Clematis Rival the English Rose for Centre Stage.

It takes a special type of plant genus to compete for centre stage in our gardens, yet Clematis commonly referred to as travellers joy is still a show stopper and often rated as one of England’s most popular garden plants.

Clematis macropetala

Also known as Old mans beard, due to the fact many of the flowers once faded develop an attractive fluffy seed that resembles a grey ball of fluff, before the seeds are dispersed by the wind.

old mans beard

Clematis second only to roses are renowned throughout the world and in my opinion are one of our best loved garden climbers, versatile and adaptable clematis really are relatively easy to grow. 

If your new to Clematis then there are a few simply rules that apply to almost every variety in this vast genus that has almost 300 species, firstly ensure the roots remain shaded and cool. Clematis hate hot baked sun at the base of the stems and roots, naturally they would be growing at the base of trees and shrubs where the ground is damp and shaded, bear this in mind when you plant you first Clematis and it will reward you with an abundance of flowers for many years to come.

Clematis Nelly Moser

Provide this rampant flowering climber with some pretty standard conditions and it will reward you handsomely.

There really is a clematis for everyone, large gawdy flowers may not be your thing but the delicate yellow dropping flowers of Clematis tangutica (above) or even the pale blue or pink of macropetala (below) are sure to delight.

Clematis once established are hardy often woody climbers that will cling to any support you provide, some species require very little aftercare other than cutting back some of the unwanted tendrils that appear after flowering. Summer into Autumn flowering Clematis tend to die back in the spring, so as soon as the new buds appears you can safely cut back any dead stems and watch as the new shoots quickly grows back far exceeding last years growth. Milder parts of the UK have the added bonus of being able to provide optimum conditions for growing the evergreen Clematis which require either a sheltered wall or some protection from biting winter winds.

Choosing a Clematis to suit your garden and taste from the wide range available may seem a daunting task but many garden centres will carry a range for you to choose from and if you follow my simple tips you are sure to have years of enjoyment from the Clematis of your choice. If like me you cannot choose then my latest blog will help you pick a Clematis for every season.

Grow with 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.


Please follow and like us:
About Head Gardener 291 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”


Leave a Reply