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Clematis suggestions please?

JudyNJudyN Posts: 119

After 20 years' neglect, I've had the shrubs down one side of the garden drastically cut back, leaving a lot of ungainly stumps which should reclothe themselves soon. I'm thinking of planting a clematis to scramble through the shrubs. We've not got a good record with clematis, having even failed with a montana, but the main culprits have been slugs and I'm waging a concerted war against them this year.image

Requirements are:

- vigorous & large - the aim is to let the shrubs reach 6' height & depth (and then hopefully keep them there...)

- white, blue or purple, but not yellow or pink

- reasonably tolerant of dry, sandy, acid soil

- will be southish-facing, so sunny (I know I need to shade the roots)

- flowering as long as possible, in late spring/summer/autumn rather than early spring - so maybe repeat-flowering?

I've spotted a clematis Guernsey Cream, which reaches 2m and may fit the bill, but does anyone have any other suggestions, please?image There's so many out there, the choice is bewildering!

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  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,585

    First of all, clematis are greedy, thirsty plants so need to be buried at least 4" deeper than they were in their pot and given plenty of good soil/compost/nutrients and that's without having to compete with established shrubs that will steal lots of water and nutrients.

    Clematis can also, in my experience, take 2 or 3 seasons to get their roots down well and start to thrive but they are certainly worth waiting and caring for.

    Have a look at Huldine - http://www.clematis.hull.ac.uk/new-clemdetail.cfm?dbkey=20  Good flowering season, gets large when happy and pruning is easy - just cut back to a few inches high in March and give it a good feed.  Pull out all the severed top growth.   Every year it will produce more and more stems as long as it's fed.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • JudyNJudyN Posts: 119

    Ooh, that's a lovely one - thank you Obelixx.

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,585

    Glad you like it.  I had it in my last garden and will be looking for another for this new garden.   You can search that site for other ideas based on colour, size, flowering times etc but I suggest you stick with viticellas and other pruning group 3 for their ease of care.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Papi JoPapi Jo Brittany, France Posts: 3,449

    I have Clematis ‘Guernsey Cream’ growing up a treillis. I has never reached more than 1.75 metres in 4 years. Very large white flowers. Probably not what you want.

    On the other hand I would recommend that old favourite, Clematis ‘Jackmanii’ which can grow upwards of 5 metres.

    image

    Clematis ‘Jackmanii’ growing up through a wisteria.

    You are invited to a virtual visit of my garden (in English or in French).
  • Have a look at this Paul Farges, aka SUMMER SNOW, bombproof hardy, reliable, masses of small pure white flowers, a bit of a thug, not for the faint hearted, a stunning plant in Summer here covering our garden shed.

    http://www.clematis.hull.ac.uk/new-clemdetail.cfm?dbkey=361 

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,585

    Crumbs Richard.  Gorgeous and perfume too but it will probably swamp Judy's shrubs.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Ticks all the 5 boxes requirements and the foliage is excellent, too.

  • JudyNJudyN Posts: 119

    I'm still tending towards Huldine - though thanks for all the other suggestions!

    OH is worrying that pruning might be tricky once the bushes have grown back a bit - crawling under the bushes to get to the stems is one thing, but then we'd have to pull out all of the previous year's growth. Do you think that is going to be a bit of a pain, or is it likely to be relatively easy?

  • Papi JoPapi Jo Brittany, France Posts: 3,449

    @Judy,

    By the way, what species are  those shrubs you cut back and want to grow clematis through ? 

    You are invited to a virtual visit of my garden (in English or in French).
  • JudyNJudyN Posts: 119

    Griselinia, berberis, pyracanthus (or spiky death plant as OH calls it), hebe, quince, some kerria & honeysuckle, holly we're trying to eradicate, branbles ditto.... Possibly something else along those lines...

    This is what it looked like (left-hand border) before the deforestation: https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8778/28322003983_35bdecf7e9_z.jpg It's really just stumps now, but they will come back - the borders are about 5' deeper now! We've also had to put some wigwams up because the dog spotted a suet block on next door's bird table and wondered if he could jump the fence....

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