Lesser Clematis

Clematis 'Bagatelle'

"Lesser" meaning:
--less successful in either my climate or in my garden because a winter chill might be helpful ('The President');
--or I bought a cheap specimen that will never perform that well ('Ernest Markham');
--or because I put them in the wrong spot and therefore it's my fault, not the plant's ('Asao');
--or it's just not as showy and large growing as others ('Rhapsody', 'Huldine').

'Huldine' is a lovely, dainty thing, visually overwhelmed by its arch-partner,  Rosa 'Secret Garden Musk Climber'.  I need to appreciate and value daintiness more than I do.
Clematis 'Huldine':
Clematis 'Huldine'
Clematis 'Huldine'

'Hagley Hybrid' could do better than it does.  Not enough water and nitrogen.  Plus I moved it twice.  

Clematis 'Hagley Hybrid'
Clematis 'Hagley Hybrid'

'Arctic Queen' may prefer a winter chill.  The jury is still out on this one.  Gorgeous, eh? 
Clematis 'Arctic Queen'
Clematis 'Arctic Queen'

'Rhapsody' is a beautiful small-growing clematis.  It's main drawback is its small size;  in all other respects a superb plant.  Small plants get lost amidst my Escalade-sized roses.  
Clematis 'Rhapsody'
Clematis 'Rhapsody'

My oldest Clematis is the one I call "Unknown Pink".  I bought 'Hagley Hybrid' and 'Comtesse de Chamboud' to try to identify "Unknown Pink";  it's neither 'Hagley' nor the Comtesse.  This one was big and beautiful for several years then suddenly declined.  It's come back a little better this year. 

Clematis Unknown Pink
Clematis Unknown Pink


I bought 'Ernest Markham' as a $5 cheapie, and it shows.  This year was its best, a dozen flowers on two feet of stem.  It can do much better than that but is planted in a shady spot. Two feet up is full sun, but will it grow two feet?  Barely, and without enthusiasm. 
Clematis 'Ernest Markham'
Clematis 'Ernest Markham'


Clematis 'Asao' has one perfect flower before being swallowed by a Dahlia I swear I dig up every year, a Dahlia that manages to return despite my digging it up and throwing it out.  The goal of its existence seems to be returning to swallow 'Asao'.   'Asao' makes my two-foot 'Ernest Markham' look huge.  
Clematis 'Abject Failure'
Clematis Failure


'The President' is truly beautiful a flower, and is a strong grower in every garden but mine.  I have three or four of 'The President', cheap ones from big box stores, expensive ones from specialty clematis growers, and this is the best of them, and this is the best year its ever had:  six flowers on three feet of stem.  The others look like 'Asao', but without 'Asao's yearly one perfect flower.  This three foot "monster" plant is one of the cheap big-box versions, too.

Clematis 'The President'
Clematis 'The President'


 Okay, now that I've shown off some of my many failures, hopefully I'll get off my lazy bottom this winter when my lesser Clematis are dormant, to  move the failures to better locations, hit them with a lot of fertilizer, and either get better plants or dead ones.  This malingering is a waste of water.  I've read many times the old "feet in the shade, head in the sun" adage about planting clematis.   In my garden, that's baloney:  feet in the sun.  They languish in shade:  'Ernest Markham', 'Asao', a 'Jackmanii' that prospered once I moved it, a dead 'Mme Julia Correvon' have proved that--at least to my satisfaction.

Comments

  1. Mme Julia Correvon stands as my one unqualified success. I should try her again. Right now I have a little 'Juuli' getting swamped by a tetrapanax -- it's pretty clear why I have such a miserable record with clems. I'm hearing great things about Arabella as one of the longest bloomers.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Madame C. is amoung the missing in this garden. A classic case of "wrong spot for a clematis".

    'Arabella' is a good question. I suspect Integrifolias like a winter chill...mine have vanished from optimum spots, never to return.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I just bought Nelly Moser. Any experience with her? I was deciding between NM and Pink Champagne. (I may have to go back and get PC.)

    ReplyDelete
  4. 'Nelly Moser' does pretty well for me, or it would if it wasn't getting swallowed by one of the 'Laguna' roses. It should hold its color better for you near the coast--that lovely color fades pretty badly, though it fades to a color almost as lovely as the original. The type IIs don't do as well for me as the type IIIs, but they do fairly well...

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Always interested in your thoughts.

Any comments containing a link to a commercial site with the intent to promote that site will be deleted. Thank you for your understanding on this matter.

Popular Posts