Great Plants this Month Summer

Clematis viticella ‘Étoile Violette’ AGM

pic of louise sims
Louise Sims

I made a happy accidental choice when I planted ‘Étoile Violette’ at the foot of our Amelanchier lamarckii: at the time, I hadn’t realised that for many reasons it was the perfect clematis for growing in a large shrub or small tree. Now, our snowy mespilus never looks dull, but there are certain shrubs that, however stunning in flower, look drab for the rest of the year (lilac, wintersweet, viburnum to name but a few) and these are ideal candidates for the viticella partnership.

‘Étoile Violette’ is quite simply, an outstanding, undemanding and generously free-flowering cultivar that with its slightly open habit of growth, is perfectly suited to this habitat. Each starry, deep royal purple flower has a contrasting central boss of pale yellow stamens, and they space themselves comfortably among the leaves of the Amelanchier; from now until the end of the summer, it will be in flower.

Pruning is straightforward, being in Group 3, you just cut back all the old stems to the lowest pair of buds in February, pull out all the old growth (it can easily reach 3-4 metres) and the job is done!

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

More NB If 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.

5 replies on “Clematis viticella ‘Étoile Violette’ AGM”

Thank you for this super conversation on Clematis. My favourites are the exquisite early flowing Freda over an arch competing with later flowering r. Generous Gardener, Etoile Violette growing with R.Veilchenblau , P, Diana growing with St. Swithin, P. Charles over an old upside down black w.iron church flower stand, a new double form of Hagley Hybrid (lost the label) and Perle d’azure forming a backdrop with r. Blairi NoI (or is it 2) to my tayberries. Waiting to be planted is (a second) early flowering Marjorie, a second semi plena elegans and a turkscap; tangutica Harry Smith. There are others lurking!

Susie Brooke

Glad you like the blog , Susie. Elaine here. Wow, it sounds like you love clematis as much as I do! You are quite right too – clematis combine beautifully with roses of all kinds; I do find however that, because of their pruning needs, the Group 3 late-flowering clematis are easier to blend in with other plants than the other two Groups. I shall certainly look out for ‘Freda’ – I’ve looked it up and it looks stunning!

I have two of these and they have always been amazing and seem to be bomb proof!, so easy to look after and they are both in semi shade too. A wonderful clematis.

Quite agree, Kate. Mine have never let me down, and actually just seem to get better each year! Elaine

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