From bold blooms the size of tea plates to delicate nodding bells adorning a garden arch, clematis are versatile and colourful climbers that no garden should be without. Whether left to clamber up a trellis panel to cover walls and fences or trained over a pergola, clematis are a wonderfully diverse family with varieties to choose for flowers in every season of the year.
Large-flowered hybrids are some of the most impressive, coming into their own during the summer months, and these are joined by daintier flowering varieties of clematis viticella that continue blooming into autumn.
Dozens of clematis varieties are available, with new ones being introduced every year, so visit local garden centres and nurseries to pick the ones that appeal. Colours and forms vary widely, with something to suit every colour scheme.
Top clematis for summer colour
• ‘Madame Julia Correvon’
• ‘Etoile Rose’
Colourful clematis combinations
• Golden Hop (Humulus lupulus ‘Aureus’
• Golden Jasmine (Jasminum officinalis ‘Aureum’)
• Solanum crispum ‘Glasnevin’
Shrubs that offer support:
• Conifers including yew and junipers
• Holly (Ilex varieties)
• Japanese maples
Chrysanthemum for inside the home
The chrysanthemum makes a great houseplant, with its bushy structure, beautiful green leaves and fabulous flowers in all sorts of colours and shapes. This bright flowering plant is also known for improving air quality so could be kept in the living room (in bright sunlight) so its anti-polluting superpowers can be best put to use. The fresh, bright cheerful colours make it a summery feature that does well both indoors and on the garden table.
• The range of potted chrysanthemums is exceptionally wide and very diverse in shape and colour. They are usually sold by colour or in mixed trays.
• There are potted chrysanthemums with multiple flowers per stem (spray) and with one flower per stem, known as disbudded chrysanthemums or deco chrysanthemums. In terms of flower shape, there is a choice of single, spoon, anemone, spider, decorative and pompon.
• Potted chrysanthemums are being extensively bred, so that the classic colours are increasingly being supplemented with more and more eye-catching colours such as lemon, salmon, bronze, deep purple and many bicoloured varieties. The unusual new flower shapes also make the potted chrysanthemum a feature plant both indoors and outdoors.
Sales and display tips for potted chrysanthemums
The potted chrysanthemum’s cheerful colours are suitable for display in eye-catching colour blocks or stripes. They also work well as colour clusters amongst green plants. Use brightly coloured bowls and summery accessories: a snow-white, fresh green or cheerful pink potted chrysanthemum set amidst cocktail glasses, sun cream and a hammock would set the scene perfectly.
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Thanks to Adam Pasco and the Flower Council of Holland for the information contained in this article.