Hello Peter As we come to a time of year when gardens are often losing their colour and interest, I've chosen to write something that will hopefully help you extend that interest well into the winter and spring. Of course these also make wonderful gifts for gardening friends and family so perhaps this will help you tick off another Christmas gift from your list?
Last deliveries before Christmas will be week beginning 6th December.
In this Plant of the Moment email we will be looking at the evergreen group of clematis called cirrhosa and what it is about these clematis that make them so popular with gardeners.
Above: clematis 'Freckles' - Pale cream nodding bell-shaped flowers are very heavily freckled inside with rusty maroon. Freckles blooms in great abundance from Autumn to spring and is one of our best selling evergreen clematis.
The clematis family cirrhosa are native to southern Europe and the Mediterranean region including the islands of the Mediterranean. When they are grown in the UK they prefer a sunny situation but will also grow in part shade if required and although they are hardy, they prefer a free draining soil condition to avoid them waterlogging through the winter months.
Above: clematis 'Ourika Valley' - The nodding bell-shaped flowers are pale lime green when first open, maturing to yellowy-cream. This is one of, if not the toughest of evergreen clematis and the edges of it's glossy mid-green leaves are serrated which adds further to its attraction.
Thought to have first been cultivated for the garden in around the late 1500's, we have relatively few cultivated forms of this wonderful species of clematis, nevertheless the ones we do have are exceptional in their own way.
The foliage does vary slightly between each cultivar but most notable is 'Ourika Valley' which has a glossy serrated foliage of mid-green. In the UK we rarely get consistently hot summers, however on rare occasions that we do get long hot periods of weather, the leaf can turn yellow and sometimes in extreme heat will drop off as the plants go dormant. This is perfectly normal for the cirrhosa because in their native habitat they go dormant during the heat of summer, simply to survive. Do not over-water when they are in this state, they are not using it when dormant.
All of these wonderful plants have simple hanging bell shaped flowers that are produced on short flower stems in the leaf axles. We suggest that because the flower can sometimes be a little hidden by the leaf, you should grow these plants up and over a supporting structure, like an arch or arbour or possibly even into a large shrub or small tree. Grown in this way you'll be able to look up into the plant and appreciate the bloom. The natural flowering time for most of these cirrhosa is between October and March varying depending on the cultivar grown and because of this winter and spring flowering time, we suggest you grow them near to your house or at least in an area where you will be able to appreciate them during this time of year.
clematis 'Freckles' growing nicely up a west facing wall and giving some wonderful flower and winter interest.
Pruning Thankfully once these cirrhosa are growing you don't need to do much pruning to them. For the first year after planting, let them flower and then prune back by half whatever their height is. For the second year again let them flower and prune back just half the newest growth to encourage further branching out. In future just prune after flowering and only if there is dead growth or just enough to keep them neat and tidy.
Now hurry, these are only available at the discounted rate until the 5th December or while stocks last!
Clematis 'Kokonoe' - Striking and long flowering too. Dark and sumptuous flowers on a versatile plant. Hello Peter We have some exciting news! We have now added to our collection this stunning new clematis. Kokonoe was short listed for the Chelsea Flower Show Plant of the Year Competition 2020 and is the sister plant to Taiga which we introduced at Chelsea in 2018 to a delighted gardening public. We believe that Kokonoe will be as well received and we have some smashing plants ready for sale now! Our clematis 'Kokonoe' plants are grown in a 3 litre pot and about 2 years old, so not like the small 9cm plants or 2 litre imported plants you will buy elsewhere. Read More Here A beautiful double flower head The flower of 'Kokonoe' first opens very dark with long narrow tepals, as the bloom matures more petaloids from the large central boss open out to make it a rosette like bloom of the darkest royal purple. Each flower head hangs out elegantly from the plant on a
Clematis 'Alionushka' - Hugely abundant and very prolific in flower. A really super scrambling clematis. Bred in the Crimea in 1961 by A.H. Volosenko-Valensis and M. A. Beskaravajnaja this clematis is a very hardy plant indeed, meaning that it is popular across the whole of Europe and very much at home in an English garden. 'Alionushka' is classified as part of the Diversifolia family of clematis, these have been crossed between a climbing clematis and integrifolia, meaning that the leaf petiol (leaf stem) does not cling or wrap around things like they do on most other clematis. Therefore 'Alionushka' and other Diversifolia scramble around unless they are given a support and are trained onto it, for example an obelisk. ‘Alionushka’ and other Diversifolia scramble around unless they are given a support and are trained onto it, for example an obelisk. Another attribute that you will notice is the almost herbaceous nature of ‘Alionushka’, where the new shoots com