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Gardening: DESIGN IT - 10 best summer climbers.

Byline: ADRIENNE WILD

SWEET peas are so easy and versatile. They can be grown on their own, supported on sticks or trellis obelisks to add height, colour and perfume to a mixed border. Or they can be planted with a partner such as the decorative runner bean variety Summer Medley. However you grow them, these speedy plants will provide a long-lasting and colourful summer show.

SKY blue Ipompea tricolor Heavenly Blue is the most popular morning glory and a must for covering a rustic wigwam or trellis screen in a sunny spot. The seed can be quite tricky to get started and low spring temperatures can give plants a setback.

CANARY Creeper will quickly cover a 12ft eyesore in a matter of weeks. It will produce yards of twining stems that are clothed with leaves that are rounded and deeply-lobed and feathery yellow flowers.

CATHEDRAL Bells is a beautiful exotic summer flowering climber with bell-shaped flowers that are often referred to as cups and saucers. The colours vary from deep grey blue through purple to white. If allowed to mature the seed heads are also highly decorative.

IN a warm sheltered spot Blackeyed Susan will produce a generous display of bright orange flowers with black-purple centres. Its twining habit makes it a good choice for growing up a wigwam of canes but it will also make a superb display in a hanging basket in a sunny spot.

TRAILING gourds hanging from an arch or pergola are sure to become a conversation piece. Look out for a good variety mixture that includes round, oval, warty and bottle-shaped gourds in orange, yellow, cream and green shades.

CHILEAN Glory vine will very often survive the winter and produce a framework of branches from which new shoots emerge in subsequent years. It is a vigorous climber, with colours varying from rich coral red through to rose pink.

PURPLE bell vine or rhodochiton is an exotic-looking plant that makes a decorative cloak for a dull evergreen shrub. It has fan-shaped leaves and produces garlands of flowers along the length of its stems. The blooms are dark purple, almost black.

A RELATIVE of morning glory, Mina lobata produces banana-shaped bunches of up to 12 flowers that are 2in long. At first the petals are coral red, but they soon change to a warm, amber yellow and fade to white.

NASTURTIUMS are easy and reliable plants. The variety Jewel of Africa, which has striking flowers in yellows, reds, creams and peach pinks, reaches 8ft.

CAPTION(S):

DEEP PURPLE: The bell vine STUNNING: Morning Glory; SUPERB: Blackeyed Susan
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Mar 14, 2004
Words:430
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