Clematis: Squeezing Extra Colour into a Small Space

Clematis Hagley Hybrid 1476
This ‘Hagley Hybrid’ flower seems to be enjoying the evening sunshine.

Gardeners are always wishing for more room to grow plants. Inevitably there will be another flower, a shrub – even a tree – that we’d like to be able to find space for.

Since we don’t have gardens with elastic sides, we just have to squeeze things in as best we can. Or be extremely disciplined about the plants we buy. Nope, that’s not happening here! But then, I have the ‘excuse’ of needing new plants to photograph…

Clematis Arabella 2302
The mauve flowers of Clematis ‘Arabella’ are carried on short scrambling stems.

A sneaky way of cramming some extra flowers into the garden is to grow climbers. I have several clematis plants growing through shrubs where they take very little extra space. Roses and clematis are a classic combination, but I tend to use any shrub as a potential climbing frame.

I love clematis. I think it’s pretty much my favourite plant, so I face terrible temptation at my local nurseries. (One of them has usually got a good selection at very reasonable prices – very difficult to ignore!) So, as you may guess, I’m now trying to find extra spaces in the garden for more clematis…eventually I may run out of space for them too!

Clematis Mrs N Thompson
‘Mrs N Thompson’ is bright and bold.

It’s a moment of pure delight to see the first flowers on a young clematis. They’re always more beautiful in their richness of colour and the graceful way that they hold their flowers, than any picture on their label. Sometimes I forget where I have planted a clematis, and then have a happy surprise when I spot the colour peeping out here and there on the host shrub.

I must admit, I’ve lost a few clematis plants over the years. Some were planted in areas that were just too dry and others may have been struggling with too much heat at their roots. Now I try to pay a bit more attention to putting them in more suitable places, but it does take them a while to get established here. It’s worth a bit of care and patience though, because the flowers are simply lovely.

Next week’s blog post could be a bit late, or have fewer photos. That’s because my trusty old PC is dying, so I will have to move on from Photoshop CS3 at last. (I’ve been resisting that change for a long time.) We do have a new PC, but there will be a lot for me to learn in the way of photo-processing – argh! (Wish me luck!!)

Clematis Victoria 2398
‘Victoria’ has brought some delicate beauty to the variegated euonymus that it’s weaving through.

16 thoughts on “Clematis: Squeezing Extra Colour into a Small Space

    1. Thanks Liz! I was really pleased with Mrs N Thompson – a good number of flowers for her first year. šŸ™‚ Learning stuff on the new PC is a diversion I don’t really want right now…no choice though!

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  1. Hi Ann – sorry your PC is giving it up – unfortunately new technology just seems to take over just like the flowers in your garden – haha! The new PS program is not really that different from CS3, just has a few more bells and whistles. I think you will be fine. I can see why you love the Clematis plants – they are beautiful. I can see why you want to sneak them into any empty corner.

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    1. I’ve been nursing the old PC along for a while, but now I can’t run the calibration for the monitor properly, so I’ll have to change over to the new one. I don’t want to go over to the monthly subscription to Adobe, so I have Elements and ON1 on it. (After reading your post about ON1 a while ago.) Apparently there are add-ons for Elements that make it a bit more like what I get from CS3…we shall see…

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      1. Many thanks for that link, Syd! That’s the add-on I want to use but I’d forgotten the name of it. (It’s been a long time since I started thinking about it – can you tell that I’ve been putting off changing over!) šŸ™‚

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    1. Thank you Indira! You have pinpointed exactly how I feel about the plants (and most, but not all of the beasties) in my garden! šŸ™‚

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      1. Thanks Jill! (I may need that luck, heh!) I have honeysuckle here too – it grows a bit too well and has to be restrained from smothering everything!

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    1. Thank you Steve! šŸ™‚ Most of mine are still very young and getting established but it’s exciting when the flowers arrive!

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  2. This makes me want to rush out and buy a few more clematis : D Good luck with the new tech. It seems that just when you get comfortable with one platform, you need to upgrade.

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    1. I always want to buy more clematis – have to restrain myself a bit. šŸ™‚ I have a bit to learn with the different image-editing programs I want to use on the new PC…sigh…

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