Gardening Articles: Flowers :: Roses

Roses and Clematis (page 2 of 4)

by Beth Marie Renaud

Matches Made in Heaven

Robust companions. As you decide on pairings, be aware of the plants' growth habits. For instance, C. viticella is a robust, easy-care species that yields a profusion of small flowers and thrives with roses that are equally hardy. A good pairing is deep purple C. v. 'Polish Spirit' with pale pink 'New Dawn' rose.

Early bloomers. Consider C. alpina, a tough, sun-loving climber with small, nodding single flowers. Pair hardy and fragrant, yellow-gold 'Autumn Sunset' climbing rose with deep blue C. a. 'Francis Rivis' or the dark purple C. a. 'Helsingborg', recipient of a 1993 Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit.

Midseason bloomers. With its pale lilac bell-like flowers, C. viticella 'Betty Corning' is a popular choice for prolific blooms from June through early fall, and it is an outstanding companion to the summer-flowering red 'Blaze' rose or the lacquer red, repeat-blooming 'Altissimo' rose.

For a larger-flowered midseason clematis, pair hybrid 'Ville de Lyon' (red flowers and golden stamens) with the peach-yellow, repeat-flowering English rose 'Graham Thomas'. 'Ville de Lyon' is both hardy to zone 3 and heat tolerant to zone 10. For a traditional look, match white C. henryi with crimson 'Madame Isaac Pereire', a repeat-flowering bourbon rose.

For mid- to late-season blooms, consider small-flowered clematis such as C. orientalis and C. tangutica. Both have beautiful seed heads that last long after the blooms have faded. The vigorous C. o. 'Sherriffii' has yellow lantern-like flowers and silvery seed heads, while C. t. 'Bill MacKenzie' boasts nodding deep yellow flowers good matches for rugged orange, pink, or white roses, such as the white, repeat-flowering 'Climbing Iceberg'.

Late-season bloomers. With its rich purple blooms, C. viticella 'Etoile Violette' is a favorite among many gardeners, especially in combination with the repeat-flowering climbers 'Pink Perpetue' or yellow 'Golden Showers'. 'Etoile Violette' also makes a striking combination with the hardy 'Henry Kelsey' rose, which produces repeat flowerings of red blooms with yellow stamens. Small-flowered hybrid C. texensis 'Etoile Rose' has deep pink, nodding bell-shaped blooms that go well with the fragrant red 'Dublin Bay' rose, a repeat-flowering climber that has a tendency to remain a shrub.

Continuous bloomers. 'Perle d' Azur' is a popular large-flowered hybrid clematis that blooms continuously from June to October and is cold-hardy to zone 3. Its semi-nodding sky blue flowers are a beautiful match for the popular apricot-pink rose 'Compassion', which can be used as a short climber or shrub. Pink 'Comtesse de Bouchard', a large-flowered hybrid clematis, is a favorite cold-hardy choice that also adapts to zone 10. It is nicely matched with the climbing floribunda rose 'Handel', which has creamy white petals with rosy pink edges.

Clematis for shrub and ground cover roses. The small-flowered hybrid 'Mrs. Robert Brydon' (C. jouiniana) is a popular, fragrant clematis. It is vigorous and nonclinging, with hyacinth-like lavender flowers. This late bloomer is an easy, beautiful, and reliable companion for the small, peach-apricot floribunda rose 'Sweet Dream' or the English shrub rose 'Abraham Darby', which produces large, fragrant blooms in peach-pink and yellow.

'Huldine', another large-flowered hybrid clematis, has pearl white flowers with mauve hints on its sepals' undersides. This late but long-flowering clematis is vigorous and free-flowing. Because it grows well horizontally, it is a great match for 'Flower Carpet', a repeat-flowering ground cover rose with deep pink, white-centered flowers.

Lastly, C. viticella 'Venosa Violacea', a late-flowering hybrid, produces large purple flowers with white veining. It makes a wonderful match with the salmon-pink shrub rose 'Bonica'. Both plants are ideal for use as ground covers.

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