How to dress up your wall

Starting today a fortnightly series on gardening tips

See that perimeter wall engulfed by a creeper? Is it not more attractive than a bare brick wall? Foliage has an attractively lush greenness, a lustre unmatched by the synthetic paints we use to brighten our walls.

A bare wall is unchanging and dull. Not so a wall clad in creepers and climbers, which breathes life. Overhanging boughs and leaves do not stay still, they swing, sway and dance in the breeze. You can gaze at this wall for hours.

Take a wall, where the Bahunia cocknia creeper has made its home. This creeper can completely transform that ugly brick wall or metal fence. The creeper has flowers with multi-coloured petals, that present a psychedelic picture.

Bahunia is one of the lovely creepers that you can use to dress up your garden wall, the other beingGolden bells, both of which are easy to grow. These plants can maintain themselves without needing too much attention from the gardener.

The Bahunia creeper takes about three years to reach maturity and come into bloom. But it’s well worth the wait. Once flowering begins you will see no wall or fence but gorgeous, glorious bunches of yellow-orange flowers that last for days and days.

Golden bells bear row upon row of dangling panicles of saffron-yellow flowers that also last for days. Both these creepers can do well without artificial fertilizers or fungicide.

Golden bells Bahunia cocknia

Brick walls absorb the sun’s heat and subsequently radiate it, causing us discomfort. But a walk down a lane lined with plants is pleasant and cool. Plants also invite animals, different birds, squirrels etc that would not be attracted to a bare brick wall.

A wall lined with dense foliage will also help to effectively muffle road noise, as it reflects and scatters sound waves. Don’t forget too that the dead leaves will naturally fall off your creepers and climbers.

Sweeping them up and collecting them is good exercise and this organic material can be used to produce natural manure ‘compost’ in a compost bin in your back garden. Plant materials such as dead leaves, faded flowers and cuttings can all be recycled together with kitchen waste such as vegetable peelings, to produce compost for your home garden.

So go on, dress up your wall and create an ever-changing picture that you can gaze on with delight.

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