A jungle of clematises!

woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)July 18, 2014

I thought some of you might enjoy these pictures I took this afternoon of a few of the members of the jungle of clematises that are engulfing parts of the garden! Many of them are starting to fade now and wilt has been a bigger issue than usual with a few of them but they are plants we'd hate to be without! (I'm not posting this in the clematis forum because I'm always a bit embarrassed about our haphazard approach to growing them vs. the 'proper' approach they believe in....!)

This is mostly Galore - aptly named! It is smothering a Rose of Sharon in the south alley and, once it finishes blooming, I'll have to rip it off to give the Rose of Sharon a chance to flower!

I love the color of Black Prince on the inside of the south alley gate:

On the outside of the gate, it mingles with a Jackmani Superba:

On the north alley fence Jackmani Suberba mingles with Huldine, and a Betty Corning has crept in to join them. I'm a bit worried that, at some point, they could bring down the fence :-) But we - and the neighbour beside us - whose family room windows you see in the picture - like the effect too much to get too brutal with controlling them!

In comparison the the rampant growth of the others, Piilu in the White Moth hydrangea near the end of the driveway border is a delicate little thing - although there are lots of buds ready to open. In June it blooms with double flowers and then blooms again now with singles. It makes a nice combination I think:

Where do you use clematises in the garden?

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echinaceamaniac(7)

I have been letting them grow into some of my shrubs like this Snowball bush.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 5:37PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

jimminey ...

i am envious.. they dont grow like that in sand.. with no water.. nor fert.. lol ...

except for the autumn fragrant one ...

Gods work.. thx for sharing...

ken

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 6:38PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Woody, what's not to like about the way you're growing your clematis, they're gorgeous, I like to grow mine the same way. I've just finished cutting a lot of mine down, it's sink or swim time. I was laid up for most of last year and the early part of this year so most of mine ended up in big tangled messes. I have a couple of dozen or so different varieties but none of the ones you have, I'm quite taken with your Galore, is it a type 3 by any chance? I'm looking for a purple or deep blue to grow with a golden hops vine. Here's a few of mine, sorry I only know how to post one picture at a time.
This is Blue Bird growing with a late flowering honeysuckle.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 7:35PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Montana Marjorie climbing through a Moroccan Broom.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 7:37PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Dr. Ruppel on one end of a pergola.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 7:41PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Guernsey Cream hiding part of the old stockade type fence around our yard.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 7:44PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Last one, Montana wilsonii growing on my lath house.

Ech, which one in your pic? I don't have that beauty either.

Annette

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 7:49PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

ech - I love that blue and white combo! What is the clematis? It reminds me of the beautiful Vyvyan Pennell I used to have here that died out a couple of years ago - I miss that one!

ken - lol! My sweet Autumn clematis was killed by this past winter! The rest all seem quite happy, although a few are having a bout of wilt :-(

Annette - yes, Galore is a type 3. I love your Guernsey Cream - I planted that one in the south alley to try to get it to grow on the swag chains, but it has either not survived or it's one of the ones that are sprawling on the ground rather than climbing up the supports. I tied up a blue one the other day that was now tall enough to be tied up to the chains - but I must have broken stems because it was looking pretty limp this afternoon :-( My only C. montana was killed to the ground by this past winter, but it's coming back from the roots. They are only marginally hardy here so the winter die-back was not unexpected. I mix group 1,2 & 3 so end up treating a lot of group 3s more like a group 2, only trimming them in spring rather than cutting back hard. It sure doesn't seem to affect their flowering!

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 8:28PM
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a2zmom(6a - nj)

Woody, those are spectacular! I'm curious, what is "incorrect" about the way you're growing them. Because they sure look beautiful to me.

I have a very small plant that I put in three years ago. It's getting there, but has a way to go.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 9:29PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

a2zmom - I mix pruning groups and rarely (never...?) cut my group 3 back as hard as is usually recommended. Works for me... :-)

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 9:52PM
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Thyme2dig NH Zone 5

Holy Cow! Are you guys feeding those clems steroids? LOL! How huge and beautiful.

Woody, one of my sweet autumn died this winter too. This one in particular had an awful smell, so I really wasn't sad about it! My other one smells absolutely delicious. I will miss it though because the bees swarmed both of them when in bloom so I'm sorry I'll have less flowers to support the bees this year.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 11:54PM
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mjc_molie(z6 CT)

Woody... love this thread and your clematis ... also the way that you grow them. Mine have been growing "together" as vines tend to do. This year many were affected with wilt and so I cut mine back, too.

Aftermidnight, so true.... it is sink or swim time! The strong will survive and become lush again next season.You said you were interested in another blue. Here's my H.F. Young, from two year ago. In the last few years it literally swarmed over the garden shed.

Molie

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 10:07AM
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MaeT(z5 NL, Canada)

WOW! they are all beautiful. I have 12 clematis on 50' of my fence besides the few I have in other areas of the yard. I just love Clematis vine.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 10:51AM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Molie, your H.F. is lovely, mine on the other hand is one of the ones I chopped and moved, I was thinking of pairing mine with a tangutica, but I think pruning might be a nightmare being these are from two different groups.
Right now I'm leaning towards a jackmani or something like to pair with the hops vine, something in the 'C' group both can be cut back, for a fresh start each year.

Annette

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 12:41PM
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mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

Beautiful clematis everyone.

Annette, I've added Rhapsody for a blue type 3 to some of my combinations. It has been a good bloomer starting in July.

Woody, please do not feel embarrassed to post in the clematis forum. Everyone there would love to see your well grown clematis photos. While planting the same type together may be recommended, many of us also mix different pruning types and have very successful results. I often mix type 2 and type 3 plants in my combinations. In our area winters are severe so type 1s do not survive and type 2s often die low or to the ground which effectively prunes them like a type 3. Even so they often will have some doubles with the first bloom. Not cutting type threes back if usually not a choice.

What I like about the forums is that I can see the results of different approaches to growing plants and pick and choose what I want to try in my gardens.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 1:26PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Interesting Annette.... While I tend to ignore pruning groups when putting multiple clematises on a structure, I do pay attention when pairing them with shrubs or other vines. For example, if the partner rarely needs pruning or gets pruned in summer (as opposed to a sprung pruning) , I use a group 2 clematis usually; if the partner gets a spring pruning, it's usually paired mwith a group 3. Most of my clematises are on structures, which gives me more freedom re pruning. The Piilu on the hydrangea is a bit of a mismatch with the pruning schedule of the hydrangea, but I don't prune that hydrangea really hard because I want it fairly tall, and Piilu seems to be quite short, so the combination is working well. The Chinese wisteria has a group 2 growing into it. Since the wisteria flowers before the leaves emerge, if would be impossible to prune/rip off a group 3 out of it without damaging the wisterias flower buds. A group 1 would flower at the same time. So a not-too-vigorous group 2 with a reasonably long bloom period, left up unpruned, is ideal because it weaves through the wisteria foliage, dotting it with flowers at a time when the wisteria is not producing many. Like you, I'd partner your hop vine with a group 3.

Mnwsgal - that's all good to know re the clematis folks... :-)

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 2:01PM
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luckyladyslipper(MA 5b-6a)

I must be doing something wrong! I planted this 'Niobe' in 2010. In comparison to the gorgeous plants in this thread, poor Niobe suffers from a failure to thrive!

Advice? Sun, soil, ???

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 2:49PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Niobe is a weak one for me too - plus it wilts almost every year! My best advice... Get a new, more vigorous one - either as a companion for it if you don't mind if the Niobe wilts in the middle of it, or replace it entirely. I like the color but have to grit my teeth when it wilts (as it is at the moment!).

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 3:29PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Lucky, I think your Niobe looks great, a picture of health. With that lovely stone wall behind it really is eye catching you wouldn't want to cover that up.
With me, I'm just trying to cover up the uglies in most cases. Now if you want to talk about skimpy, Omoshiro is the thorn in my side no matter how many times I've pruned it back in hopes of it bulking up it's still a wimp as is Asao, I guess you can't win them all.

Some of mine are getting up there in years, with age some have got massive. A few days ago I dug up a 20+ year old 'Proteus' that had way outgrown it's spot, I planned to dump it but instead I thought I'd experiment with it. It took most of the afternoon and part of the evening but I finally managed to saw through the rootball and ended up with three pieces. So far so good I potted them into 2 gal. pots, they have a few growth buds showing, now it's a wait and see. Here's a pic of what I ended up with.

Annette

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 3:46PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

LOL, one for and one against, I guess it all depends on what look you're going for.

Annette

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 3:51PM
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luckyladyslipper(MA 5b-6a)

Thanks, Woody and Annette. Niobe doesn't wilt for me, just isn't lush like the jungles above. To tell the truth, I was pretty happy with it until I saw how lush the other clematises are; then I got jealous. Maybe I'll put down some compost and manure this fall.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 5:03PM
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mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

I agree that the stone is way too lovely to completely cover and your Niobe looks good there as an accent.

It also looks shaded. Perhaps Niobe does better in full sun. I wouldn't know as my Niobe disappeared shortly after it was planted and I haven't replaced it. Also your Niobe is only three years old and may become fuller as it matures.

Annette, I have moved older clematis and had them fall apart into several plants. This spring I took a shovel and took a piece off of Rouge Cardinal for a new plant.

Many of my clematis are growing on my neighbor's chain link fence and never get tall as grow along the fence (with my help weaving in and out) and eventually hang over on the neighbor's side. They bloom on both sides so we all get to enjoy them. Others are on ten foot high fences and this year I have added several to bushes/shrubs. Others grow on six-seven foot trellises.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 9:00PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Bobbie, this one didn't fall apart it took forever to saw through it's solid root, it was like sawing through concrete, but I persisted :). This is a picture of 'Proteus' taken in 2006, this year it was 3 times the size before I cut it down

Annette

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 9:14PM
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opheliathornvt zone 5

I'd also like to encourage you to post on the clematis forum. Clearly, planting different pruning types together is working for you, and that's all that counts. I'm sure I don't always plant/prune/fertilize in the recommended ways and as long as I'm getting blooms, I'm happy.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 12:11PM
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mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

Hope all three do well for you, Annette. Your Proteus looks more purple than mine. It is a good plant for me throwing many double blooms very early even when the winter die back is severe.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 1:09AM
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echinaceamaniac(7)

The Clematis I posted is called 'Blue Light.'

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 1:27AM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Woody, what do feed your clematis and how often, do you top dress with alfalfa pellets. I've never bothered much with that end of it, maybe that's what's wrong with my two wimps. I did throw some fertilizer made for clemies around a couple of years back but it seems to be a job I never get around to doing, I mean to but it never seems to happen.
DH helps me with some of the heavier stuff and I really appreciate his help but gardening is my thing not his. Sooo, if I don't get to it it just doesn't get done.

At our last garden club meeting one of our members gave us a talk and slide show on the clematis in her garden, not an overly big garden but she had, if I remember correctly 127 clematis planted. It was breathtakingly beautiful and some of the things she used to support them were quite unusual to say the least like an old CD rack found at recycle and a pr. of crutches of all things. She had clematis I've never even heard of let alone seen. I think I'm not wrong in saying Clematis are her passion.

Annette

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 8:52AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Annette - I usually give the clematises some clematis fertilizer in spring - if I remember! I forgot to this spring and it hasn't seemed to hurt them.... :-) But I figure all that prolific flowering must use up a lot of energy so I will try not to forget to fertilize next spring.

DH likes to garden too - he's largely responsible for the veggies in pots and, because I'm physically disabled, he does the heavier labour like digging big planting holes and pruning tall things. We generally work well together in the garden - although he sometimes misunderstands my instructions and cuts down the wrong thing or does something 'the wrong way' :-) But nothing dire happens... His assistance is vital to the garden here and is greatly appreciated by me!

I know somebody like that clematis person you mention. She has a 10 acre property - and goodness knows how many clematises! She is 'responsible' for getting me into growing more of them. She and her DH are moving to BC this fall, so that clematis lady will have some competition soon... :-)

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 9:56AM
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