If I choose a clematis as my pick of the week, I can never resist taking a quick look at my clematis bible to see what Christopher Lloyd says about my choice.
To my alarm, this time he was not so complimentary. He took issue with the colour, describing the flower as ‘mildly agreeable but of a too dirty colouring’! Then I remind myself that he really loved good strong colours, and there’s no denying that Mrs Robert Brydon is best described as understated yet charming, and for me it perfectly suits the transition from summer into autumn.
Mrs Robert Brydon is very slow to get off the blocks, which is fine, because like a good, long distance runner she saves her energy for the final push. She is a faintly floppy, almost wayward plant so may need taking in hand and tying in as she romps along unnoticed in the riot of late summer. The leaves are a little coarse but the effervescent, pale mauvey-blue flowers have conspicuous creamy white stamens and are a welcome sight at this time of the year.
This deciduous, herbaceous clematis is very hardy and is what they call a non-vining clematis – it’s more of a vigorous scrambler (H:2.5m) and would look good growing over a low fence, an old tree stump, or into an early flowering shrub that now looks a bit sad.
Belonging to pruning group 3, all it requires is a hard prune down to the lowest buds in late winter.
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.
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