A complete guide to clematis

Talk by by Peter Staggs-Gooch from Thorncroft Nurseries

This was our first meeting of the Society since Lockdown and how lovely it was to see every one and enjoy an evening together learning a bit more about our favourite subject, gardening!

This evening we had Peter talking about all things relating to clematis. He showed us that it was possible to have clematis flowering all through the year, starting with Winter with clematis Cirrhosa Freckles or Winter Beauty and Armandii, moving on to Spring where the Macropetala group, such as Markhams Pink comes into its own. Then there are the Montana groups, known to be invasive but Freda is less invasive.

Then to move on to summer flowering and these tend to be the large flowering varieties such as The First Lady, or Pink Champagne, there are so many and new varieties coming along all the time. For Autumn flowering we have the Tanguticas , Bill Mackenzie and the Viticellas, Alba Luxurians and Bella Corning. All these varieties and others can be found on: www.thorncroftclematis.co.uk

Peter then discussed different ways to grow clematis, some small ones such as Pixie can be grown in Patio pots, some scramble and some are good for ground cover, he also mentioned dead heading the flowers to encourage a second blooming later in the year.

Careful planting is the secret to good results with a clematis, and plants with a strong root system at least 2 years old; plant deeply with compost under the roots, and an application of Bonemeal and Micorrhizal fungus to encourage good growth. Clematis like a cool root system so covering with bark chippings and mulch will keep it from drying out which is one of the causes of clematis wilt.

Pruning depends on the flowering time of the plant. Winter and Spring, a light pruning after flowering although some Montanas might need more vigorous pruning to stop it getting out of control. February to March, a light pruning, flowering after June a hard prune in February or March to 2nd pair of buds from soil level.

Peter strongly recommends pruning hard all clematis during their first year to encourage a good root system and more shoots to form underground.

Peter finished his talk with questions from his audience and an invitation to view all his Gold Medal Certificates from Chelsea Flower Show.

PHOTO BY: Dusan Veverkolog (Unsplash)
Gardening Club in Lowestoft

News & Updates

Please check here regularly for any important club news and special updates.

Allotment Sharing

One of our members has 2 large allotments at St Margaret Road site in Lowestoft which he shared with his late mother and her partner. He has tried to keep them going but is finding it difficult on his own. He finds gardening very therapeutic and having suffered from cancer himself he wondered if other members who have had similar experiences could join him on his allotments where they could share experiences and socialise together. Without a team to help him he will have to give up the allotments but feels it would be beneficial to all concerned to work together. For more information please complete the contact form.

Changes to membership fees

It has been agreed by both the members and the committee that the membership fee will increase to £10 per annum, In order to get good speakers we need to increase our income, speakers costs have also increased as have their travelling costs. The entrance fee will remain at £1.00 with first time guest free of charge.

.