About this cultivar:
Clematis alpina is a medium-sized deciduous climber with leaves divided into narrow lance-like leaflets. Flowers light blue, with some colour variation, in mid spring to late spring with occasional flowers in midsummer.
Commonly called the Austrian Clematis it is native mainly to the European Alps, as its species name suggests, and is among the hardiest of clematis (but not fond of winter wet). The alpina species are distinguished by the abundant spring flowers and the subsequent seedheads that go through several stages from green-and-gold to feathery gray, and often stay on the vine for months.
It is called a climber, which is true, but it also likes to ramble. Being fibrous-rooted it does not demand much root-space, and since the entire plant is compact-ish for a clematis, it is well suited to limited space or even a container.
- Position: Full sun, partial shade
- Soil: Almost any soil
- Flowers: April, May, June
- Other features: Grows well in Ballyrobert
- Hardiness: H6 - Hardy in all of UK and northern Europe (-20 to -15°C), Fully hardy - grows well in Ballyrobert!
- Habit: Climbing
- Foliage: Deciduous
- Height: 150 - 300 cm (5 - 10.5 ft)
- Spread: 75 - 200 cm (2.5 - 6.5 ft)
- Time to full growth: 2 to 5 years
- Plant type: Herbaceous Perennial, climber
- Colour: Blue, White, green
Goes well with: Drainpipes, roses, trees, walls, anything they can climb; even other clematis
About this genus:
Clematis, is one of our favorite genus. But not just ours. William Robinson (1838-1935) said about them ‘As hardy as the British Oak…I believe them to be the finest of all hardy flowers and wish them a pleasant time with their admirers.’ Christopher Lloyd (1921-2006) even started a specialty Clematis nursery within his famous garden at Great Dixter.
Clematis (meaning"a climbing plant" in ancient Greek) is a genus of about 300 species within the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae). Their garden hybrids have been popular among gardeners, beginning with Clematis × jackmanii, a garden standby since 1862. Most species are known as clematis in English, while some are also known as traveller's joy, (a name invented for the sole British native, C. vitalba, by the herbalist John Gerard), virgin's bower, old man's beard, leather flower or vase vine.
Clematis are mainly found throughout the temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere, rarely in the tropics. The wild Clematis species native to China made their way into Japanese gardens by the 17th century. Japanese garden selections were the first exotic clematises to reach European gardens, in the 18th century.
The climbing varieties are valued for their ability to scramble up walls, fences, and other structures, and also to grow through other plants, such as shrubs and trees. Some can be trained along the ground to provide cover. Because of their adaptability and masses of spectacular flowers, clematis are among the most popular of all garden plants. Because different cultivars flower during different seasons it is, in theory, possible to have a clematis in flower at any time throughout the year.
They will grow in almost any garden soils and situations, many can be grown in containers. They are a great plant for any garden - don't believe they are for informal gardens only. We grow them almost everywhere in Ballyrobert. Try them with drainpipes, shrubs, roses, trees, anything they can climb;even other clematis.
Much confusion surrounds Clematis pruning. We say - don't worry. As mentioned above, Christopher Lloyd had a specialty Clematis nursery. Here is a I-think-relevant 1969 quote of his "[The] gardener’s eternally repeated question “When should I?” and “What’s the best time to?”, I've concluded that nine times out of ten the answer is “When you’re thinking about it; when you’re in the mood.”" Amen to that.