Problem with Pergola

Hope that is the correct term for the wooden structure in our garden. Actually it is not the pergola that is the problem but the mass of honeysuckle, clematis and ivy covering it. The honeysuckle is beautiful when it is flower with a heavenly scent but underneath the greenery there is a heavy layer of brown dead looking foliage so when you are sitting under the pergola the dead stuff is all you can see when you look up.
I just don't know where to start sorting it out. The pergola measures 3 metres long by 2m wide and 2m high.
Any help would be gratefully received. Cyndie
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sundays child


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On Sun, 12 Aug 2012 17:35:42 +0000, sundays child

You need to choose just one plant and get rid of the others.
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On 8/12/12 10:35 AM, sundays child wrote:

Yes, it is a pergola. From your photo, it appears that the growth of honeysuckle might soon be too heavy for the wooden structure. I offer two alternatives.
1. Prune the honeysuckle and clematis in the late winter, before new growth starts. They might be dormant then, which is a very good time to prune them. Cut them back severely, leaving only skeletons of branches; you can even cut them to near the ground, leaving only a few visible growth buds. Completely remove the ivy, digging it out to kill it if possible. The honeysuckle and clematis will quickly recover in the spring and again cover the pergola. They should be pruned every year.
Or
2. Cut everything down to the ground now. Spray new shoots with an herbicide. Plant grapes that are suitable for your climate. These too require annual pruning, and they grow as fast (or faster) than honeysuckle or clematis. The benefit is a nice source of vine-ripened fruit.
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David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean, see
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On Sun, 12 Aug 2012 20:13:29 -0700, "David E. Ross"

Growing grapes will be a far worse mess on a pergola.
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sundays child;966557 Wrote: > Hope that is the correct term for the wooden structure in our garden. > Actually it is not the pergola that is the problem but the mass of > honeysuckle, clematis and ivy covering it. The honeysuckle is beautiful > when it is flower with a heavenly scent but underneath the greenery > there is a heavy layer of brown dead looking foliage so when you are > sitting under the pergola the dead stuff is all you can see when you > look up.

> metres long by 2m wide and 2m high.

Pillars may become bare at the base. To help overcome this, spiral any new shoots around the post rather than allowing them to go straight up. If there is no new growth to tie in, cut back one or two of the main stems in early spring to stimulate basal growth. Overgrown plants on pergolas should be renovated in early spring.
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