Some roses, vines, and even shrubs will weep and cascade over lawns, flower beds and arbors. The effect from only one or two plants with this growing attribute can be beautiful in the romantic or cottage garden adding a sense of movement to the design.
|Wisteria at Grey's Court, Henley, Oxon.|
© Copyright Nick Macneill
licensed under this Creative Commons Licence
A less than hardy weeping and cascading plant might include the fragrant vine, wisteria. The large flower racemes have the appearance of grapes on the vine. This plant needs a very strong support. The gardener will need a little patience – waiting a few years before the first flowers appear. Wisteria is traditionally grown on strong arbors, or supports around a door entrance. It grows best in garden zone 6 or higher.
|Laburnum tunnel, Hill House|
© Copyright Derek Harper
licensed under this Creative Commons Licence.
Another zone 6 cascading plant is the tree-like shrub, laburnum. This shrub has long pinnacles of yellow flowers in spring. It is a common addition to English gardens, often used in design to create a traditional laburnum walk. The laburnum walk is a long path under an arbor tunnel with laburnum planted near the base of each supporting post. As the visitor passes through the tunnel, her only vision is that of the yellow flowers of the plant weeping through the overhanging posts that cross the path. Wisteria can also be used in this manner. It's a stunning effect.
As beautiful as this plant is, it's also poisonous if ingested. The Poison Garden has a terrific article on the harmful nature of this plant. It should be planted with consideration.
|William Baffin Rose Photo © Copyright Lorraine Syratt|
Most roses known as climbers and ramblers will cascade if not tied to their supports too strictly. For the cascade and weeping appearance, it may only be a case of letting the upper canes and some of the side-shoots fall loosely without being tied in. One of my favorites yet to be planted includes Blush Rambler ... so pretty. A climbing rose like the Explorer rose, William Baffin, is easily left as a stand-alone rose in the lawn without any support whatsoever. The upper canes will weep and cascade over the lower canes creating a large mass of deep pink flowers, as wide and as tall the long canes will grow. I've seen this in a southern Ontario town and it looked like a small flowering tree about 15' tall and wide. Wish I took a picture.
The list of climbing roses is long, and the plants themselves are easily found in online rose catalogs. Rambling Roses for the Romantic Garden will offer more information.
There are many choices in weeping and cascading plants, and it isn't difficult to find only one or two plants that will work for the gardener's location, adding a little garden romance to the landscape.