Clematis – always a popular flowering vine

The clematis vine is an all around winner for the garden. It is a climbing vine with many varieties that are hardy in this zone and is a prolific grower each season in this area. It is an attractive plant when it is just a vine of leaves but the best reward is its abundance of simple but extraordinarily beautiful flowers and as a special bonus once the flowers fade and the petals drop off the vine you are left with very attractive seed heads that often last the whole winter on the vine. The vines are perennial and many varieties will flower for at least a month but many varieties can bloom for much of July and August.

The clematis is available in many colours. The colours include red, rose, pink, purple, blue, white and yellow. There are many shades of pink and purple to choose from. Purple ranges from a dark violet (C. Jacmanii) to pale shades of lavender.

The clematis requires a location in your garden where it will receive full sun for at least four to six hours per day. What most gardeners do not know is that even though the clematis likes to have full sun shining on its upper vine portion, it likes the root area of the plant to remain cool. At first thought, you may think that this is tricky to achieve, but there are a few ways of protecting the roots from heat, while the upper plant enjoys the heat of the sun.

Clematis, like these beauties, which were grown at Hammond Greenhouse last year, are a popular way to add colour and texture in landscaping. Clematis comes in a variety of stunning colours. Want to see them for yourself? Go visit your favourite garden centre! They’re all open to the public, including in-person shopping. – Hammond Landscaping Facebook

The easiest way of shading the roots of your clematis is with a good mulch product. Bark or wood chips would be best for this purpose. When applying the mulch, apply it at least twice as thick at the base of the clematis as the mulch that you have applied in the rest of your garden. If your vine has southern exposure the mulch method may not offer enough protection from the intense heat throughout the whole day so you may want to try one of the other methods listed.

Another way of effectively shading the roots of a clematis is with other plants planted in front of the base of the clematis. The possibilities are quite endless just use your imagination and you can create some really spectacular plant combinations, keeping in mind that you do not want to place a plant in front of your clematis that will hide it completely. You can also use annual flowers so you will have flowers present at the base of the clematis for the entire season but remember to you will have to replant your annuals each season.

Another option is to place a large rock or series of rocks in front of the base of the clematis. You can create a mini rock garden if you want and add some creeping perennials as well. If you prefer, a large pot or planter filled with annuals can also be used.

Because the clematis is a vine, another requirement for this perennial is a support system in your garden for the tendrils of the vine to climb on. A clematis needs only some initial coaxing to start to climb on the support system of choice, when the plant is young then it will easily find its way as it grows. Because a clematis has the potential to grow up to ten feet in height and ten feet wide, depending on variety, you want to select a sturdy support system. When choosing a trellis or other type of support system it is better to choose a system that will give you solid support over a weaker system that is aesthetically pleasing to the eye because he vine may cover any intricate detail your system may have as it matures.

A clematis vine can live for up to twenty years so when planting in your garden make sure that you are happy with its location. Once established on its support and has developed a complex root system below ground it can be difficult to move. The clematis is a perennial that doesn’t tolerate dividing. It is very difficult to divide an established plant without inflicting a great deal of damage to both the roots and the upper vine.

With these handy tips about clematis and the follow-up column on effective pruning you do not have any excuse to not add a clematis to your garden right away. This vine will add height, texture and colour all at once.