CLEMATIS as a Climber
(D =leaf losing and E = )
Clematis are not fussy about soil, although they prefer some mortar rubble if possible in the planting soil. Keep their roots in the shade. If planted on the north sides of low walls their growths can find their way into the sunlight to flower. If planted on south or west sides of walls, shade their bases in some way, either by a low shrub or by placing a large flat stone over the roots. Support them with wires or trellis. Excellent for growing over dead trees.
Although clematis have a habit of dying back for no apparent reason and through no fault of the gardener, they are plants with which to persevere. Species and varieties worth growing and which need little pruning other than the removal of dead wood and the shortening of unwanted growths are:
Clematis armandii (E), leathery green leaves and large white flowers in April.
C. flammuta (D), fragrant, small, white flowers from August to October. Prune hard annually in February.
C. fiorida bicolor (D), white and purple flowers in July.
C. macropetala (D), violet-blue flowers in spring and early summer.
C. Montana rubens (D), rosy-pink flowers in great profusion in May.
C. tangutica (D), yellow, thick-petalled, lantern-shaped flowers in September.
The pruning of the large-flowered hybrids differs with their various groups. The patens and florida groups need pruning immediately after flowering, by cutting back the stems that have flowered to a pair of buds.
The following recommended varieties in the patens group flower in May and June: Barbara Jackman (D), petunia flowers, with-coloured bars.
Edouard Desfosse (D), dark mauve flowers with darker bars.
Lasurstern (D), purplish-blue flowers.
Mrs. George Jackman (D), white.
Nelly Moser (D), mauvy-pink flowers with carmine bar.
The florida group includes:
Belle of Woking (D), pale mauve, double flowers.
Countess of Lovelace (D), bluish-lilac, double flowers.
Duchess of Edinburgh (D), white, double flowers.
Lucie Lemoine (D), white, double flowers.
In February prune the old growths of jackmanii and viticella close to the base of the previous year’s growth, and cut the texensis group back to live wood.
The jackmanii group includes varieties which bear large flowers from late summer to autumn. Some of the best are:
Comtesse de Bouchaud (D), pinky-mauve flowers.
Gipsy Queen (D), dark purple flowers.
Jackmanii (D), violet-blue flowers.
Perle D’Azur (D), light blue flowers.
Star of India (D), violet flowers with red bars.
The viticella group includes the following varieties, which flower from July to September:
Ascotiensis (D), bright blue flowers.
Ernest Markham (D), red flowers, shaded magenta.
Lady Betty Balfour (D), violet-blue flowers.
Margot Koster (D), rosy-purple flowers.
Royal Velours (D), deep purple flowers.
Ville de Lyon (D), carmine-red flowers.
Outstanding in the texensis group are:
Countess of Onslow (D), violet-purple flowers, banded scarlet, in August and September.
Gravetye Beauty (D), rich red flowers in August and September.
The lanuginosa group may be pruned after flowering in the same way as the patens and florida groups, when they will flower in spring, or they can be cut hard back like the jackmanii and viticella groups, to induce flowering in summer or early autumn. The lanuginosa group includes:
Beauty of Richmond (D), mauve flowers with darker bars.
Beauty of Worcester (D), violet-blue flowers.
Lady Northcliffe (D), lavender flowers.
Lord Neville (D), plum-red flowers with deeper bar.
Mrs. Cholmondeley (D), light blue flowers.
W. E. Gladstone (D), lavender flowers.