Ev­ery­thing you need to know to get the most from your plot in June

Country Living (UK) - - Contents - Words by paula mcwaters

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 (ash­wood­nurs­ 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.

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