Posted: 12/04/2012 at 20:40
Thanks for the compliment on the photo. It is a lovely clematis and was a surprise to me as I bought it at B&Q on a whim, wasn't planted until May, had no feeding and I just let it clamber up garden wire attached to a west-facing wall. I'd never tried a climber before, knew nothing about Clematis and in case it didn't do much, I planted a deep pink sweet pea beside it which grew through it. By August it was seven feet up my wall and blooming happily - even through the prolonged rain we seemed to have the entire summer. The sweet pea didn't last long in the continual showers but the Polish Spirit just bloomed and bloomed right through to November. However, I'm in the town surrounded by tall buildings so there is some shelter, albeit the winds are bi-directional and harsh to the extent most plants end up bending in one direction.
What I didn't realise was that I ought to have let the stems come back down again. Not knowing this, I hadn't controlled where it was going and many of the blooms ended up high with less lower down at eye level. It survived the freezing temperatures over the winter, was replanted due to drain flood and quickly planted in the nearest bed just to have somewhere to put it. When the weather became reasonable during the sudden odd warm week in February, I cut it down to about a foot stem length and re-planted it. It has now grown 4-5 foot up the wall again. It is a beauty. But it was my first clematis experiment and I'm so glad I tried it and chose this specific one for it's particular colour. It was a trick getting a photograph on a non-rainy day last year and the later flowering sweet peas turned pale instead of deep pink. Let's hope we have a better time this year!!! I'm sure yours will also be successful and will turn out better than you could imagine.