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With the days drawing in the plant that catches my eye has to be Clematis cirrhosa var. Purpurascens ‘Freckles’. Last year when we had just moved in it was the one redeeming feature of a barren garden and this year it has reminded me just how special it is.

Quick facts

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I simply love the heavily -spotted pale pink flowers that hang down like bells on wiry stems. It isn't until you get up really close that you appreciate the delicate beauty of this plant. And what's more, it gives the back of the garden some interest as it climbs up a trelis partition during the winter months.  

 

Clematis cirrhosa 'Freckles' is ideal for training over a pagoda or up a wall but it needs to be grown in full sun. It’s not fully hardy but the roots of our clematis are fully covered by the grasses growing around. Clematis prefer to be planted in fertile, well-drained soil. However, although cirrhosa varieties like a moist environment they will suffer if they get waterlogged. This variety also needs support at first, so tie in the stems to 1m canes and then it will sprawl easily.

 

This clematis does not need any routine pruning, however the best time to cut it back if it starts to spread too much is straight after flowering. Cut it back to the healthly buds and add a handful of garden compost to the base in the spring.

Archive

Family: Ranunculaceae

Average height: 2.5 - 4m

Average spread: 0.5 - 1m

Flowers between: Nov - Feb

Soil type: fertile, moist but well-drained

Sun/shade: Full sun

Hardiness: semi-hardy

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