Several clematis forms are completely herbaceous, and are small shrubby plants. All of the hybrid large-flowering clematis are deciduous.
They require a well-drained, rich, friable loam and need to be planted in a position where the roots are in the shade and where the plants can grow up into the sunshine. Clematis demand copious supplies of water in summer, and a moist but not waterlogged soil, the rest of the year. During the growing season the plants should be soaked with water twice a week, and fertilised with a good liquid plant food once a week, except when flowering. After the spring-flowering flush, fertilise with a granulated rose-food fortnightly during the summer, after watering thoroughly. Stop fertilising when flowers are about the size of peas. Clematis put on growth very quickly, and flowers well when correctly fertilised.
Large flowering varieties should be planted deeply. The lower leaves should be removed and the lower two or three nodes should be buried in order to produce a multi-stemmed plant. Pruning is done according to the group your clematis belongs to. Early flowering hybrids are pruned lightly in winter, as flowers are produced on the older wood, and then pruned more heavily after flowering. They will then return a second flowering season in late summer. Mid and later flowering varieties are pruned hard in winter, almost to within 25 to 30cm off the ground. Flowers are then produced on the new growth, approximately 8 weeks after cutting back.
Some examples of beautiful flowering Clematis are Clematis 'Etoile Violette'
Bougainvillea glabra - Paper Flower
These South American beauties are prized for their showy display of colourful bracts (modified leaf) that surround insignificant tubular flowers. In cooler temperate regions they flower mainly in summer, but in the warmer parts of Australia they’ll spot flower throughout the year. They flower best with neglect in a hot, dry, sunny location with good drainage. Be mindful when training them to climb as they can be quite vigorous, and their sharp long thorns can make pruning difficult. It’s best to have a masonry or hardwood pergola for these plants as they are very woody and develop thick trunks.
The ‘Bambino’ range of dwarf bougainvilleas form a neat bun to under 2m. It is best to prune lightly at the end of the main flowering period.
Trachelospermum jasminoides – Chinese Star Jasmine
This twining climber from China is great for a semi-shade or full-sun position and can even be used as a ground cover. It is great for training onto steel cables to create a patterned wall. In mid-spring it bursts into bloom with sweet smelling, lacy groups of tiny star-shaped flowers. It’s attractive, deep-green glossy leaves make it attractive at other times of the year. It responds well to regular, light pruning to keep from getting to woody in autumn.
Climbing roses -
Rosa ‘Crepuscule’ This climber produces an endless display of fragrant apricot-yellow blossoms. It grows to about 4m high and makes the perfect vertical accent in the garden. It is called a Noisette rose and these climbers have smooth stems and glossy leaves. They make excellent choices for climbing up walls, fences, or other sturdy structures. It’s a moderately quick grower and should not be pruned until after the first year so that their main long canes develop.
Rosa ‘Pierre de Ronsard’ Named after the French poet Pierre de Ronsard, this climbing rose is bred by Meilland. It is a relatively small climber, but lots of flowers over a long period are produced. Flowers are creamy white to pink, large and full. Pierre de Ronsard should be pruned back hard in the winter and the spent blooms removed as this rose, in the right climate, will flower for 8 - 9 months of the year. Pierre de Ronsard can be positioned in semi-shade, but thrives in full sun.
Rosa ‘Red Pierre’ is from the same breeders but with deep-red, double-cup flowers. It flowers prolifically over a long period of time and can be a gorgeous arbour rose.
Rosa David Austin ‘Graham Thomas’ It has cupped flowers of medium size; their colour being an unusually rich and pure yellow. It is a medium climber and is an excellent rose, both in beauty and performance.
Pandorea jasminoides – ‘Bower of Beauty’
After Pandora of Greek mythology who allowed evil sprits to escape from a sealed box - a reference to the many seeds released from the seed pods in this genus. It is a tough, native, evergreen climber. Pandorea flower prolifically from early summer through to autumn with pink flowers with a red throat and attractive green foliage. It is adaptable to any reasonably drained soil and will grow in full sun to partial shade. It is ideally suited to growing on a fence or trellis. It prefers a reliable water supply but, once established, will tolerate extended dry periods.