Hi Finuala

I’m getting hung up on wanting the fence to be broken up in winter by something evergreen.

The climbing shrubs from the RHS plant finder I like are:

Mutisia decurrens
Lonicera japonica ‘Halliana’
Holboellia coriacea

Do any of these make you want to run away screaming?! I also remember you mentioned some listed as evergreen weren’t true evergreens but can’t remember which.

I am seriously liking bamboo, and some of the grasses. I’ve never grown either before. The bamboos seem to have large spreads. Do you have any? Do you think I could manage the spread of bamboo given my narrow planting width?



Hi Debbie

The Mutisia decurrens may be hard to get hold of as the Plant Finder says it was last listed in 2005 :(.  The Lonicera looks v nice, but I thought you didn’t like Honeysuckle :).  I love the look of Holboellia coriacea, I think I may have to try that myself – now where can I put it ???

What I was trying to say about evergreens is that although they keep their leaves in the winter, the leaves have to drop off at some point.  This means that particularly the ones with larger leaves can look a bit scruffy during the year as each leaf slowly dies off – make sense?

Yep, the problem with bamboos is the spread.  I don’t have any, but I have thought about them.  That planting width isn’t that narrow really and they could, in time, make a real jungle along there.  They would certainly hide the fence, but might make the area feel a little claustrophobic in time.  What you could do is put a barrier in the ground to try to control their spread.  This site seems to have some good advice on them.  Also, bamboos seem to suffer from wind damage – how windy is it down that side of the conservatory?  Another thing to consider is aspect – this page  seems to suggest that they need sun.