Sunday, May 15, 2011

Josephine the Empress of the Clematis

I have a small garden, and have still managed to tuck four different clematis vines into the yard. A classic Jackmanii clematis (Clematis 'Jackmanii') and my Lemon Chiffon clematis (Clematis 'Lemon Chiffon') are the winners in the durability contest.

Josephine clematis (Clematis 'Evijohill' Josephine™) just beginning its display

The Jackmanii has been moved twice because of other changes made to the yard. It didn't blink at the move. Just kept going. The Lemon Chiffon has had a hard life. I planted it so that it would grow up a trellis against the front of the house. The trellis is under the eve of the house, but the vine was planted outside of the drip line so that it would get enough natural water. The problem is that people have walked across the front of the house and kicked right through the vine leaving what's left to grow through the vinca. It appears that I have created a new, beautiful, ground cover. The large flowers cover the ground.

I am also growing a Sweet Autumn clematis (Clematis terniflora) and Josephine clematis (Clematis 'Evijohill' Josephine™). The Sweet Autumn clematis always gives a good performance. It grows along a chainlink fence between my patio and my neighbor's patio. A sweet division, making good neighbors.

Showing the numerous flower petals waiting to open on the Josephine clematis (Clematis 'Evijohill' Josephine™)

This year, the clematis that is the empress in my yard is Josephine™. This is another example of a vine that is planted under the eves and has had to earn the water it gets. I helped initially, but the expectation of long term babying is not a recipe for success in my yard. It quickly adapted to its location and has been a very strong and beautiful grower. This year, we've had unusually cool temperatures with short-lived bouts of heat. No moderate temperatures.

The vine is covered with large pink double flowers that are very showy up close and from a distance. I have not been terribly considerate of the rule of thumb for pruning clematis. In my experience, this vine is hardy into zone 4. It grows best in a sunny location, but has tolerated the moderate shade of its current existence. This plant requires a type 2 pruning and calls to remove dead vines, and stagger cutting heights. If you want more details on maintenance I highly recommend investigating the Raymond Evison Clematis website. After all, this is one of his older introductions.

I met Raymond Evison in January at the National Green Centre Trade Show in St. Louis. He is a delightful man with a firm but gentle handshake that only someone who works with their hands can give. He's been working with clematis since he was a young man. His hard work has been making plant lovers smile for many many years.

1 comment:

  1. "The expectation for long term babying is not a recipe for success....."

    The perfect phrase. Love it as much as the gorgeous photos.


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