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These flowers may be solitary or in large clusters. The leaves usually are compound--i.e., have several parts. Common species include woodbine (C. virginiana); traveler's joy, or old-man's-beard (C. vitalba); virgin's bower (C. cirrhosa); and vine bower

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      12.03.2008 15:52
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      a great plant if you can find the right place

      Clematis is a climing plant so it will need to be planted next to a wall or fencing and if not you will need to provide trelis for support as they tend to droop and fall over else. They only have shallow roots and can easily be riped from the ground in bad winds. Clematis plants have lovely green leaves and great big beautiful flowers with a circular center and 8 petals around the edges. They grow quite big and if not pruned back down to size they can get to about 10 foot tall and 6 foot wide, when they bloom they look beautiful, covered all over in single flowers and clumps of flowers, i have got two blue ones in my garden. They flower from the begining of april untill the end of september, they need a lot of direct sunlight which can make finding the prfect spot by a fence or wall a problem as it is likely to shade the light. To solve this i have put mine in two circles i have cut out in the grass and put two pieces of trelis on posts 6 foot tall. It did look a bit weird when i first put them in 4 years ago as i had a lot of trelis showing as the plant was so small but after the first two years i havent seen the trelis since and it stops them getting knocked over in bad wind. I prune mine back to the size of my trelis each winter which is 6 foot high and 3 foot wide but they have gone wild again by the mid summer. They are a realy beautiful plant but you do need to think carefully about where you are going to put them.

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        23.06.2007 16:27
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        Climbing plant with lovely flowers can be used as a screen

        I first became aware of the clematis many years ago when the bus on which I travelled to school passed a house covered in huge blue flowers. I was so impressed that I made a point of finding out what the flowers were and made up my mind that I wanted to grow plants like that in my garden. Since that time I have indeed grown them and, at present, have five well established plants and three more waiting to be planted. This is not counting the wild version 'Old Man's Beard' that is currently running riot through the hedge! Clematis is usually divided into three main groups according to the flowering type and period and how they should be pruned. Group One: These are usually small flowered varieties and bloom early in the year – from January to May. They flower on shoots produced the previous summer and require very little pruning, if any. It may be necessary to ‘tidy-up’ the plant – cutting away any dead or damaged growth. Otherwise it will only need trimming back if it has become too large. I have two plants in this group and one “Freckles” blooms continuously from November to March. It has small bell-like flowers in cream with dark red ‘freckles’. It is known as a cirrhosa type, is evergreen and also one of the few varieties that is scented. The only drawback with this variety is that you really need to be quite close to appreciate the flowers. Also, it is a lot hardier than some people advise. Mine is growing over an arch which occasionally catches the wind. On one occasion the whole thing blew down and I was forced to cut the clematis right back. It grew back twice as strong and has never missed a year for producing flowers. Group Two: This group contains the flowers with which we are all familiar flowering during May and June – and possibly having a second flowering later in the year. These are deciduous and should be pruned in early spring before the new growth begins. It is only required to cut out the dead and damaged growth and trim back to a strong bud. I have to admit that I often don’t get around to pruning these as I should but they don’t seem to suffer for it producing some lovely flowers year after year. Some of the best known varieties in this group are: Nelly Moser, Dr. Ruppel, Ville de Lyon and Niobe. Group Three: This group is the exception when it comes to pruning. It contains the late flowering varieties – of all shapes and sizes – and pruning should be carried out in early spring before the new growth starts, cutting the plant right back to a strong bud about twelve inches from the ground. These plants produce their flowers from July to October and the flowers are produced on shoots grown during the same season. One of the most famous in this group is Clematis Jackmanii first produced in England in 1858. The one in our garden grows along a trellis – through the blackberries – and right up the wisteria to the roof! At present (June) it is covered in buds but within a couple of weeks it will be a mass of dark purple/blue flowers. The general advice for planting is that clematis like to grow in full sun however; they do like their roots shaded and well drained soil. In fact, mine seem to suffer clay soil quite well and often during the day are in the shade. They are mostly climbers (there are some varieties that aren’t) and they cling to any support by twisting their leaves around it – unlike some other plants such as sweet peas that have tendrils for this purpose. Clematis can be planted in hanging baskets and containers and the clematis florida varieties are ideally suited for this. As these are part of the group three types they will sometimes flower until Christmas if the conditions are right. There is probably a lot more information I could give about this fantastic plant however, I feel that this might give you the incentive to check it out for yourself. Just one further thing – it is possible to spend a fortune on these plants but I have found that the ones I have spent very little on tend to grow just as well and I only spend more for something “special”. For instance, I bought “Freckles” in a cut-price store for about £1.99. I hope you have found this interesting – and I thank you for reading it.

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          23.01.2005 20:25
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          If you have a wall, arbor, pergola or trellis in your garden, and want to grow something up it that's fragrant, lovely, romantic and blooming, you may think of getting a climbing rose. Think again! Roses are slow growing, require a lot of attention and can be very prone to all kinds of nasty diseases. In winter, without their leaves, most roses look just dull and bare. Besides, their thorns can be a real nuisance. I think that a clematis is a much better choice - it's easier to care for, grows much quicker, smells just as nice, doesn't lose its leaves in winter, climbs high and wide, and needs very little attention. As long as you choose the right one. WHICH VARIETY TO CHOOSE There are hundreds of different clematises! If you go to a large garden centre - or better still, a nursery specialising in climbing plants - you're faced with a bewildering choice. Each looks more stunning than the other. Most people, after some wondering and pondering, choose the one with the largest, most spectacular flowers in their favourite colour. They take it home, plant it, enjoy its blossoms for a few weeks, and then are frustrated when it withers and dies. Chances are, they have either not planted it properly, or they have chosen the wrong type. Instead of listing all the advantages and disadvantages of various types of clematis, which would fill a book and leave you more clueless than ever, I'm making the choice for you. Will you trust my advice? Right then. Pick a Clematis montana. These are quick growing, super-easy to care for, vigorous, happily covering any trellis or pergola you want them to cover, forgiving of mistakes,. They flower in late spring and early summer, and their blossoms - with four large white petals and a yellow centre - smell deliciously of almonds. The drawback of the montanas is their limite colour range. Basically, you have the choice between white and pink. Either colour looks so stunning against the dark green leaves, it's perfect. Clematis montana (with no additional name added) = pure white blooms Clematis montana 'Elizabeth' = white with a pink flush. Clematis montana 'Rubens' = pink If you are confident enough gardener to grow several different clematises, consider growing different types close together, and let them intertwine. Or choose varieties that flower at different times, so that when your Clematis montana has stopped flowering, another one begins. There are even some winter-flowering clematises now. I've bought a very young plant earlier this year, but it's still too early to report on how it's doing. Consider that some Clematis are very fussy. Check how high they're growing. A montana can easily grow 10m or more, but some will only grow up to 2m, which is disappointing when you want them to cover the facade of a two-storey house. Don't assume that, just because they're climbers, they will cling. There are some which will climb, but don't cling. You need to tie them carefully at every stage, or they collapse in a heap. Personally I don't think there's much point in buying a climber if it doesn't cling. WHERE, WHEN AND HOW TO PLANT You can plant a clematis at any time of the year. They like a sunny spot. The trick is to plant them deeply. Plant it so that the stem is about 3cm deeper in the soil than it was in the pot. This is because the top of the roots are the most sensitive part of the plant. It dislikes heat and frost. For added protection, place some stones around the stem, or better still, heap some autumn leaves around the stem. I would not recommend planting a clematis in a container, although it can be done. Unless you are very fastidious about how much water you give them, it's easy to over- or underwater a clematis, and they're sensitive to that. Once I overwatered a beautiful blue-flowering clematis. I didn't notice that the saucer in which the pot stood was full of water. The clematis died. :-( If you put them in the ground, they have much more choice about how much water they want. Surplus water runs off, and if you don't give them enough, they'll simply grow deeper roots. HOW TO ACHIEVE THE BEST EFFECTS The most stunning effect is to grow a clematis over a pergola. A single Clematis montana will be enough to cover a pergola. Very romantic. You can also allow a clematis to grow through trees and shrubs. Choose a shrub that doesn't flower at the same time as the clematis, then you'll have a long time of bloom. Roses and clematis do well together. You can also train a clematis up a tree. However, choose a shrub or tree that can hold its own, or a vigorous clematis will simply overgrow it and take away all its light. WHERE AND WHEN TO BUY Unless you are a patient, experienced gardener, I recommend you buy a clematis plant that's about chest-high (including pot). These will cost between £5 and £15 per plant. You'd think that the price depends mostly on the variety, but that is not so. Since most customers go for plants that are currently in flower, garden centres charge most for those. Here's a tip how to get them cheap: You can get one that has just finished flowering for a third of the price! It will continue growing through the year, even in winter if it is a montana, and when the season comes, you'll have a big, healthy, flowering plant. Check the stems of the clematis just above the ground. Choose the one with the healthiest stems. HO TO GET THEM FOR FREE I'm afraid this advice is mostly for the patient, experienced gardener. You can grow clematis from seed; several seed catalogues offer various kinds of clematis. They even have the check to print on their packets that they are 'easy'. Well, take it from me: easy they are not. I've tried several varieties, and although I'm normally good with seeds, I have only had moderate success. They are slow to germinate - if they germinate at all - and then the seedlings are awfully sensitive. If you already own a clematis, preferably one that's 'rampant' and spreading, take one of its shoots, pin it to the ground with several hair pins, and cover it with a bit of compost. You can aid the process by first scratching the underside of the shoot where it will lie on the ground. It's best to do this in spring. Then, in spring the following year, you may have some baby clematises growing. As I said, it's only for patient people. I'm keen to recommend ways to propagate your own plants from seeds or cuttings, but in the case of a clematis, I think it's not worth it. HOW TO CARE FOR IT There are all sorts of complicated rules about how to prune clematis. If you have a Clematis montana, you can ignore them all. Cut the plant back when it grows where you don't want it to grow. It doesn't matter if you cut too much or too little, the plant will forgive you. Last year, I was looking after a garden for someone whose pride and joy was a pergola overgrown with stunning clematis montana. In one moment of stupidity he mistakenly cut the one branch that led from the plant to the trellis. He was deeply grieved when he saw what he had done. He had killed all the wonderful growth on the pergola! However, the clematis grew back very quickly. I helped it along a bit with wire training, and within a year, it has covered one side of the huge pergola, as well as the top of it, and by spring it will probably have grown down on the other side. If you want to be particularly nice to your clematis, feed it occasionally. Don't use multi-purpose fertiliser; it doesn't have the right ingredients. But there's no need to buy expensive special clematis food: cheap tomato fertiliser contains all a clematis needs. I hope you enjoyed this review, and I wish you much fun selecting and growing your own.

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            15.06.2001 06:06
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            It's Mr Serious Head tonight as I tell you a tale of one of nature's marvels.... The clematis is one of the favourite climbing plants to be found in the gardens of England, and have been grown in this country for hundreds of years, but the only variety which is native to these shores is Clematis Vitalba, or the old man's beard. However, over the years hundreds of different varieties have been introduced from Europe, America and the Far East and these days there are a multitude of different varieties all tugging endearingly at the pockets of the gardener, screaming "Buy me, buy me." It is sometimes termed the queen of flowers in deference to the rose, which is accorded the title of king, but in many ways, the clematis is far more useful and interesting than the rose, with an enormous variation in the types to be had. The word 'clematis' comes from the Greek word klema, which literally translates as being a vine branch, and evokes perfectly the clematis and the way it winds around its supporting structures. -------So goes the guide book - NOW, THE dave27 GUIDE TO THE CLEMATIS!!!! I fell in love with clematis about four years ago, when we moved to our new house in Lancashire. I had to build a garden from scratch (with a little help from people found in the phone book, but the plants were all down to me) and wanted to have a lot of climbers. The clematis is absolutely perfect for covering walls and fences, but need adequate support in order to give them a suitable frame to grip onto, but once you've got them started they literally streak away. I've never managed to get Mrs D as enthused about the clematis as me, but then she's just a pleb who wants to grow fruit in the garden - I've given up trying to put her straight. The variety that you see most often round the gardens of England are the small pink or white flowered montana which quickly spread a th ick coating all across an ugly wall or fence and look so striking when they bear their wonderful flowers. However, it's the large flowered varieties, with their striking colours and shapes which are the most attractive and there are literally hundreds of these to choose from. Among those we've got in our back garden are the following: Clematis Armandii, an evergreen variety, with beautiful, leathery leaves and charming white flowers Clematis Alpina Pamela Jackman, with its beautiful, purplish flowers Clematis Bees Jubilee with its very deep pink flowers barred with a red line Clematis Nelly Moser, the most distinctive of all, with its candy striping, a truly marvellous sight We've got about five or six other varieties, but I won't bore you with details. Let's just say they are truly wonderful flowers which will repay your faith for years to come, as long as you look after them properly, which involves cutting them back regularly once a year, being sure to get some of them sprouting near the base otherwise they can start to get really leggy. It's said that it's relatively easy to propagate clematis from cuttings but I've never managed to get any of the cuttings I've taken to sprout and I've had to buy all the plants I've got. Most of them came from the Morrisons supermarket at Blackpool and a couple of years ago you could get a plant for £1.50. None of the ones I got from there have ever failed and I've been delighted with them. There is a word of caution, and that's to watch out for clematis wilt, which sees the plant dying right back. I've luckily never had any of my clematis suffer, but apparently the secret if you do get this awful disease is to cut the plant right back to healthy growth. I hope this has been of some use to you. Signed Bayleaf the Gardener

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              24.05.2001 07:16
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              Clematis, also known as travellers joy and woodbine, brings a lovely picture to the mind. These lovely plants can be had in flower nearly every month of the year, in a range of colours from white to pink, blue to purple and shades in between, you can even get a yellow variety. They can be grown on fences, trellises, sheds and even be allowed to trail over the ground. Clematis come in three groups, early flowering, normally species, early large flowered and late large flowered. They are pruned according to their group, earlies are pruned after flowering to allow new growth to ripen for the following years flowers, early large are pruned before the new growth starts as they flower on the current years growth, late large flowered are pruned the same as early large flowered both groups in early spring. In the early flowerers you can get such beauties as, Montana Rubens which is pale pink and smells of vanilla, Montana which is white, Alpina whgich has lantern shaped blue flowers and fluffy silver seedheads in summer. Montanas are very vigorous and will happily cover a large shed or tree, make sure the tree is sound before planting though. In the second group there are one like, Proteus which is a double pale purple, Vyvyan Pennel which is a double purple and Beauty of Worcester which is semi double mid purple, and Nelly Moser which is pale pink with a darker pink stripe. In the third group there is, Jackmanii which is a rich purple, Seiboldii which is white with a fluffy purple centre, and Orientalis which has yellow lantern shaped flowers. All clematis should be planted with their roots in the shade and their heads in the sun. these are all very pretty plants and can rival the most vigorous climber but are of course much nicer and more garden friendly.

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