wooden rose arch, circular island bed

Garden arches make interesting features in garden design. Use them to separate different ‘garden rooms’, or to give some height to a newly planted garden, or even just to grow climbing plants up them. It is worth investing in a good quality arch as cheap ones often rot very quickly or are not strong enough to take the weight of the plants growing up them.

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‘High Hopes’ is a climbing rose in my garden. Not sure this should be flowering in November, but I am enjoying the memory of the summer garden and a rare glimpse of the sun!


Climbing Rose 'High Hopes.

“God gave us memory so that we might have roses in December.” James Matthew Barrie

This clematis grows wild in the hedgerows and in the autumn the fluffy seed heads appear – they are known as Old Man’s Beard or traveller’s joy. This wild clematis is a vigorous climber which entwines itself around any convenient nearby support. It is said to do the Devil’s work for him by smothering other plants to death. In this image the clematis has twined itself through a hawthorn and I love how the late afternoon sun catches the seed heads.

Old Man's Beard

Both the yellow lantern-like flowers and the fluffy seed heads of this clematis make it well worth growing. It is very easy to grow and a vigorous climber – useful for climbing up trees and large shrubs. The seed heads will remain on the plant throughout the winter and I will cut the whole plant down to the ground in the spring.

Clematis tangutica

Bowood House is a huge estate where you can walk in acres of grounds filled with vast specimen trees, see a cascade, walk around a lake and visit a garden temple. If you go expecting to see flower-filled gardens you will be disappointed. It costs extra and pre-booking to view the walled garden – the reason being that this is the owners private garden and it is kept under lock and key!

Bowood House, Wiltshire