Restoration, Conservation and Management of Historic Gardens and Landscape

Following the design, construction and planting process we offer a comprehensive plant husbandry and garden management service.


Climbers & Ramblers

“Clip & Trim”

Skilled gardeners as opposed to landscape gardeners are in short supply. Consequently whilst labour capable of sweeping leaves, mowing lawns and trimming hedges is freely available so very often the rest of the garden is subjected to the “clip and trim” regimes of the landscape gardener. 

“Clip & Trim” conveniently forgets that plants vary hugely in their requirement for pruning; forgets that not all plants need to be trimmed like a box hedge into geometric shapes; and worst of all forgets that plants fall into two different categories those that flower on the last year’s wood and those that flower on the current year’s growth. “Clip and Trim” conveniently ignores the fact that many of the rules for pruning have changed over the last fifteen years of global warming and consequential all year round growth.

The upshot, “Clip & Trim” produces a ‘municipal landscape’ of tidy rounded shrubs set against tracts of bare earth and swept to distraction paths.

These horticultural deserts are not real gardens in the “gardening” sense of the word.


Climbers are particularly subject to the abuses of “clip and trim”.  Climbing roses are in reality tall upright shrubs, they do climb per se. It is necessary to train the uprights horizontally as far as is possible to allow the plant to produce flowering growth across the height and spread of the plant, or if you prefer, from bottom to top.

The most practical means of supporting upright growth that has been pulled down horizontally is tie the shoots on to galvanised wire with soft string.


Alternatively trellises or frames in all their abundant forms may be more extravagantly used to fulfil the same requirement.

To complicate the issue there are two seasons for training and pruning climbers. Midsummer for all those once flowring (summer flowering) varieties; and late winter/early spring for those climbers that flower recurrently and on the current year’s growth.

“Clip & Trim” rarely realises the significance of whether the plant is once or recurrent flowering, the result new growth is invariably hacked off indiscriminately to “tidy” the plant which disappoints the flowing summer only because the growth on which it would have flowered was cut off in its prime.

Ramblers & Scramblers

Ramblers in the wild grow in a heap; long, lax, arching branches simply pile up one on top of the other. This growth type is used to advantage when seeking to cover over or around for example arches, pergolas, swags, old apple trees or indeed anywhere where stiff branches of climbers would simply snap if they were contorted to fit the desired shape.

There are recurrent flowring ramblers e.g. Phylis Byde or The New Dawn but the majority are once flowring only.

The same rules for pruning and training one flowering and recurrent flowering climbers apply to ramblers.

Rose Training & Pruning Service

Robert Mattock ®Roses offers a service that deploys skilled rose growers to train and prune the climbers:

·          On galvanised wire strained on vine eyes set into drilled and plugged fixings.

·         Trellis, frames, obelisks, pergolas etc


Costs are calculated per plant and vary as per the height and breadth of the climber.  Please contact our offices for estimates.