I love Clematis! Yes, I’ve said I love primroses in a previous posting. Perhaps I use the word love too easily. I took a fancy to Clematis the first time I laid eyes on a blooming Clematis montana ‘Rubens’. So heavily laden with sweet small pink flowers it was that you couldn’t see the leaves. Even more endearing was a Scot who worked at the nursery who made sure, at a young age, that My pronunciations were correct. He would be appalled to know that I reverted to the American, and therefore incorrect, “Cle-mat-is.”. More amazing to me was the British pronunciation of the variety ‘Mrs. Chomondeley’. Who could take such a beautiful looking word and say “Chumly”?
I have enjoyed the vines that were already growing at two of the houses I have lived in. In my present home, I knew I had to plant a Montana hybrid. It did so well and grew so vigorously that we ended up moving it. It survived the move beautifully. I planted a summer blooming variety that fared well, except that I didn’t prune it the first year (or the second) ands now it’s growth is all up above with a bare trunk.
Taking the advice of our plant expert, Karen, and our growers, I plant the Clematis deeper in the ground than they are in the pot. They get planted with soil covering the first set of leaves. This allows tem to grow more roots down the stem and they are much more robust. I have added 2 more since, one that grows in a pot. I chose a shorter, but still vining variety for the pot. It gets cut back each year. It ends up flopping over the obelisk it grows on, but I still love it. For the longest time, I couldn’t imagine recommending a Clematis for a container. But that was a very common request from customers, a vine that would grow in a container. I was glad to learn in the last few years that patio Clematis varieties had been developed. The flowers are exquisite, too. Not just small, bell-like flowers but also standard and double flowers. Maybe not quite as large as the bigger growers but showy none the less.
The premier hybridized of these patio Clematis is a man by the name of Raymond Evison. He is British, naturally. He has a great website and is the author of a book, Clematis for small gardens. Guess what! He, Raymond Evison is coming to Garland Nursery to talk about growing Clematis. I am so excited! He will be here on Tuesday, April 12th at 10 am. What an opportunity to learn about these noble vines from an expert. I’m swooning already.