Three Weeping and Cascading Plants for the Romantic Garden

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.  


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.


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.


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. 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 tall the long canes will grow.  

The list of climbing roses is long, and the plants themselves are easily found in Online rose catalogs.

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.

Pat Mulford •