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. Continue reading “Classic Combination Planting: Clematis With Roses”

How To Help A Vine Climb A Tree

A trellis framework helps a vine to climb a tree

This picture, taken at Gresgarth Hall in Lancashire shows how a vigorous vine such as a rambling rose or a Clematis montana can be encouraged to grow against a tree.

The soil at the base of a tree is often dry and impoverished. Dig a hole for the plant two feet (60cm) or more away from the trunk of the tree. Mix in a little organic matter such as leaf mould or compost to enrich the soil

If the plant came in a pot, gently tease out the roots over the hole. Mix the soil that falls from the container in with the planting soil too. Plant the rose or vine aiming for the soil level to be about the same as it was in the pot.  Water in well.

Use a sturdy cane ladder to train the plant back towards a lower branch of the tree.  The smaller canes the plant came with can be tied or woven in to the ladder.

As the vine grows, weave the pliable young stems around the cane, tying them in if needed.

If wild animals such as rabbits or deer visit the area and may be tempted to nibble the lower stems of the plant, use chicken wire to protect them.