Back to Top

Climbing plants

If you have a small garden you can utilise your walls and fences to grow climbers that provide flowers for pollinators and give homes to insects and birds. Some climbing plants will need a support to grow up such as trellis how ever some climbers like ivy don't need any support.

Ivy growing up the side of our house.

We inherited this ivy that grows up the side of house when we bought it. Although it does need a bit of maintenance to keep in trim and from growing all over the windows and over the soffits but I think it softens the look of our house. But the main benefit is that it is wonderful nesting and roosting site for a small colony of about 12 to 20 pairs of House Sparrows and a regular pair of Woodpigeons that nest on the ledge at the top. As the birds regularly nest in it each year we have to be careful to do any maintenance on it after the nesting season.

Ivy Mining Bee

Ivy Mining Bee (Colletes hederae).

Not only is the ivy a good nesting and roosting site for birds in October it produces a mass of green flowers that provide a very valuable source of late nectar for our pollinators. We have seen it absolutely buzzing with Ivy Minning Bees (Colletes hederae) and wasps. In late Autumn it produces some lovely dark blue berries which the Blackbirds love.

Climbing Hydrangea

We also have a Climbing Hydrangea growing up the side of our garage. The bees love the scented white flowers in the summer and we have had several Blackbird and Wodpigeon nests in it. Again like the Ivy on the front of the house it does need some maintenance to stop it from growing right over the garage.