I am having a fence rebuilt in the next couple of weeks. The Contractor says he will have to walk all over the planted area. I am particularly worried about a clematis and a honeysuckle. How can I protect my plants.
Unfortunately, you are probably going to experience some plant loss. Ideally, it would be in the best interest of the plants to move them to another spot in your garden. However, that most likely is not feasible, especially for climbers like clematis and honeysuckle. Hopefully, they are not attached to the old fence. If you talk to the contractor maybe he can work around those two. Prune them back a bit and if possible remove them from their support. Then squish them up and cover with something rigid like an old laundry basket or large plastic planter. Alternatively put a few stakes around the plants. That will make it hard for the contractor to step on them. The other perennials in your garden may fare better. At this time of year we tidy up the garden by cutting back plants and it is not the growing season. Certainly the soil is going to get compacted during the construction process. You can deal with that in the spring by digging around your plants. By following these tips your plants stand a better chance of surviving.