Clematis "planters" around deck - a few questions

pbl_ge(5/6)July 6, 2014

Please ignore the misleading subject line. I posted this elsewhere, and I think I'm being confusing. I'm going to try to rewrite this so that it's clearer.

We are installing a deck on the back wall of our garage, and we intend to leave square(ish) gaps (cut-outs) in the decking so that we can plant clematis to grow along the wall of the deck. (I've asked other questions about this here--yes the project is moving slowly!) It will be a mix of Huldine and something else, perhaps Jackmanii since it's so reliable.

Here's a drawing of the deck from above, that shows where the cut-outs will be along the wall of the garage:

Here's a picture of cut-outs, in case it's not clear what I mean:

Just imagine that those gaps are along a wall (back of the garage) and that clematis are planted in them, instead of trees.

I have a question and a problem.

The question is how big the cut-outs need to be for the clematis to grow through. When I look at the bases of the clematis that I have growing around the yard, they don't take up a lot of space. The plan above allows for 10" x 9" holes, which seem like they should be plenty big, but I'm not sure. What do you think? Another possible solution is to have those borders in the pic lift out, so that if we needed we could have bigger holes to tend to the plants.

The problem is that the surface of the deck will be 10" off the ground. I'm assuming we don't want to put the poor clematis plants down that far. So what do we need to do to help them reach the surface. The idea I've had to is to buy plastic planters (like ), cut the bottoms out, and put them in the ground, OR to build wooden boxes. Both of those ideas would bring the ground, and the bases of the clematis, up to the surface of the deck.

I am, however, worried about frost heave and hardiness. We're in upstate NY, where it gets plenty cold.

I hope this is clear. I'm spending a lot of time trying to explain this on another forum.

Any other thoughts or ideas about this? Thanks for any help!

This post was edited by pbl_ge on Sun, Jul 6, 14 at 12:50

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Will these clematis be on a trellis and only growing vertically along the wall? Or will they be reaching to a "ceiling" (not shown) and providing shade for the deck? What's the total length of the deck?

The plants will become large. I'm sure you could easily cut the number of holes in half -- or even three -- and still achieve the same effect.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 11:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I opened your post because I have clematis growing up one side of our deck. Clematis differ greatly in size and can get large over time, especially the jackamani you mention. I suggest you visit a local independent nursery, choose a few you like and ask the staff about sizing. For the two large flowering white varieties I'm growing I would want the cut outs to be at least 3 foot square. Good luck, it's a nice idea and should look great.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 10:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

sound very cool -- sure hope you post pics when done

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 3:32PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
tall hedge or tress for privacy screen.
I have posted this before in older forums. Not able...
the bane of my existence - what to plant in driveway ribbon???
I live in a historic district... the board has to approve...
Need landscaping ideas
Hi, we just built this house on a junior acre in zone...
light green leaf tree
Looking for a bright green leaf small/medium sized...
Sponsored Products
Vintage Chinese Barrel with Iron Rings
Limelight Planter
$19.99 | Dot & Bo
Patio Living Concepts Lamps Black Cambridge Park Lantern Planter 430
Home Depot
Short Black Ceramic Pot
$19.99 | zulily
Black Folding Baker's Planter Rack
Patio Living Concepts Posts European Park Style Four White Globe Plug-In
Home Depot
Versailles Gardens 4 Wall Art
$349.00 | FRONTGATE
Moooi | Delft Blue No. 5
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™