Spring Great Plants this Month

Clematis ‘Guernsey Cream’

Louise Sims

A good place to start, for anyone who loves clematis, is to buy a copy of Christopher Lloyd’s highly respected book of the same name. It’s a massive source of information and a good read.

However, my choice of clematis today was bred in the same year as my revised edition of 1989 was printed, and therefore could not have been included. I was nonetheless interested to read in his preface, of the help Lloyd received, during the revision, from the breeder of ‘Guernsey Cream’, Raymond Evison, and of his deep knowledge of all matters relating to clematis.

This is an early flowering clematis and here we grow it on the east facing wall of our house where it looks beautiful bathed in the morning sunshine. The flowers are large, creamy white, and with conspicuous pale yellow stamens. Running the length of each petal is a central, faded green stripe with a little dink at the end of each – like a sort of horticultural widow’s peak!

‘Guernsey Cream’ looks particularly effective in semi or dappled shade where the overall effect is showy yet restrained. Furthermore, I have learnt today that it will produce a second crop of flowers in late summer if you deadhead it – something I don’t always remember to do with clematis.

This is a Group 2 clematis which in terms of pruning is the least straightforward, but happily, here is a link to Elaine’s helpful tips!

NB Louise has published a beautifully produced book of her plant profiles – A Plant for Each Week of the Year. It costs £9.99 and is for sale in our online shop here.

More NB If you’re not already a subscriber and you’d like a bit more gardening chitchat from the3growbags, please type your email address here and we’ll send you a new post every Saturday morning.

By the3growbags

We're three sisters who love gardening, plants and even the science of horticulture but we're not all experts. We'd love everyone even remotely interested in their gardens to be part of our blogsite.

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