Classic Combination Planting: Clematis With Roses

Clematis 'Perle d'Azur' in a rose garden
Clematis ‘Perle d’Azur’ with roses, stachys and poppies

Today, I’m offering you a picture to dream over: Clematis ‘Perle d’Azur, Rosa ‘Rêve d’Or’ (the pale apricot climber) and Stachys byzantina with a pink moss rose and papaver at RHS Rosemoor.

Clematis and roses have been planted together in cottage gardens for centuries.

The art of combination planting is to mix plants that will extend the flowering season (just how many buds are there on the moss rose?); be harmonious in colour and contrasting in height and texture (the soft lamb’s ear, the prickly roses) and in flower shape. The lamb’s ear brings its spires; the poppy, cups; the roses are rosettes, and the clematis are single, open flowers. The clematis provides height and a mass of purple-blue, which goes so well with the pastel pinks and apricots. There’s a climbing rose too. For good measure, the roses throw scent into the mix.

Between the two clematis is a path, partly hidden by the flowers. And that’s where the dreaming comes in. Round the corner (and behind you) is a garden overflowing with more of the same. I invite you to explore it, if your imagination is up to the task. For those who need a little more to go on, this post on Rosemoor’s Rose Garden in full bloom shows some of what you’d find there.

And if you missed yesterday’s post with quotes for happiness in tough times, you can read it here.


32 Replies to “Classic Combination Planting: Clematis With Roses”

  1. Those two do happen to be very compatible, and I have noticed that most of the rare clematis here happen to be in rose gardens. I do not know if that is intentional. Roses do VERY well here, but clematis does not. Those that perform well tend to perform a bit too well, and overwhelm the roses, but are not very colorful. They are more like Clematis montana and Clematis armandii, so are a completely different animal.

    1. Perhaps they are the ones tough enough to last without too much care (the clematis version of cemetery roses) or it could be the opposite – that the people who lovingly tend the roses also look after the clematis. It would repay further attention.

      The two clematis mention are vigorous enough to swamp almiost any rose, even in my part of the world. You set me off wondering how one of the massive rambler roses would cope which in turn made me think of two sumo wrestlers.

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