Beds, borders and pots are all very well but don’t overlook your walls – almost all houses look softer clothed in foliage and really ugly ones can hide behind the makeover of a rampant climber. Given a bit of time, the climbing hydrangea, for instance, will make over 20 metres of growth
Town gardens often lack space and light. Go unashamedly vertical with planting. Decisions should be practical - which way the wall faces (a wisteria will just sulk with a northern aspect but then it might have been too big anyway), how much space is available and whether you are prepared to have climbing wires fixed onto the house. Don’t forget future maintenance - roses will mean an annual training and pruning day up a ladder. Virginia creeper on the other hand will politely attach itself to the masonry (and no, it will not damage your house).
Honeysuckles and jasmines are better suited to country gardens. Fragrance is heady stuff and the flowers of both plants will waft out a subtle and powerful evening scent. The downside: turn your back and these fast growing plants develop a twiggy underbelly like a stork’s nest – plant them a little bit away from the house where they can romp naturally.
With London gardens in mind, find space for a passion flower and plant lots of large flowered hybrid clematis – there are bold colours, flowering at different times and non are greedy of space – 2m max.