Something went wrong (in the best way) when I recently ordered a few clematis vines to add to my garden. I was in the mood to add a few fantastic climbing vines to my garden. I was expecting 4 plants. But when the boxes arrived, I somehow got 16 (this is obviously not a complaint, just a statement of oopsy fact).
With eight Clematis Diamond Ball (which is a beautiful double white/ light blue clematis) and eight Clematis ‘Sweet Summer Love’ (which is a dark purple clematis), I struggled to find homes for all of them. After I planted three of the ‘Sweet Summer Love’ (and worked out places for 3 more) I still had 10 plants! (and all the Diamond Balls). I realized I needed to do some removal of other plants and bed prep to make room for the rest. But even after that, I still need to create a home for at least 5 more.
With over a quarter of the plants left, I started playing a new little game around here….its called “where to put the clematis vine?”. 🤔
The rules are easy, but the game is hard. Finding 16 places to plant a beautiful clematis in the garden is a challenge. Even in a big garden like mine. Climbers need a place to climb and while I’m still working on where they all will go, I’m inspired by the dilemma and I found these 16 clematis design inspirations.
1) Plant Clematis vine near a container garden and let it scramble through other textural plants.
The other plants (shrubs are a great option) will act as the support for the clematis.
The simple blue flower of clematis ‘jackmanii’ is held up by a potted grass.
2) Train your clematis vines on a staircase railing.
Make sure you can still put your hand on the railing with out hurting the plant (if you need to).
Large burgundy flowers are similar to clematis ‘Niobe’.
3) Grow climbers like clematis over a picket fence in a cottage garden.
When you start to grow plants over more permanent garden features (like fences) you will anchor your design. It will give your planting design a more established and mature feeling in your garden.
Clematis climbing over white picket fence by putney pics.
4) Pretty-up a chain link fence.
Chain link is cheap but it isn’t pretty. And sometimes you just have to work with what you have. Covering it up with a nice clematis vine is a good option.
Clematis Roguchi varieties are know for their flared bell shaped flowers. The white nodding bells of Clematis ‘Winter Beauty’ look a lot like the variety pictured.
5) Plant in a container and grow on a topiary frame.
This will work best when you follow the rule of thirds. In this case, make sure your climbing structure (and ultimately your plant) is at least 2/3 of the total height. (This includes the height of your container). So, if you have a 1′ tall pot – get a topiary frame that is 2′ tall (for a 2/3 – 1/3 ratio). (maybe consider growing it into a spiral shape?)
6) Hide the mailbox with a climbing flower vine
Anything that is vertical in your garden can be a growing support… so why not turn utility into something amazing?
7) Intertwine a dainty clematis vine with another climber (like roses).
This isn’t very different than growing it through another shrub. But roses can be sturdy climbers themselves and when you achieve the double bloom look, I promise some gullible visitor will think this is all one amazing plant and you can bask in that coveted good gardener glory. 😉
Clematis ‘William Kennet’ grows through a red climbing rose.
8) Frame a shed door.
Clematis tangutica is known for its yellow flowers and fluffy seed heads. The yellow flowers are a perfect contrast and frame for this blue door.
9) Cover an old ladder.
The pretty pink Clematis Comtesse de Bouchard on a ladder by shout it from the rooftops.
10) Romantically dangle flowering vines over a rustic shed.
11) Train flowering clematis vines over a lamppost
(Yes I know it isn’t actually on a lamppost – but you get the idea… p.s. is it actually growing on an apple tree, which is another bonus option).
12) Support climbing flower vines with a trellis or a downspout.
Nelly Moser Clematis sits along side a similarly pink rhododendron.
13) Surround a window with delicate stems.
14) Engulf a front a pillar.
15 & 16) Go crazy and let clematis scramble
Let it clematis ramble through climbing roses and under-plant with herbaceous perennials to include peonies, poppies, foxgloves, campanulas, pinks, nepeta, lavender, foxtail lilies, and alchemilla (among many others). (like at Mottisfont Abbey in the UK).
Royal National Rose Society Gardens – formerly known as The Gardens of the Rose The vibrant colors of this display of roses, together with excellent companion plantings (such as lavender, clematis, grasses, etc.), highlights the wide color range, long flowering season, and versatility of roses as garden plants.
Just as soon as mine have grown enough to actually attach to their climbing frames (and I have found homes for each plant) I will share my own placements which include training over a pergola, covering a garage wall, and hiding part of the old chicken coop. But have I missed anything? How and where do you grow your clematis?
Other Clematis Garden Posts you might enjoy:
images: jacki-dee (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0), jacki-dee (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0), putneypics (CC BY-NC 2.0), jacki-dee (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0), Proven Winners, Karen Cardoza (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0), Klasse im Garten (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0), peri stracchino (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0), shout it from the rooftops (CC BY 2.0), caroline (CC BY 2.0), erik forsberg (CC BY 2.0), andrea_44 (CC BY 2.0),Rolf Blijleven CC BY-NC 2.0), B.D.’s WorldCC BY-NC 2.0), ukgardenphotos (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).