CLEMATIS

P. A profusely flowering climber, which prefers a limy soil and some shade for the roots. A tile or stone slab is one way of doing this, or a low-growing shrub such as Potentilla jruticosa or even chaenomeles. Clematis montana is early flowering and white, and can be increased by cuttings after blooming; the coccinea varieties, pinks and reds and crimsons flower in July: and the patens group, ideal for pillars and pergolas, are in various colours. Jackmanii can be had in white, red, pink and blue as well as the old purple, and thrives best if planted early and cut back to within 1 ft. of the ground. It is also advisable to cut back annually in February to about 9 in. from soil level. As all Jackmanii kinds flower on the young wood. Hagley Hybrid is a choice variety in this group. It bears shell-pink flowers with brown stamens and pointed sepals. The old white virgin’s bower is flammula.

Clematis do not always thrive on heavy soil but otherwise give no difficulty if planted in sunny positions. If grown on a wall, plant 6 in. from this and grow up a trellis to avoid unnecessary tying. They repay manuring. The branches are brittle and when being tied as they climb require care in handling. In earliest spring they often seem quite dead, but the first sun soon brings life into the buds. Increase by layering in late spring.

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