Clematis - a plant for every garden

Plant expert Ann Wendik-Byfield has been working at the nursery for over 20 years and specialises in shrubs, roses and climbers. One of her particular passions is the clematis, in all its wonderful variety. 

Ann feels strongly that every garden should have at least one clematis, if not two or three! To spread the clematis love, Ann has put together a compelling list of reasons why we should all be growing more clematis. 

One of the best things about clematis is that there’s a colour to suite every garden and garden design from the shocking red of ‘Niobe’ to the pale blue of ‘Prince Charles’. You can find a Clematis flowering nearly every month of the year. There are delicate evergreen varieties like C. ‘Early Sensation’ to the robust giants growing up your pergola like C. montana grandiflora.

Clematis flowers come in all shapes and sizes, singles and doubles, as well as nodding bells, like C. urophylla ‘Winter Beauty’. They can also be delicately scented like C. ‘Sweet Summer Love’, which is a new variety this year.

Clematis have a range of functions in the garden, from an evergreen C. armandii ‘Snowdrift’, covering an ugly wall to the smaller perennial varieties like C. heracleifolia ‘Stans’, growing through shrubs and small trees.

Clematis can also be tough. C. alpina ‘Blue Dancer’ is not only very frost hardy, it can cope with strong winds and coastal conditions.

As a plant, most clematis generally improve with age and they are also easy to grow if you follow a few basic guidelines. It’s best to keep the roots cool, so try and plant in shady ground. Just check trimming times and when to feed and you’re away!

In terms of structure, clematis can bring extra dimension to your garden, neatly filling spaces between perennials and trees with a profusion of flowers at eye level. Compact growers like C. ‘Miss Bateman’ can be easily grown in pots.

So surely there is a Clematis for everyone!

"You can find a Clematis flowering nearly every month of the year."