Monday, 6 January 2014

The 5 best climbing fruiting plants

If you’ve a wall, arch, pergola or fence then what better way to utilize that space than with something deliciously productive?! Hear is our top 5 picks for clibming plants that prefer an aerial life!
GRAPE VINE ‘REGENT’ Grapes like all the sun they can get so a warm south or west facing aspect is just perfect. There are lots of varieties you can grow but we chose this one because it rewards on two fronts. First it is very abundantly fruiting with weighty bunches of beautiful red fruits. But almost as importantly, it is attractive too for the autumn foliage turns a rich claret red. ‘Regent’ is mildew resistant too. You could also consider the older variety Brandt which is renowned for the decadence of its purple autumn leaf.
JAPANESE WINEBERRY Probably the most decorative of all the wall plants, the Japanese Wineberry is a unique looking fruiting climber that can also be used to utilize a north or east facing wall. Its fuzzy vermillion-bristled stems and deeply veined lime green leaves are a treat to the eye. The orange-red fruits are a treat to the mouth too and it has been said that they achieve a pinnacle of hedonism when springkled with a little red wine! This species looks great in the winter too when it’s red bristled stems can shine in the winter sun. Plant 8’ apart & easy to grow.
BLACKBERRY LOCH MARIE A blackberry is a must-have in any fruit collection. We like Loch Marie because it yields well, is completely thornfree, and also has pretty semi double pink flowers. The glossy black fruits ripen over a long period in August. Blackberries will grow well even on a shady wall. Other varieties to consider are the parsley leafed Oregon Thornless or, if you want to deter intruders or animals, the prickly Himalayan Giant quickly forms an inpenetrable barrier.
CHINESE GOOSEBERRY ‘JENNY’ Few people seem to appreciate just how good-looking a Kiwi Vine is, and also that they can actually be grown outside in this country. Given a sunny wall they are hardy and can be very prolific. Harvest the fruits as late as possible and ripen them on a sunny windowsill for enjoyment during November and beyond. The vines are clad in large heart shaped leaves that look as if they have been fashioned from the richest emerald velvet. The stems are densely bristled with pink hairs and the early spring flowers are fragrant! ‘Jenny’ is a self fertile variety so you don’t need a pollinating partner. Also suitable for growing in the greenhouse.
BOYSENBERRY The Boysenberry is a very fine Blackberry-hybrid. It can be grown in just the same way as a Blackberry and it’s thron free. The fruits have an added dash of rich complexity and make superb jams – but are also well suited to dessert use, served with cream.

Chinese Gooseberries can do well on a sunny south or west wall.

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