What do you do with a big ugly vertical space in the garden?
How can you bring your growing space to new heights?
Plant a Clematis!
There are over 400 varieties to choose from in a myriad of colors. You can even choose between evergreen and deciduous plants to suit your climate.
The name Clematis comes from the Greek word klema which means branchlet or vine-like. Varieties of the plants are native to Europe, Asia and North America. The plants themselves enjoy a minimum of six hours of sunlight a day with some sun protection in the hottest parts of the summer. It is also important to keep the roots cool and moist. This can be accomplished by planting low growing perennials or shrubs near the base of the vine. Mulches, straw or rocks can also be used.
When planting the vine, dig a whole that is at least 60cm wide and deep and enrich the area with organic matter. Place the plant in the hole so that the base and roots of the plant are approximately 7cm below the soil surface. From there, you just have to help the plant to support itself until it is tall enough to reach its permanent support. This can be anything from a trellis to a fence to another climbing plant like Wisteria.
New shoots should be pinched back to encourage a bushier base. Once the plant is established, pruning is suggested in order to keep the plant from looking too leggy. This should be done in the late fall or early summer. Fertilizing is also recommended. The plants take kindly to rose or tomato fertilizers.
Personally, I am going to plant my recently acquired clematis plant in the front yard of the garden to help cover the big ugly metal archway. Combined with the existing rose bushes that seem only to need a little love, I think it could be the beginning of a very nice, long friendship.
Only time will tell…