Plant clematis now to make the most of the warmth still lingering in the air and the soil. This means they have plenty of time to get their roots down before winter ready for a really good performance next year.
There are loads of clematis to choose from – it’s said you can have a clematis in flower every day of the year. As a rough guide, for flowers in spring the alpina varieties make good choices, with delicately nodding mid-blue flowers and a compact habit. In early summer, try viticellas, in rich, saturated shades of scarlet and purple. Midsummer is when the large-flowered beauties like ‘Nelly Moser’ in pink and white, or lovely blue-purple ‘Perle d’Azure’ are at their best. Texensis hybrids carry on the season into autumn, while pretty, delicate evergreen clematis like ‘Freckles’ and ‘Wisley Cream’ keep the flowers coming through winter. There’s a world of choice available, so pop into the garden centre here in London and we’ll help you pick the right clematis for you.
Choose a sheltered, sunny spot in the garden: most clematis like to have their heads in sun but their roots in shade, although some varieties, like ‘Nelly Moser’, prefer light shade. Start by putting up some sturdy supports: you’ll find handsome diamond trellis in our fencing department, or you can opt for wires strung 45cm apart between two sturdy posts. Dig a large hole, and add a handful of bonemeal to encourage plenty of roots to develop. Mix some garden compost into the soil to give it a boost, then plant the clematis deeply, up to the first set of leaves, and back fill the hole. Firm well, and gently remove all the tags and canes before spreading the stems out evenly across their supports. Tie in with soft jute twine and water in well before mulching with more compost.