Plant of the Month: May

The shades and shorts are out! The British Summer has just about arrived, albeit as temperamental as ever, but despite the rain storms between days we are all enjoying the warmer climate including our gardens.

My plant of the month for May has to be:

Clematis

I must admit I am yet to fully identify this Clematis which I’ve inherited. This beauty is running riot up the north west side of the house and is just a wonderful thing to pass under morning and evening. Due to its early flowering period and vigorous nature I’m inclined to say this is one of the montana varieties also know as Himalayan clematis. A fabulous easy to grow deciduous climber which will tolerate any most but well drained soil.

Pruning: Clematis montana is a vigorous climber and if left unpruned often produce a tangled twiggy bush with long shooting single stems only flowering high above. To completely rejuvenate an older plant prune it right back to the  base after flowering, mulch and keep well watered through dry periods. Younger plants can be trained and need only be cut back by about a third of their height each year.

When training or light pruning a plant always cut back to a bud or new shoot. Never cut back to nothing.

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