Clematis Misbehavin’

Yes, I know it’s my fault.  But I thought we were all on the same page, as it were.  We all pick up ideas to use in our own gardens when we are on tour.  Taut wires attached to brick walls often get covered up with clematis blooms.  At Cider House in Devon, that chunky Clematis florida var. sieboldii looked fabulous against the cool wall, as pictured here.  When we were in Ireland at Coolcarrigan, there was a clematis hugging the corner of the building.

            So, last year and for the first time, Clematis ‘Gravetye Beauty’ (a texensis), scrambled up into the snowball viburnum hanging over the fence.  Perfect!  As Portland-based clematis expert Linda Beutler says, shrubs are merely scaffolding for clematis.  Then, a Raymond Evison clematis in a pot (the lovely ‘Wisely’ — violet-blue with a white center) worked its way through other potted plants, and showed off.  Meanwhile, in the brick raised bed, ‘Niobe’ wound its way up a 4-foot metal trellis and bloomed with its red-purple.

            So, I thought we had all this worked out.  But this year, ‘Gravetye Beauty’ could not be persuaded to go up, and instead has flopped itself all over a small hebe, one of the bronze sedges and finally has reached Viburnum opulus ‘Compactum.’  ‘Niobe’ appears to be playing peek-a-boo (pictured here) with the Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ and Lobelia tupa.  And ‘Wisley’ has most of its blooms hanging in a space between pots and, of course, away from sight.  I see that next year, I will need be firm.


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