The clematis viticella are coming out, Nelly Moser too

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Lady Sandwich writes:

As England is sweltering in a heat wave, I just hope our clematis have got nice cool roots, which is what they want. Clematis come from the temperate zones and don’t want over heating, originating, like so much else, often from China.

The wonderful clematis viticella are just coming out in the gardens. We have lots of the viticella type: they are easy to prune (lop ‘em down to 18 inches in March), provide lots of colour as the roses go over and are easy to grow. One of the best is Polish Spirit on the grey wall just left of the big lawn; another is Black Prince in the front courtyard. Clematis viticella alba luxurians, white flowers with dashes of green, is by the garage. I think it’s in the wrong place. Comments please on our Facebook page. What do you think? Shall I root it out?

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We grow other types including lots of different clematis montana, now over and pruned. You can see the pruning right up the house. There’s clematis armandii, an early scented evergreen clematis to the right of the Orangery. And it’s named after – guess who? Pere David Armand, the same French missionary after whom davidia involucrata is named (see my previous entry) and who discovered the Giant Panda.

Then there are the herbaceous clematis, like clematis tubulosa ‘Wyevale’; there’s yellow clematis flammula, the huge, rampant, autumn flowering clematis rehderiana, and its similar rampant friend on the pergola, a garden variant of clematis vitalba (Old Man’s Beard). We have a couple of the elegant clematis texensis particularly ‘Gravetye Beauty’ on the grey wall. You won’t find many large flowered clematis because they are difficult to prune and temperamental to us. But ‘Nelly Moser’ is around in the front; and another Nelly by the East Grotto faces purple clematis x jackmanii climbing the West Grotto and twining with rosa ‘Mme Alfred Carriere’.