London (change)
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09/03/2014 at 20:19

I'd like to grow at least one clematis over an arch. I haven't previously grown climbers other than annuals so it's a bit daunting.

After a look at RHS site it seems pruning group 3 may be the easiest, but I don't really know so any care tips would be welcome. Also if I am to go for a group 3 plant what would you suggest?

Thank you.

09/03/2014 at 20:25

I like the Clematis alpinas, there are so many lovely ones -  you don't have to prune them at all if you don't want to, and they are so very pretty, they usually give us a second flush of flowers, and then lovely fluffy seedheads. 

09/03/2014 at 20:48

Viticella Alba Luxurians, is a good one to grow and quite easy

09/03/2014 at 20:52

..for an archway, I would normally have a plant each side of it, to join and overlap at the top in the middle...depending on the strength and height of the arch..  nice combinations I have found are Clematis 'Etoile Violette'. a group 3, teamed with a pink climbing rose... this clematis flowers from June to Aug/Sept..

..Clematis 'Purpurea Plena Elegans' is an old small double flowered type that mixes well with a yellow honeysuckle, Lonicera japonica 'halliana'....

.. both those Clematis are gr 3 and therefore cut down to 1 foot above ground in February...  very easy to grow..

just a couple of suggestions for you...

09/03/2014 at 20:53

If you want a large flowered one Etoile Violette is lovely - deep purple

09/03/2014 at 20:54

Snap with Salino !  If Fairy is looking in, she has some gorgeous photos of EV from last summer ....

09/03/2014 at 20:59

MrsG- look at some of the specialist growers online (Taylors is a great one) and narrow it down to the ones which will suit your aspect and the size of your arch/pergola and time of year you want it to flower. Then take some time to decide what you really, really like in colour and shape, because -  you'll learn how to prune and care for it if it's something you love 

And then you'll be hooked and you'll want another one for the other side....

09/03/2014 at 21:14


I aim to please! 

09/03/2014 at 21:36

Thanks everyone! I've been trawling through Crocus and Taylors - narrowed down to a mere choice of 10 (ok maybe more!).

Aspect -full sun (can I remember reading somewhere that some will flower with their backs to the sun? or is that another climber?)

Arch size (assuming I get the argos windermere) Size H210, W210, D72cm

I like the later flowering time. (june-oct, May-sept,) many in group 3. Taylors sum pruning up nicely 'cut to knee high every march' - I can manage that!

I also like the' fussy ' flowers, doubles, or two coloured. Pinks, purples maybe with red or white to contrast.

A selection of my favourites - Viticella avant garde, florida cassis, pistachio, reflections, shimmer, suzy mac, florida vienetta, abundance, fond memories, princess kate....

Yes Fairy I am going to love them!


09/03/2014 at 22:34

Fairygirl, gorgeous photo's, is that Jackmanii?

09/03/2014 at 22:45

Ashleigh2 - it's etoille violette.

I have just ordered 3 arches to go along the path  (hoping I have enough room as only had this idea since it went dark)

Here they are;$TMB$&wid=312&hei=312

Next decisions I need help with:

1, all 3 joined together to make a pergola or spaced out along the path?

2. 6 plants, 2 for each?

3. 4 clematis on 2 arches - how not to overkill it when want so many different ones? stick to 2 varieties or go for 4?

4. A rose on the 3rd arch?


10/03/2014 at 07:44

I have an Etoile Violette growing over a metal arch abotut 3' wide and deep.  It is gorgeous but more vigorous every year so I would recommend it for a wall or trellis where it can spread further.

Little Nell is more delicate in flower.  Betty Corning is perfumed.  Princess Diana is a lovely rich pink.   Alba Luxurians has lovely flowers and more delicate looking foliage.  Caerulea Luxurians is also lovely.  Blue Angel aka Blekitny Atholl is lovely from front and back as it has a stripe on the reverse.

I found that Viennetta couldn't cope with my cold winters but Chrystal Fountain does.

Another good perfumed one is this - small flowers but you'll be able to see them, and smell  them, close up on an arch.


10/03/2014 at 07:59

hi all my clematis have only one stem each is there a way to get more shoot from ground level or is it normal just to have one stem

thankyou all

10/03/2014 at 08:05

To get more shoots it's a good idea to cut clematis right back to two or three nodes from the ground  after flowering in it's first year 

Lots of info here 

11/03/2014 at 08:56

thankyou Dove i give that a go

11/03/2014 at 09:57

Mrs Garden - I would separate them and put wires or wooden posts to join them at teh top.  A friend of mine built this below for his garden.  It's got a mix of roses and clematis scrambling up the posts and trained on wires between them with lavender at the base for extra bee magnetism and perfume.  The photos show it in its first year of growth - June - after being planted up in spring.


11/03/2014 at 14:05

Thanks obelisk. It looks  great and would like to see how it gets on this year. On a more moderate scale I am going to have one arch by itself at the top of the garden path, leading to two joined as you suggest at the bottom (making a small pergola). One will have a pale pink rose called 'the generous gardener' with clematises blue eyes and Pamela jack man. the other I'm still deciding, maybe ceanothus or solarium, maybe more clematis. 

11/03/2014 at 15:04

I have the Generous Gradener growing across two 6' trellis panels and looking for more space and length.   It is a very good rose which will easily cover the space between two of your arches as long as you give it wires or wooden horizontals between them for support.

11/03/2014 at 15:07

I've got Pamela Jackman - it is the most gorgeous inky blue when it has the light behind it - perfect for a pergola 

11/03/2014 at 21:13

Obelixx, how quickly does it grow, in other words how long before it will look great on the arch/es?

Dove - the light will be all around it. Again, how quickly will it grow?

I think I chose only quick growers but when I've looked at so many...(?)

Thanks both of you - I'm VERY excited!

1 to 20 of 37 messages