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I HAD an interesting query this via Twitter from Julie Ridley, asking for advice on a climber.

It was a tough challenge – in partial shade, on a north-facing fence, evergreen with flowers, quick growing and the ability to grow on heavy soil!

My advice was Clematis x cartmanii Avalanche, which is evergreen with white flowers, growing alongside a variegated ivy, such as Goldheart (pictured left).

If you have internet access, check out the Royal Horticultural Society’s Plant Finder, where you can put in your exact requirements and the database selects suitable subjects.

There’s also a link to stockists and specialist mail-order nurseries, if there’s nowhere nearby that sells what you want.

One last note – experience has taught me things really take time to get going on a shady site, so be patient!

* Follow me on Twitter:@MandyCanUDigIt