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I have recently constructed a gothic style metal archway. I'm looking for 2 climbers to plant now and get them settled before winter so they get a head start for growth and flowers/fragrance next year.
Recently went to National Garden Show at Royal Bath & West showground in somerset where a clematis trader suggested that giving clematis a headstart is a good idea but i am now disappointed by the selection and quality at local garden centres of plants such as clematis, honeysuckle and jasmin.
I understand that this year the weather has been weird and as we are now in autumn the deciduous climbers will be starting their winter "hibernation" but most garden centres only seem to have dead or dying plants of the 3 varieties mentioned above.
1) does this matter greatly or should i just get some well suited plants to give a good spread of colour across the year and trust the root stock will refresh itself nxt spring?
2) wait til spring to re visit the local places to see their new stock?
any design ideas e.g. honey suckle graham thomas with a certain clematis would be greatly appreciated
You could try Betty Corning which is a scented, group 3 clematis which flowers in summer - http://www.clematis.hull.ac.uk/new-clemdetail.cfm?dbkey=562 Group 3 means she flowers on new season's wood so is cut back very low in early spring and all the old stems and foliage are removed.
If you want an evergreen clematis with scent you need to find something like Apple Blossom - http://www.clematis.hull.ac.uk/new-clemdetail.cfm?dbkey=114 or maybe this one http://www.clematis.hull.ac.uk/new-clemdetail.cfm?dbkey=151
I have two very good scented honeysuckles, one deep purpley and pink and one creamy and yellow - but Ican't tell you their names as their labels are long gone. However, clematis associate very well with roses so have a look at small ramblers such as Malvern Hills from David Austin. This one has soft yellow, fading to cream flowers that are pleasantly perfumed.
i'd go for a honeysuckle plus either an early large-flowered clem or, for preference, a climbing rose. You can even get thornless ones nowadays, and most repeat flower for ages. Buy em now - they wil look tatty but it doesn't matter - chop em down to a few inches and plant. Plants for sale in small containers always end their season a bit early, but that shouldn't mean they arent healthy.