I am having my handicap ramp rebuilt and will have wood lattice installed on both sides. I live right outside Kases City, MO. I want to plant something that can climb on the lattice. I want something that is hardy that will grow in almost full or mostly full shade. I want as much color as I can get with continual blooms either from one plant or a mixture of plants I am handicapped so I'd prefer it be as maintenance free as possible. I've never planted vine-type plants before. Do they send out tendrills? Do I need to train them? How do I prune them to keep them from turning into a jungle or"overflowing" at the top of the railings? If it matters, I won't be able to plant until August. I also need something that's maintenance free during the winter (no covering up to protect) and it must be a perennial. Would Clematis work and, if so, how far apart should they be planted? I appreciate any help you can give me to make my ramp look as beautiful as possible. Sorry to be so specific but I need it to be handicap friendly. I can only garden in my Hoveround so I am limited. Thank you! p.s. I tried to post a pic of the ramp but it wouldn't let me. I can provide one another way if it helps 😊
While I can't offer any other suggestions for alternatives - from my experience with Clematis I would caution against it in this situation.
- Clematis enjoys a warmer position, not suited to full or part shade.
- It requires protection from frost.
In relation to your other questions with climbers:
- No you usually will not have to overly train a climber, it should find the lattice and follow it up by itself.
- Some climbers (imagine grapes) will send out tendrils, while others (like a creeping fig) will use little feet sometimes called suckers to stick to the climbing surface. Both would suit a trellis fine.
- Pruning would depend on the variety - I find that some climbers require pruning at an early age to thicken out at the lower part of your trellis (should be accessible from a Hoveround). It seems a shame to cut them when your goal is the top of the trellis - but some patience will pay off in having a nice full looking mature plant.
- From my experience trimming at the top of the lattice is not a great concern, the climber will attempt to reach higher up and if it has no support will either fall back down to lattice or not proceed.