No garden should be without climbing hydrangea, which will happily climb up a tree, native stone, masonry walls—or, in my garden—a galvanized pipe wrapped in narrow pine boards from Home Depot.
Thanks to this vining shrub's sensational bark, the show in Winter is seriously exciting. In early Summer, this ten-foot pillar is fluffy with foliage as well as flowers.
The setting is a tight opening in a box hedge topped by an arch of variegated weeping dogwood, with a pollarded gold-leaved Scots elm at the rear to provide bright contrast. With fearless selection and diligent training over many years, horticulture can echo architecture with nearly Baroque theatricality.