Expert garden advice from the RHS: we want to cover our drab fencing with something leafy, what do you recommend?

The experts at the RHS answer your gardening questions...
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Question: Our side return doesn't get much sun. Would you be able to recommend plants to cover the drab fencing with something leafy and if possible flowering, please? Fast growing would be a bonus!

Answer: It would always be great to have something fast growing that stops when the fence is covered! Luckily there are plants that are easily tameable.

There is a whole range of clematis that have been bred over recent years that have large flowers. Many reach around the 2m mark, which is perfect for fence and walls. Examples are Clematis Arctic Queen, Kingfisher and Rebecca.

For an evergreen that is quick-growing but controllable if long shoots are trimmed a couple of times a year once established, try Akebia quinata. It blooms in spring with bunches of small purple (sometimes white), chocolate-scented flowers. This plant is amenable to growing in any soil as long as it is well-watered while establishing.

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