About this cultivar:
Clematis 'Perle d'Azur' (LL) is a cultivar from the Late-Large (LL) group of Clematis and as the name suggests, this hybrid was bred in France, introduced by Francois Morel in 1885.
Why don't I take a break fro describing this one and let the International Clematis Society do the work? "A few years ago when the editor of 'Clematis International' invited the members of the Society to list their favorite clematis, it was 'Perle d'Azur' that came in first in the voting. When general gardening writers turn to clematis, 'Perle d'Azur' usually wins an endorsement, often an affectionate one. And rightly so. It is vigorous, relatively easy to grow, abundant as well as long-blooming, and has a flower of singular freshness: light violet fading quickly toward sky-blue, with a flush of pink at the midribs adding a touch of spice, and a bright greenish-yellow eye."
- Position: Full sun, partial shade
- Soil: Almost any soil, grows well in Ballyrobert
- Flowers: July, August, September
- Other features: Grows well in Ballyrobert, Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit (RHS AGM)
- Hardiness: Fully hardy - grows well in Ballyrobert!
- Habit: Climbing
- Foliage: Deciduous
- Height: 200 - 800 cm (2 - 5 ft)
- Spread: 200 - 400 cm (1.5 - 2.5 ft)
- Time to full growth: 2 to 5 years
- Plant type: Herbaceous Perennial, climber
- Colour: Pink, 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.