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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

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    I'd like to put a climbing plant on the front of. My Victorian red brick house.

    The wall is north facing.

    What plants are recommended if any? South Wales based
    Not exactly green fingered myself but we did have an onerous planning condition that required me to name every plant in our landscape scheme.

    I found this website to be most helpful in narrowing down the options: https://www.rhs.org.uk/plants/search-Form

    You can filter by amount of shade, soil type etc. There's probably a section on climbers.

    p.s. the soilscapes website is a good resource if you don't know your local soil type (obviously its fairly general but still a helpful place to start): http://www.landis.org.uk/soilscapes/
    • CommentAuthortychwarel
    • CommentTimeMar 2nd 2018
    Most climbing roses do well on North to North East facing walls, they will require wire support.
    • CommentTimeMar 2nd 2018
    Posted By: Doubting_Thomasthe soilscapes website is a good resource if you don't know your local soil type (obviously its fairly general but still a helpful place to start):http://www.landis.org.uk/soilscapes/

    I don't disagree, but I'll just say that the soil type can change completely between adjacent gardens in some areas. Mostly around here its fairly heavy clay, but one neighbour across the road has almost completely sandy soil. Natural variation, not the result of industry or agriculture. So it's definitely best to test your own soil.

    I'm looking for a specimen plant or two for in front of our north facing wall too. So I'll be very interested in the suggestions. Our wall is a cream render.
    • CommentAuthorborpin
    • CommentTimeMar 2nd 2018
    I would not put any plant that actually climbs a wall, on my house. It effectively buries it's roots into the fabric and long term, that can never end well. A rose or anything that climbs a frame would be fine.
    • CommentAuthorandyman99
    • CommentTimeMar 2nd 2018
    We planted a winter flowering hydrangea on a north facing wall at our last house


    Grows to quite a large plant, but relatively slowly. Needs a bit of help, wire support. It doesn't go into brick work like say an ivy will.
    • CommentAuthormarsaday
    • CommentTimeMar 2nd 2018 edited
    Hydrangea petiolaris (climbing H as above).

    Grips wall but doesn't damage it. I took down ours last summer as i am doing a new drive. Been hugging the wall for 15 years. No damage at all.

    This is it in full bloom. Needs hair cutting once a year.
      bath wind 2.jpg
    • CommentAuthorFred56
    • CommentTimeMar 2nd 2018
    Hydrangea Seemanii is an evergreen Hydrangea that I think behave similarly to Peteolaris but is evergreen. They are hard to find though. As andymansays, RHS Plant Finder good place to start.
    While it is supposed to prefer full sun I have had good results with Solanum crispum Glasnevin in shady corners. It's semi-evergreen and grows fairly quickly. It does not cling and needs a support. Cheap and easy to find. Keep to the purple, the white variants are not very hardy.
    I have never gown one myself but I often see Rosa Banksia in all sorts of places. It is also meant for full sun but I see them defying the text books. Only one flush of flowers, some scent, pretty yellow blooms. Commonly available.
    Don't use the Russian white vine, hideous messy things.
    Clematis Cirrhosa - check out the variants. I found Ourika Valley grew fast up a shady trellis. Needs support, evergreen, winter flowering with small and pale bell shaped flowers. Wisley Cream and Freckles less vigorous in the same location.
    • CommentTimeMar 3rd 2018
    Brilliant info! How often do we need something to disguise something ugly - or to be the actual intentional 'elevation' of a new building!
    Marsaday, if it needs a scaffold tower to support it, I don't see how it's a good climber!:bigsmile:
    • CommentAuthordelprado
    • CommentTimeMar 5th 2018 edited
    Fred is right Seemanii is superb. I am using it for my house - not planted yet! Everyone always goes on about Peteolaris but I think Evergreens are better for houses as I think deciduous tendrils look a bit ugly, though much less so on brick built houses than rendered ones.

    More useful info here:

    Finally getting round to sorting this, where is the best place to buy the seeds or plants from?

    • CommentTimeJun 25th 2018
    Posted By: VictorianecoFinally getting round to sorting this, where is the best place to buy the seeds or plants from?

    Well, it's a lot easier and fatser to start with a plant in a container than growing from seed, though more expensive. And it's usually best to buy plants from a nursery near you. You could try the RHS plant finder if you don't know good nurseries in your area, though they don't have a comprehensive list by any means. Or use yellow pages and ring them to see if they have stock.
    • CommentAuthorgravelld
    • CommentTimeJun 26th 2018
    Our Hydrangea Petiolaris needs a lot of trimming, goes berserk. It might not damage the fabric but sometimes I've found it leaves behind bits of stalk stuck to the wall (rendered) and ends up looking messy.

    I'd prefer some sort of solution grown up a trellis suspended away from the wall, connected from ground to eaves.
    I can get a potted plant for £6.50 from my local nursery. They said one pot will soon be enough.

    Would a trim once a year suffice?
    • CommentAuthorgravelld
    • CommentTimeJun 27th 2018
    If you're talking about Hydrangea Petiolaris yes once per year is ok, but *at least* once per year, at least in our case. I should add ours isn't potted so I guess has much more freedom for its roots to extend.
    I'm buying it potted, will it grow in a small planter say 600 x 600 wide and only 300 deep?

    I know nothing about plants 😂
    • CommentAuthorgravelld
    • CommentTimeJun 29th 2018
    Seems a bit shallow...
    Didn't quite realise the petiolaris wasn't an evergreen... Looks a bit rubbish now...

    So seemanii might have been the better choice.. 🤔
    • CommentTimeNov 14th 2018
    Bit embarassing if it was meant to be an 'architectural' planting i.e. a permanent part of the elevation!
    • CommentAuthorgravelld
    • CommentTimeNov 14th 2018
    Er... oh yeah. :-(
    Was only 12" tall anyway. Will replace in spring now
    You could offer it to: https://www.bekonscot.co.uk/
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