Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Clematis in a Tree



An old gardeners' trick is to plant clematis in a small tree or shrub. Well, not actually in the tree, but at the base of a tree or shrub. Clematis is an ideal vine to plant in this manner since it is a fairly light vine as compared to vines like wisteria and trumpet vines. I would not recommend planting a Sweet Autumn clematis in a tree though, stick with the lighter types like Jackmanii or Nelly Moser, please use common sense when choosing a vine to plant in a tree.

I chose an few varieties that have slowly begun to come into their own. The clematis blooms are a nice surprise to find 'growing' in a tree. The crabapple pictured above has a purple clematis growing in and amongst its leaves. This tree will have these 'purple blooms' off and on all summer as the clematis blooms off and on. I have several trees planted in this way, but this clematis is the only one blooming right now so I can't post the other pictures, maybe later.

Planting clematis in this way is a win/win situation in my book. The clematis gets a good support, and the tree gets some extra blooms. There is one drawback though, since the clematis vines are somewhat shaded by the tree, the blooms do tend to be smaller and it takes longer to get the clematis growing enough to make a big impact. But that's okay with me, I have nothing but time and plants and at some point they will all be mature...

in the garden...

41 comments:

  1. I think that looks great. I've planted 'Snow Queen' in our Cortinus coggygria 'Royal Purple' and 'Houldine' in the old tree bye the frontdoor. giving the tree a second bloom like that.. I relly like it /gittan

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  2. What a clever idea. I will remember this for SC and see if there is a place to do likewise. I thought I would extend the bloom time of a trellis and put Jackmanii and The President on one trellis--- two different pruning times--oops.

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  3. Tina,

    Very good idea! I have a Virginia Pine that could use some color!

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  4. Hi Tina, I love this idea but have never done it, intentionally that is. Sweet Autumn has self sown around here and can scramble up a tree before I have noticed it. Your purple looks much more polite with regards to the tree. Your sentence...I have nothing but time cracked me up!

    BTW, I have done a bottle tree post, but don't know what to click on here?

    Frances

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  5. That's a cool idea, for some reason I never would of thought of that.

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  6. Hi There Tina .. I have heard of this before and I would like to give it a try as well .. once I get the general chaos sorted out ? LOL .. I think it is a great idea !

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  7. Neat idea! I thought about planting a clematis to climb the arbor..but sweet autumn has thicker vines? I just love that scent! Do the Nelly Moser and Jackmanii have a nice scent as well? I also think about a star jasmine for the arbor...so many decisions! :)

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  8. My clemmies climb up my porch railing and an obelisk, but I like the idea of planting them up a tree!

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  9. Never thought of growing it up a tree. Looks really good!

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  10. That's a good idea. I just planted a discount clematis the other day but didn't think of using a tree for support. I used the old mailbox trick.

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  11. Every year, I plant another clematis. This year at the base of a tree. :)

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  12. Morning Tina, I tried it several years ago on my small Japanese Lilac tree. The clematis is thriving but never blooms. Must not get enough sun.
    Marnie

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  13. Great idea Tina! I love the way it looks in the tree and the blooms don't look small to me. Speaking of blooms, I couldn't help but notice the iris in the photo. Just gorgeous!

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  14. That's a clever idea since clematis take so long to mature and bloom. People must stop and ask you what that lovely purple-flowered tree is!

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  15. Tina what a wonderful idea. I learn so much here - which reminds me I have to catch up on yesterdays post - confusion after Grandsons - I missed it. LOL
    Maybe I could plant one going up my rose of Sharon. It's a late bloomer and only blooms for a couple of minutes but could be some show for a few. It's pink so would need a purple Clematis. Oh I'm getting excited now! ;-)

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  16. What a neat idea Tina! I planted a discounted clematis on the mailbox last fall and was afraid it was a waste of time but it is blooming! I need to write a post about it. So much to write about so little time...

    There is some sort of blooming vine that grows in one of the azaleas up by the street. It blooms in the summer and makes the azalea look like a different plant! I must snap pics of that this year and write a post on it. See, so much to write about, so little time....

    Rain and humidity gone so time to get into the garden today!

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  17. Great idea Tina. I've never thought of that. For some reason I can't get Clematis to grow. I think they are very pretty.
    I saw one growing on the front post of a porch once---so pretty.

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  18. Very pretty! I love clematis, I just kill it every time I try to grow it. I will enjoy yours instead!

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  19. Gittan, Snow Queen and Purple smoke tree-I can imagine the beauty and contrast! I could not comment on your blog this morning. Very frustrating when it won't let me. But wanted to say I have no idea what is wrong with your maple, but give it time, it looks like it will be fine. Trees are most wonderful!

    Janet, I can see where that will be a problem. I have the same situation here and it is an issue. One clematis is full and lush-from the bottom, the other not so and more at the top. I am ready to rip it all out. I think from now on, only one type in one spot. Clematis are so confusing!

    Randy, Give that pine some color!

    Frances, I added your beautiful bottle tree in. What a nice post this morning from Mr. Mantis! Yup, gotta watch those Sweet Autumns, they take over the world!

    Dawn, A very old gardening trick for sure, one worth passing on.

    Joy, glad you like it!

    Linda, Not sure about Nelly and Jackmannii with the fragrance. I will sniff today though and email you. Plus, I am going to send you some irises now if you have the room. Sweet Autumn doesn't so much have thick vines as it has TONS of them. You can not stop this vine if it is happy. A real issue in the wrong spot. Tricky to start sometimes though.

    Monica, Don't you love the clemmies?

    Darla, Thanks!

    Dave, There is for sure a reason clematis is called the mailbox vine-it is SO PRETTY there too!

    Donna, You smart gardener you!

    Marnie, Yes, that is probably it for sure. The shade is a bother no doubt about it. I am surprised mine even bloom. You might direct it where it is on the outside or prune the lilac a bit.

    Jamie and Randy, Glad you like it!

    Rose, Oh yes, that is part of my joy in gardening-to make folks stop and say "What??". Ha, it is pretty funny. The other clematis is loaded with buds so that the whole branch it is on is going to be a real show stopper. P.S. I always appreciate readers so much when they wish to catch up, but you should not think you have to or even comment. So time consuming that it is too much and I just wanted to tell you.

    Linda, Yes! I think planting one at the base of a Rose of Sharon is perfect. It is surely reachable so you can guide it to where you want the clematis to grow. It will look great and give you a longer season of interest! I learn much from you too-from everyone!

    Skeeter, You have a greenthumb with anything you plant and I agree-never enough time! Especially for blogging. Sigh. You have fun in the garden!! Wish I were there.

    Heather, That is too bad. Come enjoy anytime.

    Lola, So sorry! Clematis can be picky.

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  20. I like your clematis selection. I haven't chosen wisely, I have some pretty tough vines I'm always having to pull off of the nearby trees. But if you pick the right vine, it's beautiful!

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  21. Yesterday deutzia, today clematis. I wonder what we'll both do tomorrow :)
    I love the look of clematis growing in a tree. I've never tried that before, and you're right, it's nice to have those surprise blooms there.

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  22. Megan, You for sure have to know your vines. I love these clematis though-all of the large flowered ones. The Sweet Autumn, it's a bit much. The jury is out on the small cup ones as they are fairly new to my garden here. But vines are fun!

    Catherine, I guarantee our posts tomorrow will NOT be the same. I promise, but hey, this makes about 4 posts we've done the same or along the same lines. Too funny!

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  23. What a great natural trellis! I've done this with annual vines in shrubs. :)

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  24. Great idea! I'll definitely have to try this... I may go buy another clemantis this evening! -Jackie

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  25. What a great tip. I've got some non-fruit trees in the front yard that I hate! Because they're just big and ugly, but I think adding some clematis will make it more pleasant looking!

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  26. As a fairly new gardener, I love to hear about old gardner tricks, and I love the way this looks! I also love the look of ivy climbing a tree trunk, so I'm trying a little of that this year, too. Thanks for all the great ideas - I get so many when I come here!

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  27. It looks lovely, Tina. what a great gardening idea.

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  28. Tina..A good plan I need to try this~~and I will see if I can find my common sense...lately it's disappeared, 'cause I keep bringing home sun loving plants and I got a shady garden! gail

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  29. I *finally* have a Clematis in the garden... I think I'd like to try C. crispa in a tree -- that doesn't mind a bit of shade.

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  30. Bilbo is in Canada....

    http://hereontheprairies.blogspot.com/2009/05/welcome-to-winnipeg.html

    go check him out and leave a comment

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  31. I like this idea too Tina. One of my neighbors has a Jackmanii growing up the tree over her pond. It's just lovely. Sometimes the blooms hang down over the pond and that's even prettier. I always appreciate it when I see it in bloom but I've never duplicated the idea. Maybe you've inspired me to try. I sure like clematis enough to do it!

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  32. Racquel, Great!

    Jackie, Pick a great one!

    Dirt Princess, Thanks and I'll check out Bilbo soon!

    DP, Flowers are always good!

    JGH, Thanks and glad you enjoy the posts! I always enjoy your visits and your posts as well!

    Kanak, Thanks! An old trick for sure.

    Gail, We never learn!:)

    Sweetbay, Do let us know how it turns out!

    Kathleen, Your neighbor's Jackmanii sounds lovely!

    Gotta get outside...

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  33. I love clematis and lost mine when I had my fence replaced last year - you are inspiring me to head to the nursery for some replacements. I've never thought about combining in a small tree. Previously I had the classic "clematis in climbing roses combo", but I've gradually replaced almost all of my climbers with easier care abutilon, so maybe I'll try that combo instead.

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  34. That's a nice effect and looks great, Tina! I've started liking these Clematis vines lately. Their blooms are extra-lovely!

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  35. not sure i would do this but it is something to think about. love the deep purple blossoms of the clematis you chose.

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  36. I've never heard of doing this! But I was just looking for a clematis at the nursery today. I'm always looking for one. Just haven't fallen in love with a decent looking one yet!
    Brenda

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  37. I had so much fun in the Garden today! I dug out a bed that was being taken over by Black-eyed Susan’s and planted more fun stuff. I found so many bargains at the back rack at Lowes today! Planted 15 things then went to the other Lowes (we have 3 in our area) and found more bargains as well. I will be back in the garden again tomorrow planting and having more fun and working on a new planter as well.. Yippee, I love this wonderful weather we are having. Windows open at night and nice cool breeze blowing! Great for weed pulling also! lol...

    Lowes had lots of different types of Clematis today. It was fun looking at them all but I did not come home with any of those. Too pricey for my bones...

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  38. It looks good in the tree. Then again, I love clemmies so will think they are pretty whereever they are.

    We got 20 tomato plants, 6 peppers, some pumpkin and watermelon in yesterday after Elizabeth weeded and turned all the soil over in that section. She kept raving about our soil and how easy the weeds pull!!! Tonight we had a guy bring me another 8 yards of soil and HE GOT STUCK!!!!! Ground was a bit soft and I was afraid of that but Terri-Lynn said it was fine. Took a while but he did finally get out but the lawn is a BIG MESS. Josh was loving it. He sat in my lap and watched it all. Lots of vroom, vroom vrooms!! The guy was really a good sport about it. Thought he might charge me more but did'nt. He said it went with the job.

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  39. Our zoo has a garden and they combine clematis and climbing roses all throughout the walled gardens. It is so beautiful!

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  40. interesting, we were wondering where to plant a clematis and this has given me some thoughts. thanks

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