In recent years both gardeners and florists have become better acquainted with non-twining, ‘herbaceous’ clematis. They make excellent border plants, especially in situations where a little height is required, and elegant, long-lasting cut flowers. The main distinction between herbaceous and climbing clematis is that the former do not produce twining leaves and are therefore incapable of supporting themselves. This is not to suggest they will not grow tall – many will grow 5-8ft from the root – but they will need the support of a nearby shrub, trellis or plant support. Herbaceous clematis will also scramble across the ground; helpful in areas where early summer flowers are past their best. If you choose to let them crawl, take care to protect tasty shoots from marauding slugs and snails that will soon turn your colourful carpet into a picnic. One of my absolute favourite herbaceous clematis is C. x durandii AGM, which has simple, stylish indigo-blue flowers. This variety looks lovely among roses, nepeta and astrantia in a midsummer border.
A few years ago, from the clearance area of our local garden centre, I purchased Clematis ‘Inspiration’, believing it to be a conventional climber. A newish introduction, it’s a cross between a large-flowered purple climber called C. ‘Warszawska Nike’ and a lovely scrambling herbaceous variety with nodding flowers called C. integrifolia ‘Rosea’. It has taken a little while to establish itself at the foot of a wall behind our vegetable garden, but this year has come of age. We’ve been enjoying a succession of crinkled, cruciform, rose-pink flowers for a month already and there are lots more blooms on the way. They do bleach a little in bright sunlight, which is rarely an issue in our shady London garden, but just over the last few days I have noticed them starting to fade. No matter, the colour is very welcome, as are the fluffy seed heads that will follow.
Clematis ‘Inspiration’ is available from Roseland House and Taylor’s Clematis.
Categories: Climbers, Daily Flower Candy, Flowers, London, Photography
15 comments On "Daily Flower Candy: Clematis ‘Inspiration’"
Very nice. Did you see the time-lapse I posted this morning of a Dragon Fruit flower blooming? You might like it…
What a feat! Well done capturing that, even if you did forget to pollinate, the flower is something beautiful to behold. There will be others I’m sure.
In hindsight, I spent the night watching a beautiful flower slowly bloom. Amongst friends, a cold beer (or three), a sweet dog and Doc Brown. Could be a whole lot worse!
Once the flower wilted the following afternoon I lifted the pedals and tried pollinating it then. I assume it’s too late at that point. Any wisdom regarding that?
Sounds like a very memorable night and the sort I would enjoy. I’m not familiar with how to pollinate cacti but wish you luck 🍀
It starts by getting a bee costume and gets rather complicated from there…
I am a bit fan of a bit of scrambling clematis, this one is gorgeous, not too big to overwhelm but big enough to make an impact. One for the list. 🙂
That list must be ever so long Gill?
Actually it is a book ….. 🙂
Hmm… So I had no idea what to put on the house wall behind the roses and the walkers blue nepetas,so maybe I will trial a small area, and see what outcome I get this spring. Very good suggestion Dan, thx
I guess if you can grow hellebores you might get away with clematis Helen. They need cool shade at the roots so tuck them in among taller things and add lots of your famous organic matter.
I love this line: “If you choose to let them crawl, take care to protect tasty shoots from marauding slugs and snails that will soon turn your colourful carpet into a picnic.” You have a great way with words, Dan.
Now I read it back in isolation I rather like it too! Pest of the day is the wood pigeon, which has nibbled the tops off my baby French beans 🙁
There’s always something. It’s almost like a game of chess.
Ohhh. Then there will be no clematis for me in the rose area🙁….I need something more hardy and sun loving for the spot. I struggle with the hellebores in summer even though they have some protection and are on our Southside (ur north!) back to drawing board…I need a climber of sorts any suggestions? 🤔
How about jasmine officinale Helen? A bit more drought tolerant although not a lover of frost. It smells delicious and follows on from the roses.