RSS Feed

Archive for May, 2013

Clematis to Know and Grow

Friday, May 17th, 2013

a few of Lyndy's clematis

I love clematis but only grow a few.  If I could only grow one, it would be C. ‘Arabella.   Based on its performance in my garden over the past five years, ‘Arabella’ is one of the easiest and most satisfying to grow.  I let it ramble and scramble through my perennial bed and don’t cut it back at all.  So far this has worked out well and I get lots of lavender blooms from spring through summer.   I first encountered this lovely vine in Lyndy Broder’s garden.  Lyndy grows hundreds of varieties of clematis and uses shrubs and trees as supports for many of them.  This technique also makes for a more interesting and colorful display over a long period of time.

Clematis 'Arabella' and Euphorbia

I always look forward to visiting Lyndy in her garden at least once during clematis season and this spring I made two trips, one on April 23 and one on May 7. (the season lasts longer than this)  Her garden is a testament to which clematis are best suited for hot, humid climates.

Clematis 'Ville de Lyon'

On my April visit there were several native clematis in bloom including Clematis crispa, a native to the southeast. Lyndy says that this is one of ll different clematis that are native to Georgia.  C. crispa , also called the swamp-leather flower, ( it is found in marshes and swamps) has small bell shaped flowers that range in color from pale blue to lavender to pink with white insides. Growing 5 to 6’ it is easy to incorporate into a garden setting.

Clematis 'Strawberry Kiss'

Clematis ‘Ville de Lyon’ is a large flowered type of clematis, growing 10 to 12’ tall and is reputed to bloom from summer to fall. The velvety looking red flowers have pink centers.  Lyndy says this beauty has just a smidge of texensis blood which may account for its red color.   Trained against a conifer with blue-green foliage, it stands out in the garden.

Clematis 'Ville de Lyon' close-up

I also like the way Clematis ‘Caroline’ and Clematis ‘Yaichi’ dress up ordinary hollies.C. ‘Caroline’  a Fretwell introduction, has pale pink flowers and grows  to 6’ tall.

Clematis 'Caroline'

Because it blooms on new growth,  you will get the best blooms if you cut it back hard at the end of winter.  C. ‘Yachi’ is from Japan and has clear purple flowers with a reddish purple bar.

Clematis 'Yaichi'

Other clematis I enjoyed include Clematis montana ‘Grandiflora, C. ‘Betty Corning, and C. ‘Strawberry Kiss.’  Trees of note include Styrax japonicus ‘Pink Chimes’ and a selection of the Chinese fringe tree called Chionathus retusus ‘China Snow.’

Lyndy’s ListThis was a list from 2011

C. ‘Arabella’ (integrifolia) blue-mauve, blooms April-Sept., use trailing on the ground

C. ‘Betty Corning’ (viticella) pale blue, blooms May-August, climber 8-10’

C. ‘Duchess of Albany’ (texensis) bright pink, blooms April-Oct., climber 8-10’

C. ‘Etoile Violette’ (viticella) dark purple, blooms April-Oct., climber 10-13’

C. ‘Henryi’ (early large) white, dark anthers, blooms April-July, climber 10-12’

C. ‘Josephine’ (early large) double pink, blooms April-Sept., climber 8-10’

C. ‘Madame Julia Correvon’ (viticella) red wine, blooms April-Sept., climber 8’

C. ‘Princess Diana’ (texensis) luminous pink, blooms May-Sept., climber 6-8’

C. ‘Rooguchi’ (viticella) purple blooms April-Sept, 3’

C. ‘Venosa Violacea’ (viticella) white with purple veining, blooms

May-Oct., climber 8-10’

As far as cultivation Lyndy recommends plenty of sunshine and a moist, well-drained soil.  When she plants she adds permatil to help ensure good drainage.  As far as pruning, if in doubt, it is better to prune less than more.

Mail Order Sources- I have ordered plants from all of these sources and found them to be reliable Joy Creek Nursery (Oregon) Brushwood Nursery (Georgia) Woodlanders (South Carolina) for native clematis