Newbie Advice...want my first clematis!

kischka(6)July 27, 2009


I am so glad I found this forum. I am getting dizzy researching various vines and thought maybe you would help me choose from your experiences vs. me scouring the internet. Especially since I am being very picky!

I have fallen in love with clematis but cannot tell one from another. I live across from the water just south of Boston and I am looking for a clematis for a telephone pole in my front yard. The location is in full sun and it's on a bit of a slope which is probably fairly sandy.

My house is a southwestern style pinkish-tan stucco house with red roof. I also have somewhat of a desert landscape going on with tawny stones for mulch and it would be really cool to find something to either complement that.

Ideally, I would like something to grow 6-8' (more is fine too) and if it would stay green year-round, that would be a plus. My color preferences typically lean toward terra cotta but I haven't seen anything like that. Oh and lastly, since it is such a visible spot, it would be great if it didn't need to be cut back so much.

I know this is far-fetched but do you know of anything that might fit the bill? I'd love to hear from you and see pics if you have any.

Thanks so much in advance!


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kentstar(5b, NE Ohio)

You might want to make sure that having a clem climb up the telephone pole is ok with the phone company or electric company. Otherwise, sounds like a great idea. I have a telephone pole in my front yard too, but have hesitated on planing a clem under it because of that very reason.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2009 at 7:59AM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

I don't think any of the evergreens will survive Zone 5.

All Clems benefit from being cut back hard their first few years.

I find the Atragene Group looks less ratty for me in summer. Don't need to be cut back after being established.

I think the closest in color to what you want is tangutica 'My Angel' but she can be very weedy looking and a wide grower. I just ripped out a tangutica because it was smothering it's neighbors and not growing neatly up the tree I provided. It had grown shoots two feet in all directions under the soil that just popped up too.

Here is a link that might be useful: My Angel

    Bookmark   July 28, 2009 at 10:25AM
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What Kenstar said....not only do they need access (and in doing their work will most definitely damage your beautiful clematis), but can just decide to replace your pole with a new one (if the old one is on it's last legs), which is what they did to me (twice!). That's a whole other story....To be safe, keep the area of servitude (6 feet here in Montreal) planted with potted plants (smaller clems with trellis attached to the pots), then you can just sweep everything out of the way when they come. I am very lucky - they actually changed the whole line 2 years ago and put the pole in my NEIGHBOUR'S yard - someone who doesn't garden, and couldn't care less about their property.


    Bookmark   July 30, 2009 at 10:17AM
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Personally I dont know anything. Purchased my first one this year. I fell in love with a double purple that I saw in town, decided it must be the "multi-blue, and bought it. I can't wait. Anyway I was just thinking that it would look awesome with a terra cotta color. Hope it goes well for you

    Bookmark   July 31, 2009 at 4:36PM
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funnelweb(NSW Aust)

They put the poles in your front yard over there! Here (in Australia) they put them in the street, on the footpath, near the gutter, and run the wires to the house usually attaching them to a gable or other fascia board. In my street though, all the electricity and telephone lines and cables are under ground - no poles at all - at least a metre (3 feet) down. Would a clem, climb a pole? I've planted mine around the pool fence and installed wire mesh for the tendrills to hook onto.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2009 at 3:44AM
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kentstar(5b, NE Ohio)

That's a great point funnelweb. The clem has to have some kind of way to climb the pole. It won't automatically climb a large round pole. It would have to have netting around it, or climb up a tree or bush next to the pole.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2009 at 5:41AM
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