Early Summer Clematis

 

After a stunning display by the Wisterias this year, it is time for Clematis to pick up the role of Climber of the Month.

 

C. Nelly Moser is an excellent variety with beautiful pale mauve pink flowers with a reddish bar down the centre of each sepal.  Most clematis like their feet in the shade and their heads in the sun.  Nelly however prefers a position out of full sun so her flowers do not fade but retain their quality over a long period.  Pruning for this variety is to trim the old flowering shoots immediately after flowering.

 

C. Mme. La Coultre is a lovely white single.  Her main claim to fame is the size of her flowers - up to 6 inches across.  White flowered types are obviously good for red brick walls.

 

C. H.F. Young is a really good blue.  This compact hybrid is good if you need to grow your clematis in a container.  The blue flowers are single and have a violet overtone.  The flowers are 4 inches wide and are borne in profusion.

 

C Vyvyon Pennell is a double flowered form.  The 4 inch wide petals form a lavender blue rosette with golden anther which contrast well.  Don't panic if the second flush of flower are single this is normal behaviour for most double varieties.

 

Clematis are always sold as potted plants so you can plant all year round.  Plant quite deeply into fertile well drained soil.  These plants respond well to liquid feeding with tomato food throughout the spring and summer months.

 

There must be one position in your garden for one of these classic climbers.  They are usually easy and long lived and the pruning need not be difficult.  Use the method described for C. Nelly Moser plus a little tidying of old and dead wood in the early spring when you can see the buds swelling.

 

(First published in July 2008 Bishop Burton News)

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