Clematis tangutica Bill Mckenzie – Climber of Distinction

Can Clematis rival the English Rose?

When I consider climbing vines as plants of distinction, Clematis is the first plant that comes to mind, having so many forms, the Clematis rivals the English Rose.

I chose Clematis tangutica ‘Bill McKenzie’ as Climber of August due to the success achieved from planting three of these fast growing Summer flowering clematis early this year.

I have worked with this fast twining climber that requires support to climb on several occasions and always been very happy with it’s performance. Clematis tangutica is in itself an unusual colour a large leap from the typical purple to pinks, blues to mauve spectrum of the popular climber.

C. tangutica ‘Bill MacKenzie is a selected culitvar that out surpasses its smaller flowered deritive. Clematis tangutica ‘Bill McKensie’ is a fine cultivar of popular species of C. tangutuca group. It’s large leaflike shape of the spongy lemon yellow, almost sculptured sepals, that unite to form hanging bells, full of chocolate coloured anther’s and lemon pistils, attracting foraging pollinators from far and wide.


Selecting large plants on a small bamboo frame, I paid around £20 per plant. Clematis can vary in price from £1.99 for a rooted cutting from your local supermarket to £100 plus for specimens in flower on a large growing frame.


Specialist Clematis nurseries offer a huge selection of this popular climbing perennial with over 300 species and 80 varieties gaining the RHS Award of Merit.


With new varieties or cultivars of Clematis being discovered and developed everyday, we can except more interesting colours in the future. Did you know with clever planning you can plant a  Clematis for every season

Join me on


Stephen Pryce-Lea

Head Gardener and International Horticultural Consulatant




“It’s a beautiful thing when a career and a passion grow together, when you find it in a Garden it’s like finding Paradise“

iGrowHort – A Head Gardener’s Horticultural Journey of love, life and learning.



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About Head Gardener 290 Articles
Award winning, 40 something year old professional plantsman and horticulturalist with National Trust, private parks and estate management background. My vast plant knowledge and hands on techinical experience, afforded me the opportunity to work in various horticultural landscapes, in the UK, USA & Eastern Europe. Having worked in both garden retail & the design service industry gave me the practical diversity and managerial skill set, required for running a large prestigious gardens and stately homes. I strongly believe knowledge is to be shared and have worked closely with people and staff of all ages and abilities keen to develop their passion for gardening, including groups of children, special needs and adults. I have hosted guided walks, talks and tours for those keen to learn about cultivated and wild plants, garden development, history and design. As an member of the NNCPG and National Trust, I am actively involved in the preservation of several important plant collections both in public and private gardens throughout the UK. “It’s a beautiful thing when a career and a passion grow together, in a garden it’s paradise” Follow @IGrowHort on GardenTags. Stephen is passionate about gardening as Head Gardener with a team of ten staff he manages a prestigious Cheshire country estate of 55 acres, inc wild flower meadows, woodland, organic kitchen and formal gardens. Follow Stephen today”

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