrangea in it’s place but don’t know if I can sit out the time it takes to establish.

Sunil 08/09/2012 - 8:33 pm

Hi Claire, I hope it’s got the room. It’s planted at one end of a 6.5/7 foot wooden panel fence that runs alongside the house separating us from the next house. Although it’s overly tall, it has a clear run of several metres to have a go at. We’ll have to see how it does.

gardeninacity 07/09/2012 - 3:41 am

If it’s a sin, it’s only a venial one. A couple of Hail Marys should take care of it. I grow Lonicera sempervirens, which is easy to grow but not fragrant. Good luck with your new vines!

Mrs Mac 10/09/2012 - 4:29 pm

Hydrangea Petiolaris (climbing hydrangea)- Got this one, its at the end of its second summer, and loves where I have put it (which is good because I want it to cover the oil tank!) I find that it can be pruned to shape with no ill effects.
Clematis “Star of India” – love that one. It grew in a garden somewhere else and it covered the wall where we parked our car. Thrived on neglect, never pruned or cut back, just snipped when it overcrowded the car parking space…I loved it, and think I will get one for this garden.

Sunil 11/09/2012 - 10:04 pm

Hi Mrs Mac, thanks for the tips, although the levels of heat, rain and light you get are very different to here so we’ll have to see how it goes. I’ve managed to plant two of the three, there’s just the climbing hydrangea to go, then several years before I can benefit from the results (that’s the hard part).


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