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I can't figure out where to plant all the Clems I've purchased

15 years ago

I'm out of fences, arbors, trellises and the like and if I buy any more obelisks my yard is going to look ridiculous.

I planted tangutica 'Grace' to climb my crabapple but her flowers are so small they don't really show up but I'm going to give her another year and see since it has only been two. She has reddish stamens that I thought would go nicely with the little red apples.

I planted 'Bill MacKenzie' up my purple leaf plum but I don't think the plant was labeled correctly and it is some seed grown tangutica. It bloomed too early, all yellow, no brown stamens and didn't climb very far but grew very wide with about thirty stems that all stopped at ten feet. I'm not impressed.

I bought 'Alba Luxurians' to decorate the neighbor's boxwood hedge that separates our property but haven't planted it yet. You can see the hedge behind the dogwood.

I have a Korean dogwood but the sunny side faces the neighbors (west)not me. Terrible picture, I had something smeared on my lens. The arborvitea hedge to the right is now has a six foot cedar fence in front of it. It was taking up too much of my space and when we pruned it back the trunks were bare.


I have a tall Japanese maple but I just don't think I can bring myself plant a Clemmie up it. I have been thinking that Huldine might look fabulous though....


The Miscanthus was supposed to grow tall enough to hide the hose reel but hasn't.....

Comments (37)

  • 15 years ago

    This is the back yard. There is already a Clem in the lilac (Inspiration) and between the Pieris (Arabella) and four on the white arbor you can barely see to the right.


  • 15 years ago

    This is another view along the back fence. That is Hagley Hybrid and Richard Pennell on the trellis. This picture is a year or so old.


    I have this Korean dogwood as well but it is not even a third the size of the one in the front yard. I have nine Clems on netting stapled to the fence surrounding the pond. You can barely see Helsingborg in the picture and the stems of Henryi far to the left. They are now covered by alpina Ruby.


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  • 15 years ago

    The Clems along the back fence haven't done particularly well. The neighbors have big conifers and the soil is bone dry all the time despite soaker hoses and mulch. I could cram in a couple more trellises there but really they struggle. They are all browned out and awful looking right now.

  • 15 years ago

    I know they plant Clems over heaths and heathers in England but I have never seen any pictures. I have two areas of heathers and dwarf conifers but just not sure about planting Clems in there.

    This is from last year it is a lot more filled in now


    Here is what is going on now in the center pond.


    Another area of heathers, now much more filled in. That is Piilu on the obelisk.


  • 15 years ago

    I have Fascination and Harlow Carr to plant. Also viticella Mary Rose, Tie Dye, NOID viticella looks like Tango, Alba Luxurians, alpina Bettina, Lady Gray, Rosa Konigskind, and Picardy.

    I have two wire obelisks one at about three feet and one about five feet. Had bought them for Pangbourne Pink and Durandii but their growth habits don't work right for them. Was thinking Picardy on the small one and Rosa Konigskind on the taller one.

    I have a spot for Cassis and florida sieboldii against the shed but am waiting for DH to put siding on it first.

  • 15 years ago

    Looks like your first two pictures of your fence show open areas where you could staple wire fencing to it and house quite a few clematis.

    Not sure that the heaths and heathers are big enough to support clematis. Top that off with the fact that you have a severe earwig problem in your garden based on the photos in your other thread, I would be hesitant to put any clematis low to the ground as they would surely be chomped. I grow several clematis on blue pacific junipers and they do really well.

  • 15 years ago

    The problem is that the bed in front of the fence is full of tree roots and nothing grows well. The clems that are already there are struggling. That Hagley Hybrid in the photo is well over five years old. They barely hang on.

  • 15 years ago

    BorS, it sounds as if your only other option is to dig up more lawn and make more natural areas where you could plant your new clematis. Any space where you could put up a long trellis or arbor and house them that way?

    Oh the lure of those bargain clematis and how they end up coming back to haunt you after they all arrive and you wonder where you are going to put them. I have found myself in that place way too many times.

  • 15 years ago

    DH says no way to more lawn being dug up. I've been asking for several years now. In fact, all I asked for, for my birthday in August was for him to cut the lawn a foot smaller all the way around. He threw me a surprise party instead. :( It was nice but I had a horrible migraine.

    He already built me a trellis wall on the side yard that I didn't show. :) I have six type IIIs on it. Plus there are eleven type IIs on the fences that enclose the side yard. You can see these fences to the right of the dogwood in the first photo. That is Daniel Deronda blooming. It is the most mature of the eleven. The others are cut back to hard to see. There is a matching gate and arbor at the other end of that side yard.

    I'm thinking of growing someone up the dogwood but it would need to bloom either before or after the dogwood which blooms in June. It blooms very heavy as you can see, I don't want to compete with that. Not sure if Tie Dye would bloom after here? or how big Mary Rose gets? The tree is big.

    I have eight integrifolias planted in my mixed borders and none of them have suffered insect damage so I'm going to plant Fascination and Harlow Carr out, maybe one of them between the spirea in the photo showing the Japanese maple. Juuli does so well for me growing over a Crimson Pygmy barberry. It gets more sun though, than some of the others. The spireas are in full sun though, pretty much anyway.

  • 15 years ago

    WOW! LOVE your yard!!!! Your Kousa Dogwood is gorgeous! I can't wait for mine to get that big. I think Tie Dye would be really neat growing up it, even if the bloom time did overlap.

    I know you mention all the tree roots that are a problem with absorbing all the water. I read somewhere on this forum about planting them in those concrete form tubes to keep tree roots away. I'm sure there are a lot of other materials you could use as well. I would definitely take that route & take advantage of those areas along your fence line.

    I'd be nervous about planting a clem up that gorgeous maple too! I've seen a few pics of it being done, but I just don't think I personally could do it either.

    I love all your Chamacyparis obtusa cultivars!!!! My favorite conifer of all time.

    I love your idea of the water garden right by your front door! It looks like you have your down spout right there to keep filling it up...clever.

    What about just leaning a few trellis' on the house? Looks like your siding is aluminum? If it is wood I wouldn't do it due to mildew issues.

    Once again, VERY cool landscape! I'm sure no matter where you put them, it will look spectacular!

  • 15 years ago

    Thank you. I love Chamacyparis obtusas too. I've had to pull out several though that got way bigger than they were supposed to.

    Siding is wood fiberboard.

    I don't think I could dig holes big enough to put in a concrete collar along the back fence. The soil is hard as a rock and so full of huge roots. There are fifty to sixty foot tall Douglas firs and other conifirs along that fence on the neighbor's side. The roots and branches extend all the way across the lawn to our house.

    The foxgloves and forget me nots seed themselves and look lush but after they are done it is fairly bare back there. Right now it is rather crispy. Hagley Hybrid looks absolutely awful.

  • 15 years ago

    LOL... My first thought when looking at the pics was, "What's with all the grass? She could totally throw a few random arbors around." Then I read about your hubby's unwillingness to dig up any of the grass.

    So... I don't know what to tell you.

    Except... well, is keeping the hubby a must?

  • 15 years ago

    I'm chuckling too...I read Miguel's post, "dig up more lawn"....that was my thought exactly.

    You have a nice size yard. I can't afford to remove any more lawn..lot is small enough as it is. I have no more room for clems and its only my first year. Boy, they are beauties though. Of my clems, Prince Charles, Rouge Cardinal, Venosa Violacea and Huldine (all planted consecutively) are in bloom together as is my Warsaw Nike and Bonanza. Gipsy Queen has buds but no blooms yet. Huldine is REALLY pretty with the pink stripe, wasn't expecting such a pretty flower.

    I just purchased a Ville De Lyon, was going to put it behind my garage (neighbor views it) in place of a japanese barberry recently removed...but when VDL arrived I didn't have the heart to give such a beauty for the sole view of my neighbors...nothing So, I wedged it in elsewhere.

    I also just got my Roguchi today. Had to have it. That's 24 clems now. Squeezed it in on my fenceline, but thinking I may regret it later on. It's a tight fit already.

    Your trees are fabulous. How old is your Pieris? I just purchased my first this year after seeing a mature one in a landscaping book. What a stunning shrub. Hope it lasts this winter.

    Tell the hubby a new planting bed will be a christmas/birthday gift combo (if you celebrate christmas, that is).

    Thanks for sharing your pics with us.

  • 15 years ago

    Thanks for the compliments.

    In person, the yard is small. The house is only a two bedroom one bath.

    I've been trying to dig up more lawn for years now. DH seems to think an American male homeowner is judged by their lawn. It is ridiculous. It is full of moss and weeds and totally dies every year in back because of the tree roots. Rooty, shady, clay is not the best lawn soil.....I would just quietly cut the edges back but there is a plastic edge so he would notice.....

    I have over sixty Clematis.

    The Pieris are almost twenty years old. I brought them from the rental house before we bought this house. We've been married nineteen years so they are mabye seventeen or eighteen. They are stunted in growth from the tree roots/lack of water. My brother's are half as old and twice as big though they are the same cultivars 'Mountain Fire' and 'Forest Flame'.

  • 15 years ago

    It sounds about time your neighbors take down those trees if they are taking up that much of your yard!!!! I can't believe they are almost up to your house! If you ask me, that is extremely rude. Have you ever talked to them about it? Touchy subject I know because you want to have good relations with them. I've had a few conversations with my neighbors planting HUGE shrubs 1' away from my property line. They tell me they are going to take them down when they get too big. We'll see... I did have a neighbor on 1 side of me that kicked out his Xwife & he came in & cleared out a ton of trees. Very scary as I watched these huge branches coming down in my yard. He did it himself, not a pro. Unbelievably, not too much damage.

    Kimcoco, Pieris doesn't do so well for us here. I started out with 4 about 6 yrs ago & am now down to 2. I bought them from Minors & needless to say they don't sell them anymore. The only places I see them for sale is at the big box stores. 1 bloomed last spring & both are the same size as they were when I bought them. Make sure you acidify the soil, out of winter winds & a shady spot. They need the same requirements as Rhodies, which I have yet to see one that looks good in our area. I do love them & wish they did better here. I have the Mountain Fire cultivar & absolutely love the new red growth, the little it occurs.

  • 15 years ago

    The current neighbors have only lived in the house a few months. The previous neighbors are the ones who planted the trees back in the 1950's, like you would a hedge around the property line even though they are not trees that should be planted that way.

    They never clipped them but they did remove a few of them and did have them pruned before they sold the house. However, they refused to remove all of them. I went out and had the aborist remove a lot more branches on our side when they were here.

    Some of the branches on our side are twenty feet long. We are to the south and they grow much longer on our side. DH has removed a couple dozen branches as well but some of these trees are now sixty plus feet tall and he can't get up high enough to get more.

  • 15 years ago

    Well, having more clems is essential to your happiness, right? So your hubby just have to understand that,of course you can always threaten him to start collecting diamonds instead of clems...
    there are those root proof mesh bags that people plant hostas under the trees to get away from root competition- pretty useful- you might get over to hosta forum to check...
    grass in my yard has been gone...there is no square inch that has not been overstuffed with plants- the only way to garden on suburban lot IMHO...
    Another good argument- lawns are not environmentally friendly.... all that fertilizer, noise and pollution from lawn mower.... naah... you hubby just has to see the light...

  • 15 years ago

    I have to disagree. Lawns can be very environmentally friendly especially if you overseed with white clover which will be beneficial to insects and bees and will fix its own nitrogen so fertilization will not be necessary. I overseeded this fall with clover and it is coming up like gangbusters--now the neighbors with their monoculture fescue lawns might not think it is environmentally friendly though when it creeps into their lawns! LOL

  • 15 years ago

    I'm sorry, but that is not funny at all. I've got that crap all over because of my neighbors & it self seeds & creeps everywhere & is a pain in the butt to get rid of. It is growing so strong in my yard that it is choking out the grass & is blowing seeds all over my garden beds. You are only causing more work for people as well as using more chemicals for those that choose to use them. I personally don't use chemicals, mainly because of my dog. I would have to get down on all 4's for a month on end to get rid of that crap.

    The best grass is to keep healthy grass so it chokes out the weeds. Milorganite!!

    I'm sorry once again because I respect a lot of what you say on this forum, but man, that is just down right rude that you are laughing about what it is going to do to your neighbors.

  • 15 years ago

    The idea that clover is a bad thing is something that sprung into being when lawn management services came into existence and started perpetuating the myth that a monoculture of whatever type of grass grows best in your area, be it fescue or one of the warm season grasses, is the best thing for anyone's lawn--especially since they were more than willing to cure your problem by spraying pesticides to get rid of it. Clover was a natural part of most lawns prior to that.

    Clover has always been present in my lawn and since I live in an area where the fescue suffers terribly during the summer drought and dies out unless you continuously water and feed it, I think I am doing the responsible thing. Clover suffers less than fescue during our droughts and comes back on it own when the rains reappear in the fall and serves as a nitrogen fixing plant so that additional fertilizer is not needed. It is useful for beneficial insects and honeybees, who are especially being decimated and need all the help they can get. It has never spread via seed in my yard if you keep the grass cut as normal.

    Sorry that you have such a negative view of clover but I think you are overlooking too many of its good points and have bought into the monoculture point of view on lawn maintenance.

  • 15 years ago

    I also have white clover in the lawn on purpose. I have not noticed it in the neighbor's lawns. It took me years to convince DH that it was a good thing in the lawn but now he is fine with it. He uses a propane torch on dandelions instead of chemicals. Uses corn gluten meal too. Our lawns go totally dead in summer as well but our summer is very short.

    I did manage to get some extra flower bed from the lawn yesterday. A small victory but it is a step forward.

  • 15 years ago

    Any victory in the lawn reduction progress is a good thing BorS. I agree about the clover as well. It does take people now a days time to realize its usefulness but I can remember back in the early 60s and everyone in the neighborhood growing up having a lawn full of clover and all the bees it attracted. Of course that wasn't necessarily a good thing when you ran across the lawn in your bare feet and stepped on a bee though! LOL

  • 15 years ago

    Especially not for me as I'm allergic :O

  • 15 years ago

    I guess to each their own. Still hate it. I have enough planted in my garden beds to make bees quite happy, they are everywhere, without having to accomodate them in the lawn as well. I like to run around barefoot in the summer time & have already stepped on a bee this year. My dog even gets mad at them & tries to nip them in the air...not good. They can remain in my flower beds where he is not allowed. Clover would be great if it kept itself in check, but it doesn't. Over the last couple of seasons it has taken over my whole yard & barely have any grass left because it chokes it out. My dog & I would much rather have the grass because at least he would get his everyday 'salad' & neither of us get stung. My clover never gets tall enough to be run over by the lawnmower either. I still resent that it also creeps & blows seed into my flower beds that causes just that much more work for me. I am now resorting to having to find something to use to get rid of it. Hopefully something nonchemical because, like I said, my dog is a grass eater, at least what little is left of it. I'm certainly not one that has old fashioned ways of thinking & stuck back in the '60's mentality as you are referring to. I have my reasons as well as you. I will get my nitrogen fix by using other organic methods.

    I would never, ever have even brought any of this up if it wasn't for the fact that you thought it creeping into your neighbor's yards was funny. What you do in your own yard is your choice, but not being responsible on what you plant effecting others? That is not funny at all when you take away their choice.

  • 15 years ago

    Taking away the choices of neighbors who think it is socially responsible to water their fescue every day in the summer to keep it green when the southeast has been in severe drought for the past two years is the least of my worries. Such head in the sand approach to lawns is the epitome of stupidness as far as the neighbors go.

  • 15 years ago

    Regardless, you are still taking away THEIR right to decide. If your neighbors are as stupid as you say, they will be the 1st ones out there using chemicals to get rid of what is creeping into their lawn. You will be causing more mayhem in the environment than you are recognizing. If you are not educating & making a difference in their watering habits, you certainly won't be when it comes to using chemicals to keep their perfect lawns free of clover.

  • 15 years ago

    You must be growing some different kind of clover. I am high mower and I have never had an issue with cutting it when the lawn mower is used. I have also never had it creep into the flower beds unlike the grass.

    Evidently you must live in a different world than I. In my world, there are plenty of choices taken out of ones life by various forces including the government who decide what is best for you.

    These same neighbors also have Bermuda grass in their yards and they have attempted to eradicate it to no avail. They have finally decided to let it be. Perhaps the same will happen with the clover which is far more drought tolerant than fescue and environmentally friendly in the long run since it negates the need to fertilize your lawn. I personally would love for clover to overtake every bit of fescue in my yard!

  • 15 years ago

    I'm sorry, it just sounds like you are grabbing at straws now. Of course govt makes decisions for us all the time & takes away several rights for us, but that is nothing new, that has been going on since the beginning of govt. So now YOU are deciding & acting like the govt & what is best for people? Maybe what is best for you. Besides, I don't understand what clover has anything to do with the govt?

    Once again, you even said it yourself, they have been trying to get rid of bermuda grass & can only assume they have been using chemical methods. You are only promoting more use of chemicals with clover. If they don't want the bermuda grass, they sure as heck don't want the clover.

    I have a very strong feeling you are going to need to get the last word in here. I don't want to argue about this anymore. You see it your way & I see it mine. I'm looking at this as agree to disagree & will not respond any further. I just don't see the point to continue & keep hashing this out to the point that things get any uglier than it already has. I don't really appreciate being tagged as an ignorant fool stuck back in the '60's mentality, especially when my childhood fell in the '70's. I am extremely open minded & more than willing to try what is best & the greatest. Clover ain't it in my is in yours, so let it be.

  • 15 years ago

    You evidently did not read my last post. The neighbors have given up the idea of eradicating the bermuda grass when they saw that it was essentially impossible to do. Perhaps they will do the same with the clover which they already have some of since the area where the subdivision was built was pasture land originally and contained it and bermuda or some sort of wire grass.

    I too used to think that clover was something that shouldn't be in the lawn simply because it was portrayed as a weed by the lawn care industry and the fact that a monoculture of lawn was what was sold to the public. However I have changed my tune due to several reasons including the fact that it naturally produces its own fertilizer so we can stop using natural resources to have to fertilize it regardless of the source of fertilizer, it is a natural habitat for many beneficial insects, and it is much better suited for our growing conditions here in the drought stricken southeast due to our hot summers and lack of rainfall.

    I am sorry you don't like clover in your yard and that it is a pain for you and your dog. We will never see eye to eye about this so to each their own.

  • 15 years ago

    We are getting off the topic, but I remember the lush yard of my childhood w/ all the clover and watching the honeybees, and the exciting days when we would take the honey out of the hives... I planted clover and I wish all the weedy grass would go away! (No neighbors are going to care here as our lots are set in the middle of woods, and we are out in the country.) My clover has had a tough time (doesn't like sand?), but there is one low-growing weed that I am encouraging as it does not need to be mowed. No mowing is my goal.
    As for my clems (many of which you all enabled!), they are doing fairly well. I was most impressed w/ Arabella- the best bloomer! I have mostly watered from my rain barrels this summer and it is not very satisfactory because the sand soaks up the moisture so fast (great for watering pots and small areas though). I too have to figure out where to plant the ones I stuck in pots in the spring. Most are going into the rose garden (if the roses don't make it maybe the clems will). I have planted several to climb up my deck railings. I know there is a lot of controversy about adding soil amendments, but I am with the other readers who see the fence as a prime planting ground. Maybe someone who knows more about amendments could help out? I wish you the best of luck in finding them a good place, and would appreciate it if you will wish me luck as well. Thanks, Brandy

  • 15 years ago

    I'm looking for a clem cultivar called Bee Celebration. I have found Bee Jubilee in nurseries. Anyone familiar?

  • 15 years ago

    Here is wishing you all the luck in finding places for all your clematis Brandy.

    Never heard of Bee Celebration or Bees Celebration clematis roguegrower. Couldn't find it on COTW listed either. Are you sure of the name?

  • 15 years ago

    BoS, have you considered planting your clems in large pots and setting them along the fence? That way your neighbor's tree roots won't interfere with your clems. You can also move them around if you want. You could plant them in pots and train them on the fence.

  • 15 years ago

    Great idea Lindyb. Addition of a drip system to the pots would simplify watering as well.

  • 15 years ago

    No, I have not thought of that. Thanks.

    Do we think Alba Luxurians would work on the boxwood hedge behind the dogwood in the first picture?

  • 15 years ago

    Really nice gardens!!

    How about a nice arbor type structure that frames your window where the 3 small ponds are and growing clems one both sides. The would make a nice frame for the window...

    I'm in the same boat as you with 19 new clems from chalk hill and all my lawn is already gone...sigh........


  • 15 years ago

    DH won't go for the arbor around the window because we have to replace our siding. It is shot. Good idea though.

    I think I will plant Alba Luxurians on the boxwood, hopefully it will climb up it instead of rambling through the flower bed.