Commanding and significant - a tale of two clematis
Home & Garden

Commanding and significant - a tale of two clematis

I ONCE stood in a garden with an enchanting, unforgettable feature: a large circular area backed by a high yew hedge.

What stood out in this magical setting were the plants of all one colour, pure, pristine white. It looked so natural, so right, so suitable, and so utterly ordained.

I have tried to repeat the feature many times but lack of space haunts too many of my romantic ideas.

Perhaps this year a new approach can be made with the purchase of a special clematis.

At Villa Marie there are two ‘internal’ gardens behind the bungalow and in the sunnier of the two, I am tempted to plant a pure white clematis.

The most pressing consideration is, as always, one of suitability for the limited space. Luckily, growing a new variety in a pot today is easier than ever because varieties from Raymond Evison in Guernsey are now freely available everywhere.

The range of flower colour and patterning in these is so commanding and significant that modern gardeners are spoilt for choice.

So, let me tell you about my first choice Kitty in white.

Kitty, launched for the 2017 Chelsea Flower show, is a very compact, free flowering, near white clematis particularly suited to container growing.

Clematis Kitty is named in honour of an inspirational young woman who was diagnosed with a rare form of Leukaemia when she was 14 years old.

The work of the Anthony Nolan charity helped save her life.

As outlined, this advanced variety is wonderful in containers or for growing up through a small ornamental obelisk.

It can also be used on wall-trained evergreen shrubs-by allowing it to scramble through the foliage at its own pace.

Described by the grower as the most free-flowering clematis to date, it blooms from spring to summer at a height of between six to eight feet.

Another variety sold as Diamantina is a super variety with blue flowers of a double pom-pom nature which are as much as four to six inches in width.

It would make an ideal contrast to Kitty if grown nearby and whilst also launched at Chelsea Flower Show in times past, is still a top choice with the knowledgeable.

Very free flowering, each large bloom lasts for up to four weeks.

The plant is repeat flowering all through summer.