Chris's Weblog – City Chickens

Tag Archive: Clematis

Evergreen Climbing Plants

In botany, an evergreen is a plant that has leaves throughout the year that are always green. This is true even if the plant retains its foliage only in warm climates, as opposed to deciduous plants that completely lose their foliage during the winter or dry season.

Clematis & Jasmine

I already have a few clematis in the garden that I have accumulated over the years but none of my current collection is evergreen. I also have a very old Jasmine which has served me well for many years but seems to have gone very woody at its base but I am hopeful of flowers this year nevertheless.

I recently bought a trio of evergreen climbers from smartplantapp.com and they were sourced from http://www.guernsey-clematis.com/. Smart plant has been set up by an enterprising chap who could see a problem and came up with an answer to it.

Guernsey Clematis is a wholesale nursery that is struggling during the pandemic lockdown as most of the garden centres that they supply are closed. Take a look at the website. I am truly impressed by how efficiently it is being run. Very futuristic things are happening there and it gives me hope for the future of growing in this country. I decided to help in my way by making a small purchase. There are two clematis and one jasmine in the bundle that I chose.

The genus Clematis can be a deciduous or an evergreen shrub/climber or an herbaceous perennial. They mostly climb by twining and clinging to trellis or trees and come in many varieties. The choice is endless with some beautiful colours and types of flower. Most also have attractive fluffy seedheads in the autumn.

Jasmine is a genus of shrubs and vines in the olive family. It contains around 200 species native to tropical and warm temperate regions of Eurasia and Oceania. Jasmines are widely cultivated for the characteristic fragrance of their flowers.

Star Jasmine

Star Jasmine

Star jasmine, Trachelospermum jasminoides is a woody, evergreen climber with rich, dark green leaves that turn bronze in winter. From mid to late summer, pure white, fragrant flowers are produced. It can be grown against a wall in milder climates or in a greenhouse or conservatory in areas prone to severe frosts.

Clematis cirrhosa Wisley Cream

Clematis Wisley Cream

The Cirrhosa Group of clematis are evergreen woody climbers with bell shaped single flowers, produced from late autumn to early spring on the previous year’s growth. The variety Wisley Cream is a large evergreen climber with divided, toothed glossy dark green leaves which are bronze in winter. It has pale cream flowers that can bloom from autumn to early spring followed by silky seedheads.

The variety was introduced to the UK in the 1970’s after being raised by the late Ken Aslet at the RHS garden in Wisley from seed collected in Southern Europe. Although it is Cirrhosa, Wisley Cream can go dormant during the Summer but it will produce glossy foliage over the Winter months and flower during mid to late Winter.

Clematis Kimiko

Clematis Kimiko

I am assured that this special evergreen clematis is one of the easiest of all to grow. Apparently, apart from the removal of the odd broken branch in spring, Kimiko needs no pruning at all. It is vigorous, hardy and healthy. It should produce fragrant flowers from early spring to summer over the entire height of the plant. Perfect for growing on an obelisk in a large pot in a tree or on a fence. Whilst best in a sunny location it prefers its roots in the shade. I have the perfect pot and obelisk for this tiny new plant and can’t wait for it to be 4ft tall and covered in flowers.

A new introduction from the Evison/Poulsen breeding program this compact evergreen climber produces abundant spring flowers year after year. info from Guernsey Clematis.

I really hope that this company will continue to serve the public after things get back to normal, Whatever that may turn out to be.

Can’t wait

Clematis Cirrhosa Freckles Purpurascens – Winter Flowering

Clematis Cirrhosa Freckles is an evergreen variety that flowers from November to February. Freckles can reach a height of 12′ . This variety introduces a bit of colour and scent into a Winter garden. It is happy in a large container with support and some protection from strong winds. It is a group one Clematis so needs no pruning just keeping tidy. It carries attractive silky seed heads and green foliage with a bronze tint.

Scented, bell-like, cream winter flowers heavily speckled inside with reddish-brown freckles and glossy, dark-green leaves. This evergreen clematis is ideal for training over a sunny pergola or arch. This is the best way to appreciate the distinctive freckle-like markings, which are less visible when the plant is grown against a wall.  No routine pruning is necessary. If the spread of the plant needs to be restricted prune immediately after flowering, cutting back overlong shoots to healthy buds. Apply a slow-release balanced fertiliser and a mulch of well-rotted garden compost around the base of the plant in early spring.

Clematis Miss Bateman Group 2

I bought this Clematis yesterday from Lidl for £3.99. It looks very good with lots of new growth and large root. I have bought a Clematis from Lidl before, the Hagley Hybrid and it has been flowering for years so I am looking forward to adding it to the garden. I bought it to replace Miss Christine which I loved but which died on me after once being replaced by Crocus.com the replacement died also. That one was £17.99. I would like to place it in the same spot but think that may be too risky so I am opening up a new border behind the trellis and I shall place it there.

This variety has white early summer flowers initially striped green with contrasting chocolate centres. This compact  large flowered clematis is excellent for growing in a large container or through a shrub or tree. Coping well in full sun or partial shade, it produces a second flush of satiny flowers from August to September.

 

Group 2 Clematis, sometimes known as Group B, include all the early, large flowered hybrids which will produce their first flush in May or very early June. Prune in February or early March. By then their buds will be swelling and green and easy to see. If the winter has been very cold growth will be delayed in which case you can prune in early to mid March instead as it is easier to see what you are doing. The exercise really involves a tidy up of the plan. Start at the top of each growth and work down. Once you reach the first pair of good, strong buds prune just above that.

Clematis from Seed

imageI love growing plants from seed. The pure joy of seeing a healthy green seedling pushing through after you have sown a tiny black dead looking seed is well worth the effort. It is time consuming and fiddly but I’m not very good at sewing, knitting or crochet like most ladies but I do seem to have some success with plants. I have been having a go with vegetable and flower seeds over the years but one plant that I have never grown from seed is Clematis. This Autumn I put in a few cuttings and am looking forward to seeing the results of those but I am determined to try and raise some from seed next spring.

I have read a little but prefer to learn by trial and error. The few tips I have gathered are as follows. Clematis seeds throw down deep roots so need to be sown in gritty, sandy compost in a deep container or pot. Germination can take from six weeks to three years. Ah well we will see. Heat isn’t needed and sown seed can be left in a cold greenhouse or outside. Moisture should be maintained by covering the pot with grit and enclosing in a polythene bag. I dread to think how many seed heads I have thrown into the compost over the years, however this last year I did save a few and put them into seed modules In sandy compost. I don’t hold out much hope for those but next year I will be more prepared.

Growing Clematis from Cuttings

imageI have been taking stock of the Clematis in the garden and reading up about how to prune or propagate them. Softwood cuttings are best taken between April and June from the mid-sections of strongly growing vines. The tips will be too soft and the lower parts may be too woody.  Prepare the selected section of vine by cutting through it immediately above a leaf joint and again about 3-4 cm below the same node. Remove the excess foliage to reduce moisture loss. Insert the cutting into compost up to the leaf joint. Label the pot and water it gently. Cover the surface of the compost with grit to deter slugs and retain moisture. Place in a well-lit area out of direct sunlight and maintain a humid atmosphere by covering with polythene or a propagator. Bottom heat will aid rooting but is not essential. Rooting should occur in four weeks. Pot up separately when rooted but if they are not ready by late summer delay the job until next spring and grow the cuttings on for another year before planting out.

 

Spring Clematis – Vyvian Pennell and Montana Rubens

I have added two more Clematis to the side garden. Clematis Vyvian Pennell – This vigorous climber has double frilly flowers of violet blue blooming in May , June and September. Clematis Montana Rubens – Sun loving drought tolerant plant. Ideal for fast growing screening.  Will tolerate full sun and sandy, drought-prone soils as well as cold exposed locations and heavy clay soils.

 

Lilac Time

 

This is the view I have when I am hanging out my washing and looking up into the Lilac tree which always blooms at the same time as the pink Clematis. The Lilac doesn’t have a scent but the Clematis does and early morning and evening it is worth going out there and doing a few deep breaths.

Clematis Miss Christine

The weather is warmer now and everything is growing well. The Clematis Miss Christine, bought from crocus.com last year, is a picture and smells lovely. ‘Miss Christine’ is named after the youngest daughter of clematis breeder Sheila Chapman. It’s a vigorous grower , typical of the species, producing masses of single white blooms with a pale pink edge on the reverse of its tepals. The flowers also have a rich, sweet scent that will fill the garden on a warm day. It’s an adaptable plant that is happy in most soils. This is an early-flowering clematis that should only be pruned once the blooms have faded.

Update:  I bought this Clematis from Crocus.com and unfortunately it died, was replaced but died again. I will buy again though as it was a beautiful variety.

https://www.taylorsclematis.co.uk/clematis-miss-christine.html

Clematis From Lidl – Hagley Hybrid and Rouge Cardinal

Clematis Rouge CardinalI treated myself to two Clematis today from Lidl. Only £4.99 each and both beautiful sturdy plants with loads of flower buds. One is called Clematis Hagley Hybrid and was raised  in 1945 by the head gardener at Hagley Hall. It is also known as Pink Chiffon. I have planted this one on the trellis at the opposite end to Miss Christine. The other is called Clematis Rouge Cardinal and I have planted that one in the side garden. Clematis Rouge Cardinal raised by Giraultin from Orleans in France in 1968. A stunning flower colour of velvety crimson, with a satin sheen to the sepal surface, fading as the flower ages. A full rounded 4″ wide flower. Brownish red anthers. Very free flowering habit. It flowers mid summer to early Autumn.

Jasminum Officinale & Clematis Warsaw Nike

 

jasmine

Today I treated myself to two climbers from Sainsbury’s. A Jasmine and a Clematis. Jasmine is one of the first plants that comes to mind when thinking of fragrance for the garden. Both have been planted in the garden behind the picket fence to protect them from ducks, chickens and bunnies. They should look good against the new fence.  A single jasmine vine can perfume an entire room or garden. It is a sprawling, twining deciduous shrub, usually pruned heavily to keep its size contained. The foliage is slightly downy with pinnate leaves. The flowers are white and fragrant, flowering  from early summer to autumn.

 

clematis

The Clematis is a large flowering variety called Warsaw Nike. A late, large-flowering clematis that produces rich, velvety-purple flowers freely in midsummer and usually a second flush will appear in September. An easy-to-grow climber that’s great for a sunny wall.