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The Original Clematis

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I have three Clematis plants in the garden:

  • Clematis Something
  • Clematis Miss. Bateman
  • Clematis Something Else

Clematis Something is dead, I bought it small, planted it in a shady spot, hoping it would grow up towards the light. It didn’t and died instead and that was irritating. I can’t even remember what its flowers were like.

Clematis Miss. Bateman similarly, was bought very small, planted in a less-shady spot and has just about managed to hang on somehow and is now growing away – albeit slowly. It is still very young and I should not have let it flower last year. Miss. Bateman has lovely white star-shaped flowers that have a very subtle mint-green stripe down the centre of each petal. I bought this Clematis because it was £2.50 and for no other reason.

Clematis Something Else was a full-priced Garden Centre purchase and I think was the first Clematis I bought. It came in a standard deep plastic pot and was a good-size with large, deep purple flowers. When it came to planting, the place I had ear-marked for it was a few feet away from the base of one of the large ornamental red currants. There was no way I was going to be able to dig anywhere near as deeply as I needed to because of roots. The solution: plant it side-ways and turn the whole clematis 90°, even then I had to mound soil around it. It still hasn’t forgiven me for that and two years later is still sulking, with very slow growth and just one or two flowers (small ones). It may be some time before this clematis looks as healthy as it did when I bought it from the garden centre all that time ago.

From reading this, you can gather that I am not very good with Clematis and this is something that I find terribly embarrassing to confess as a gardener. I think it is only a matter of waiting for the surviving clematis to get established and grow away – or die.

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Sunil Patel

I'm Sunil Patel, this is me. I created the Garden at 13 Broom Acres and I open it to visitors. I also bake and write blog posts giving a "behind the scenes" look into what it's like to maintain such a garden.

Visit the blog, then come and visit the garden. We can have a good sit-down, a jolly chinwag and a relaxing cup of tea with a sinfully generous slice of home made cake.

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