Episode 142 - Show Notes & Advice


episode 142 | show notes & advice

episode description

In today’s episode, we turn our attention to climbers and the glamour they can add to all types of gardens. Here, Sarah, and Gary, Senior Horticultural Buyer at Sarah Raven, share their absolute favourites for fragrance, structure, and serious style. 

In this episode, discover

  • Gary and Sarah’s year-round favourite climbers
  • How to get the best from your garden plants 

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Episode 142 advice sheet

Gary and Sarah’s top 12 shrubs by season (2:15)


  • Lonicera periclymenum 'Chic et Choc' – A dwarf variety, ideal for most gardens. It’s been specially bred to be compact enough for containers and smaller spaces. It is also hugely flowery and highly scented. Will thrive in sun or dappled shade and still has a wild look. 
  • Lonicera periclymenum 'Belgica' – Early flowering and like the best William Morris wallpaper, this crimson, ruby and apricot honeysuckle looks and smells utterly delicious from late spring. It’s hugely abundant and resilient plant which will be in your life and nostrils for ever. At perch Hill it’s grown over a wall or through a hedge. 
  • Clematis montana var. alba – Sarah decided to grow this stand-out clematis up through an apple tree when she was living in West London some years ago. It was the perfect choice or elevating the bare branches and produced great almost cosmos-like flowers. 

Summer (6:12)

  • Clematis 'Blue River' – A great companion clematis wonderful for growing through other plants. rambles through and doesn’t have the tendrils that cling. Great for cutting too.
  • Clematis 'Madame Julia Correvon – A favourite at perch Hill grown up giant wooden tepees. Sarah loves this because as Rosa ‘Cerise Bouquet’ goes over, this clematis comes out and keeps going until the dahlias take over the colour baton in late august. Beautiful plum/crimson and self-clinging too. 
  • Campsis radicans – Great for covering sheds and walls. In august, this plant is covered in rich tubular flowers. Not 100% hardy, but great in poor soil and on the south face of a building.
  • Hydrangea anomala subsp. Petiolaris – A great plant for shade and covering a north face wall. Easy to maintain and a super high performer. 

Autumn (11:24)

  • Vitis vinifera – Also known as ornamental grape vines. These terrific plants are often overlooked but are excellent for providing a burst of colour in autumn time. In particular, Vitis vinifera 'Spetchley Red’ is a standout choice, flowering in early summer, small, scented, pale green blooms are followed by masses of edible, sweet black berries. 
  • Vitis coignetiae – With leaves the size of lily pads, this provides an unrivalled curtain of colour. 
  • Cobea scandens – A beautiful short-lived perennial, that has the prettiest teacup flowers. These are rampant climbers which will cover a wall in a trice – growing up to a second storey window if given a climbing frame. Or, perfect for following sweet peas, as they flower long and hard from mid-summer to winter. 
  • Begonia amphioxus – cream, green and pinks and in the autumn turquoise berries. Super easy to grow and control and a plant that will die down every winter and then return. Underused and totally beautiful!

Winter (15:53)

  • Trachelospermum jasminoides - This evergreen climber is excellent if you have an area of the garden you want to screen off. It also has a beautiful scent. Listen back to Sarah’s conversation with entrepreneur Jo Fairley, to hear all about growing jasmine at home. Discover the episode here.
  • Ribes laurifolium ‘Amy Doncaster’ – This plants flowers in Late winter and is great for pollinators. Pale green on leathery dark green leaves with a red underside. 

Other plants (18:50)

  • One of the loveliest wall shrubs to cheer us all up after the drear of winter, flowering on a sunny wall from early March. This is a wonderful dark, rich colour form with edible quince berries, excellent for making jam. 

Quince membrillo recipe 

  • A classic way to eat quince – a paste which is traditionally served with Manchego in Spain. It is easy to make and stores well. Eat it with cheese, on its own, or add a little to flavour casseroles and sauces. Discover the recipe here

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