BBC Gardeners' World

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“Clematis are memorable, as well as lovely, and should have a place in each and every garden”

Idon’t recall clematis featuring in my parents’ garden at all. The hedgerows all along the lanes were festooned with Clematis vitalba – old man’s beard – but I do not recall a single clematis in the garden. That is a shame, because they would have been very happy in the north Hampshire chalk. In the London garden that Sarah and I had between 1981 and 1989, we grew plenty of clematis – C. ‘Elizabeth’, C. armandii, a couple of alpinas, ‘Nelly Moser’ and ‘Niobe’, at least three viticella types, including ‘Purpurea Plena Elegans’, and C. jackmanii – and I can recall each of them clearly in that long, thin Hackney plot, despite the 30-odd, flower-crammed years that have passed since we left.

But clematis are memorable, as well as lovely, and should have a place in each and every garden.

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