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The Charms of Clematis


I love clematis! Admittedly they are only in flower for a short time, but because my varieties herald the long-awaited arrival of summer, to me they are extra special.

We have several large flowering clematis beside our garden gate. Their feet are in the shade and they climb up a trellis beside the gate and up the house. The evening sun catches the stunning white flowers and I think they are utterly beautiful.

The very large white flowered variety is Clematis ‘Asagasumi’, which starts flowering during the last week of May. The flowers measure between 14 and 18cm across and last for two to three weeks.

The pink and white flowering clematis is more compact, and I love its raspberry ripple look! I think it is either Clematis ‘Chalcedony’ or Clematis Jackmanii Alba and really should know.

Another white-flowering clematis grows on our north-facing wall and receives no direct sun at all. It has taken three years to establish itself but is now flourishing and has been in flower for three weeks and shows no sign of stopping. It is a Clematis montana grandiflora.

Finally, and probably the most reliable of all clematis, is the ubiquitous Clematis montana var. montana. This pale pink variety is not unusual, but it’s a brilliant plant and very effective on a support or structure, or climbing up a tree. The one in our garden has virtually risen from the dead – the storms of winter 2016 blew down the support and the clematis was snapped off completely at ground level. I wasn’t hopeful of its survival, but 18 months later it is scrambling vigorously up the support and has never looked better.