Climbing plants give height and structure to a garden and make a spectacular feature in their own right, such as Wisteria (image top left). Many climbing plants are vigorous, which means although they are easy to grow, it is important to check the eventual size of the plant against the space available.
As a group, climbing plants come in all shapes and sizes, perennial, annual, evergreen and deciduous. The smaller climbing plants, such as compact clematis, and annual sweet peas look just great in the border, around a feature such as window or door climbing up an obelisk. A natural way of planting into a border is to train climbing plants to scramble and wind its way around a border.
Because climbing plants can be vigorous, they are also ruthless in grabbing, clinging, flattening and basically growing over anything in their way. If you let the plant grow through a border, as opposed to being tied into an obelisk or a structure, you may need to check its growth as there is a tendency for some climbing plants to swamp everything around which can stunt the growth of neighbouring plants by clinging and sometimes pulling more fragile plants down.
When growing annuals you can make a temporary support out of pruning off cuts which can make an attractive natural arrangement, as spotted here at one of the RHS gardens.