Climbing Plants

Front Cover
Read Books, 2008 - Gardening - 188 pages
INTRODUCTION A HANDY treatise on climbing plants for gardens is a welcome addition to garden books. Mr. Watson has for many years lived among climbers from all parts of the world. His chapters on the best climbers for gardens and greenhouses will be useful to all lovers of horticulture. A clear fact in our gardening is that but little of the infinite variety and beauty of the climber is seen ill many gardens this hook should help to a change for the better. After the gift of trees of the earth-mother, the greatest for the gardener are the climbers that adorn them with infinite grace. It is needless to describe their beauty. Botanical and gardening descriptions of them are numer- ous, and nurserymen send out attractive lists of them. So all is well except their cultivation, which is often a dismal failure. Impressed with the fact that in many large gardens it was rare to see a trace of the beauty of climbing plants, and wondering why it was so, J began to make little experiments first of all, and in obedience to their natural habit, which is to grow on trees and bushes in many lands of mountall copse and shore, I have planted them in every position, from an orchard hedgerow to a grove of Magnolias, and have had much success. The plan was to plant one at the base of some shrub or tree in obedience to the natural habit of the climber, and this is best done when the trees and shrubs are young and the ground is fresh, but I have done it in all conditions. Sometimes a tree or shrub overpowers the plant, but this will not happen to the freer kinds, like the Indian species of Clematis, which are so vigorous that one needs have no fear of them. They are easily raised from seed also, so that one is spared the trouble which comes from grafting. Most interest, however, came from getting the larger-flowered Japanese or Chinese species into picturesque and artistic ways. These plants creep up the tree unaided by training or staking, and if not as vigorous as they would be if planted by themselves, they are even more beautiful to see in the light and shadow of the tree. The European Clematis is very free, and will grow in a hedgerow...

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About the author (2008)

WILLIAM WATSON is associate professor of Economics at McGill University and editorial-pages editor for the Ottawa Citizen; and in 1989 he won a National Magazine Award for Humour.

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