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Suggestions for clematis through this weigela?

Andy LeedsAndy Leeds Posts: 518

Hi, I was wondering about another clematis to use this weigela to climb through.  It's not a very big shrub, at the moment it's just a twiggy mess - this picture was in early June last year so I guess it's an early flowerer that I'd need.  Is there anything this small (or could be kept small)?




  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 4,353

    Your Weigela will grow bigger, and if you need to prune it to limit its size or encourage a better shape/more flowers at a later date, it is best done after flowering and then you would have the clem to contend with. If you are happy to take that chance though, I would think that a later flowering clem would be a better bet than an early one, as it would add interest to the rather dull, green bush that the weigela can become in late summer. Also,as a group 3, you would cut it back in the spring and could perhaps do some pruning to the weigela at the same time, if it was nothing too drastic. An early clem would be a group 1 that doesn't need or want early pruning.

  • PerkiPerki Posts: 2,327

    Personally I wouldn't use a weigelia for a climbing frame for a clematis. Not only will it smother a weigleia that size - difficult to prune unless you use a group 3 like buttercupdays said - it will ruin a very nice shrub it look lovely just like it is. I am with buttercup a group 3 clematis would be best summer to late flowering if you really wanted to try it. 

    Can you not use the fence behind for a climbing frame? Or use a wigwam. Maybe a different shrub like a buddelia or tree?

  • PerkiPerki Posts: 2,327

    Got me looking at clematis now ,  oooh the temptation image. I seen quite a lot very small variety's I've not seen before, maybe they would be suitable. I think a white with a tinge of pink would look the best.

    Last edited: 19 March 2017 00:31:13

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 50,155

    You could try one of the herbaceous clematis, rather than the climbing ones. They're 'designed' to work with shrubs, although the border looks a bit too small to have anything substantial growing in amongst it. The wiegela will get bigger and more broader over time. 

    Better to plant a clematis for the fence behind. An alpina needs little attention and will flower earlier than the wiegela, although you may get an overlap of blooms for a short while. In any case, it will give a nice succession of colour in that spot, and give a nice backdrop to other planting.

    If the fence isn't yours, that makes it a little trickier, but you can always ask the neighbours if they'd mind. 

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • StevedaylillyStevedaylilly Posts: 1,087

    Hi Buttercup

    The weigela in the photo is only a small shrub possibly maximum 1m wide x 1m high at full growth , so a clematis would not have a sufficient framework I prefer clematis to grow through shrubs as they look more natural that on a trellis. As previous comments have stated, a lager shrub with a mid summer flowering would benefit from a late flowering clematis within pruning group 3 

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 28,803

    I too think the shrub is too small and you'll get into pruning trouble.   If you're able, try a clematis trained on tensioned wires stretched between vine eyes screwed to the fence posts.  It will be an unobtrusive support yet let your chosen clematis range as it needs.

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Andy LeedsAndy Leeds Posts: 518

    Hmm I'll take the (pretty overwhelming) advice and not train it through the weigela ?.  Thanks for the suggestions.

    Unfortunately the panelled fence isn't mine and they are removable panels so not best for me to start screwing into them.  The low fencing is mine (that was here originally before next door put that larger fence up) - I guess I could fix a trellis against those fence posts.

    The weigela for info is Florida 'foliis purpureis' so won't get much bigger than it is now.  

    I just want a new clem! ?.

    Just a thought - are any of these shrubs worth training through?  I'd assumed as evergreen and dense they wouldnt be much good: Viburnum tinus, berberis darwinii, mahonia.  They are all that remains of the garden left by the previous owner (or should I say neglected).

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 28,803

    You need something much more oepn and airy than those.    

    What about an obelisk for a clem?  Won't take up much space and you can make one yourself quite easily and stain it to a colour that will look good when the clem is dormant -

    You could also attach taller fence posts to your small fence or just erect some independently and tension wires between them to grow clems or roses and thus hide the neighbours' tall fence.

    Last edited: 19 March 2017 14:20:59

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 28,803

    I love that one Richard but it didn't like my Belgian garden so I tried a flammula in another part and it's supporting tree was hit by lightening and the clematis didn't like that either.

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
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