Thursday, June 07, 2012

Growing Up

Clematis are as great for a small garden as they are for an estate, take up a small amount of planting space and reward with beautiful blooms all reaching skyward.

Comtesse De Bouchard (Type III) rated as excellent by the clematis experts.

Miss Bateman (TypeII)
I thought Miss Bateman was gone, growing on the same trellis as Henryi, but it is back maybe not as prolific as I remember but it is still here!

I am really learning to appreciate all types of clematis because they each have their own attributes and rewards.

Rouge Cardinal is a wonderful Type III but I have too many of them and I need to branch out and replace them with some other more unusual varieties.

I love the super blooms of the Type II's and the ease of care of the Type III's.  I don't own a Type I but the care is similar to Type II.

Konigskind Clematis (Type II)
I think I had identified this previously as General Sikorski.  Konigskind is a shorter clematis and works well on a small trellis.

I have found that if you cut down a Type II after blooming in the spring it will produce lush new growth and bloom a little later the next spring with gorgeous new blooms and no dead bottom wood.

Fireworks and Bee's Jubilee

Fireworks On Other Side
Fireworks weaves through and covers both sides of the grid, some tying necessary to train in early spring.

I have also found that if I cut down my Type III's in the fall it does not affect the bloom the following year.  I have done this three years in a row on my front clematis because I do not like the way the dried vines look all winter.  I cut them down in late October or November so there is little chance of new growth.

Hagley Hybrid (Type III)

Hagley Hybrid is great for part shade as it keeps its color better than in full sun.

I also cut down my Autumn Clematis after it has bloomed because when dried the following spring it is full of pollen that flies everywhere.  Since I have two separate clematis growing on the pergola it is important to have it clean for the Type II that will bloom in the spring.

Some clematis can be treated as more than one type, like Ernest Markham.  It has produced many more blooms when I treated it as a Type II rather than the Type III it was marked.

Ernest Markham (Type II or III)

I am going to experiment with some new clematis for next year and give some of my duplicates to my daughter.

Clematis need to be fed, some are heavier feeders than others.  I work in a 5-3-3 granular organic in the early spring and this has made a huge difference in regard to blooms.