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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 😊

  • Welcome to the site. You may try again to upload the picture (now you should have enough reputation). "Beautiful" is very generic. If you can add some preferences (other then low maintenance). Are you afraid of bees? Do you like the flower perfume? Personally I find much more useful to buy garden magazines to get a good idea of what do you want, and then ask here how to realize it (and if it is a good idea [e.g. climate, maintenance]). – Giacomo Catenazzi May 6 '19 at 9:23
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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.
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  • Thanks for everyone's help. – Melody Flynn May 12 '19 at 23:30

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