12 Jul 2013

Clematis, Dark Eyes

Clematis

Put the colours purple and green together and you have one of my favourite colour combinations.  Despite this area of the community garden being a 'Veg Patch/Orchard', I really wanted to get more flowers and colour into the scheme.  So earlier this year, I bought this Clematis with 2 others (another of my £2 supermarket 'twig' bargains), inspired by the idea of training climbers up into the fruit trees with this one chosen to clash with the orange day lilies just behind this cherry tree. The lilies are on the brink of flowering - it will either be a disaster or glorious when they do!

I've checked back to the photo on the packet - it somehow suggested larger blooms with purple centres.  As a novice to growing clematis, I wouldn't know one variation from another but I'm really pleased with these.  The flowers are about 2 inches across and, planted in May, it's already about 3 feet up into the tree. It's facing east so gets morning sunshine but not the full blast of midday sun we've recently experienced.  Clematis like their roots to be kept in moist soil so it was mulched on planting and I've been careful to keep it watered; it was also planted out with the protection of a plastic sleeve until it was established.

Another clematis planted into the shady border has not put on much growth - a classic example of right plant, right place (not!) as, although its supposed to enjoy the shade, the viburnum above it has cast it into deep shade.  Perhaps it will fare better once the viburnum leaves have dropped; if not, it will have to be relocated. Must check when will be best - any advice most welcome!



12 comments:

  1. I'm not a fan of clematis but they do look good in gardens, especially climbing trees as yours is.
    I'll leave the advice to someone who grows, and knows, them! Flighty xx

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    1. Each to their own, Flighty! If we all liked the same things, the world wouldn't be so full of discoveries! I think one or two, naturalised in a garden, is fine - but I'd draw the line at the clematis arch that I saw at Chelsea!

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  2. I've got a clematis which grows against the house wall in the front garden right next to the window. It was planted by the previous owners, and we've been in the house twenty years, so you can see how old it is. I don't know its name but it's a very similar colour to yours. It actually gets little or no sun so it must be happy in the shade to have lasted this long.

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    1. It must make your house look very pretty, Jo! My parents have one growing around their porch - a Nelly Moser type, I think (large blooms) - and it always looks so lovely when in bloom. I think they prefer part shade so the previous owners of your house must have planted it well.

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  3. We have a couple of clematis that seem to have disappeared which is disappointing as they never flowered at all so I'll never know whether they would have been good choices!

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    1. Oh, what a shame! I'd be on the hunt to see if I could find a few roots somewhere Sue! That's the benefit of my bargain buys for the garden here - if it doesn't work out, there hasn't been a huge financial loss!

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  4. I think with clematis, patience is the word, they have to put down a good root system to be able to feed all the top growth that will come in future years. I wouldn't worry for at least 2 yrs and by then you will probably have masses of flowers to show us!

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    1. Thanks, Pauline - excellent advice - I'm all in favour of leaving plants to establish well and what you say makes a lot of sense. I'll be sure to take photos when flowers appear!

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  5. Clematis seem, in my own limited experience, to take a while to get established but I don't think they like too deep a shade. I had a viticella which was in the wrong place and was shaded out by my crab apple and didn't do well. If the roots are in shade but they can clamber up to the sun that seems to be the best place for them. i love that deep purple too.

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    1. Thanks for this great advice, Welly - The clematis planted in the shade of the viburnum will only get winter light so needs to be moved. They were cheap plants and so didn't come with detailed advice (like the cultivar for example). The packet said shade so it was worth a go - don't want to see the plant suffer, though!!

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  6. Hi Caro! I'm a huge fan of clematis and I have a lovely plant growing outside my front door. It gets better with age so I think give your plants a few years and they will be fuller. Mine is in full sunshine and has the warmth from the house, but even last year in the grey and wet weather it did very well, possibly better as the heat tends to see the flowers going past their best a lot quicker. I chop mine right down each year too and it still comes back!

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    1. Hi Anna! That's what I was hoping to hear!! How lovely to have such a beautiful flower growing by your front door where you can see every day. I didn't know about chopping clematis back every year, will have to look that one up!!! Thanks!

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Caro x

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