Back in March when this Clematis tibetana var. vernayi (my second attempt at growing it, after the first failed miserably) went in the ground I flirted with the idea of adding another. The goal was for it to clamber up and about the pair of metal trellis I had put in place to visually obscure the patio from the entrance to the garden. Never one for a great deal of patience I wanted instant impact.
Thankfully I’d seen this same clematis overtake an entire fence in my friend Scott’s garden and I was able to find the strength to resist the temptation. Instead I added an annual vine on the second trellis (Tropaeolum peregrinum) and hoped for the best. I was not disappointed!
Late July and the clematis had covered the first trellis and jumped over to the second. I tore out the Tropaeolum and started weaving the clematis down through the squares.
This is the tricky angle, the jump from trellis to trellis is about a foot and a half. I'm aware of how scraggly this could look if I don't keep a careful eye on things.
Of course while the foliage is nice the lemon-peel blooms are what I love about this plant.
Actually I should admit there is another vine, Ipomoea multifida, mixed in. I really didn't intend to plant a third but when I saw this one at a nursery I grabbed it, having grown it years ago, I loved the foliage. The clematis had the last laugh though, swallowing it up and only letting the scarlet flowers be seen.
The stats on the clematis:
- perennial vine/climber to 10ft high
- hardy in zones 7b - 10b
- prefers dappled shade to full sun and well drained soil with average water needs
My path to success with this plant has been a long one. I owe a special thanks to Sean Hogan of Cistus Nursery for gifting me this plant not once, twice, but three times. The first time I planted it but it never came back from it's winter nap. Having heard of this unfortunate turn, and knowing how much I loved it, he brought home a second plant from the nursery with the intention of giving it to me during a party at his house. Unfortunately another guest thought it was for him and made off with it. Third time was the charm though as he made sure this one made it's way to me...however as luck would have it that was right before I left town for a visit to London. Not wanting the nursery container to dry out in our September heat it went on a field trip to my friend Patricia's house for safe keeping while I was away. The long and winding road comes to a happy end here.
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