Everything you need to know to get the most from your plot in June
Everything you need to know to get the most from your plot
NEARLY EVERY GARDEN I VISIT has bountiful quantities of clematis growing and this has made me determined to shoehorn some more into my own plot. They are incredibly useful and versatile climbers, not only for fences, walls and archways but also for covering the bare lower stems of leggy shrubs or for wreathing an evergreen with unexpected colour.
Clematis ‘Kermesina’ (above) is one I have my eye on for its rich dark-red flowers that start coming in mid-summer. Its curious name comes from the crimsondye-producing kermes insect. It is a viticella type, so should be quite resistant to clematis wilt. In one of the Winchelsea gardens (see page 130), I noted the freeflowering C. texensis ‘Princess Kate’. This has trumpet- or lily-shaped flowers, pinky purple on the outside and white on the inside with rich plum-coloured stamens. Ashwood Nurseries (ashwoodnurseries.com) recommends it for adding colour to an amelanchier’s summer foliage. I have had great success with C. koreana ‘Broughton Bride’, which has bell-shaped flowers speckled with lilac. The blooms hang like paper handkerchiefs over my galvanized arch – it’s a real show-stopper.
Clematis are essentially woodlanders that prefer a cool root run, so if their base is not well shaded by other plants, lay a light-colour stone over their planted roots and they should do well.