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Autumn-toned Climbers


Leafy deciduous climbers give fabulous summer shade when trained to cover a pergola, and some of these colour in a dramatic way once temperatures drop in autumn.

Ornamental Grape, (Vitis Vinifera)

The common ornamental grape offers fresh green leaves in spring that turn brilliant red, scarlet, purple and orange in autumn.It does well in a range of climates from hot and dry to cool and moist. Watch out for the vine caterpillar, which can decimate the plant very quickly. You’ll see the droppings, indicating that urgent caterpillar control is required.


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Crimson Glory Vine, (Vitis coignetiae)

For cool, moist climates and rich, moisture-retentive soils, the Crimson Glory Vine has small black berries in late summer and handsome lobed leaves that turn crimson, orange and scarlet in autumn.


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Boston Ivy, (Parthenocissus tricuspidate)

This ivy is good for covering large walls, to which it sticks with tiny disc-shaped suckers. It will grow to 18m with large, glossy-green, lobed leaves that turn spectacular shades of purple and red in the autumn. Frost-hardy, it grows best in well-drained, rich soil in filtered sunshine in cool climates.


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Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia)

This vigorous plant from North America is often confused with Boston Ivy. It has compound leaves with five leaflets (hence the name) that change from green to red in autumn. It has greenish flowers that turn into blue berries that ripen to red. One for large walls.


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Text: Sandra Ross

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Author: Sandra Ross