flowers, garden, pruning

Pruning a clematis

My clematis, a jackmanii variety, has been growing wild for about 10 years.


I trim it back to the ground in the fall, and it successfully regenerates itself each spring.  I train it on a trellis to reach the height of the mailbox in the mailbox garden.  I’m pretty sure the mailman would appreciate some pruning efforts on this one!

I found an excellent guide for pruning most types of clematis.  Raymond Evison describes three ways to prune, depending on the variety as well as the results you are looking to achieve.  This is the suggested procedure for pruning my jackmanii –


Here’s a specimen that climbs the trellis to add the height in the lamp post garden.  I train it up a small trellis then attach some twine to the post for the tendrils that climb even higher.


This year, I’ve noticed many clematis in the neighborhood that appear to be more tame than mine, and I rather like that look.  They may be younger specimens, but I’m hoping that a little pruning care will tame my wild boys just a bit.



Mum is the word

One of the first signs of fall is the arrival of chrysanthemums in the offerings of the local stores.  I’m sure that pumpkin spice coffee is out there as well.  I bought a few small mums last weekend at Home Depot – only $0.88 each – how can you go wrong?

There were 4 purple and 4 yellow plants that will add some much-needed color to the yard.

purple mums
purple mums

I have truly neglected the border gardens in the back yard this year.  The cool summer didn’t lend itself to much time by the pool, and the garden areas around it suffered as a result.

rusty mums
oops – rusty mums

A few days ago, I weeded an overgrown patch and planted the yellow ones.  The buds weren’t fully opened when I bought them, and oops, one was rusty gold.  Guess I should have looked more carefully at the tags – they probably would have identified the color.

clematis seed heads

The purple plants compliment the greenery that remains around the lamppost.  The black-eyed Susan and coreopsis are still blooming strong.  The purple clematis has been long-gone, so the purple mums really look nice there.  I like to leave the clematis vine long after the blooms are spent, as the seed heads are so different and beautiful on their own.

lambs ear
lambs ear

I took the opportunity to separate a clump of lambs ear that I got from AnnMarie last year.  I also dug out a clump of shasta daisies that I’d promised to take in to the office for Sophie.  One of my favorite parts of gardening is sharing and trading specimens.  I love tending to all the plants and remembering the friends who have graced my yard with their favorite plants.