“What is THAT?” we heard over and over from visitors to our booth at Seattle’s Northwest Flower and Garden Show in February of one seductive plant in particular. The intense burgundy-red color, huge blooms, velvety petals and the sheer flower-power of dozens of blossoms on a compact plant. What had them talking? Beautiful ‘Rebecca,’ a lady who ain’t shy about strutting her stuff.
‘Rebecca’ is one of the Boulevard® Patio Clematis series, developed in Denmark by the world’s leading breeder of this flowering vine. Our resident plant expert, Jonathan Pedersen, discovered it for us and we started testing it three years ago. “The reason people love this clematis is simple—more blooms for longer! The plant flowers at every leaf apex, which is a fancy way of saying that they bloom up and down the entire vine, unlike other clematis that have all the flower at the top with naked stems and not much foliage at the bottom of the plant. And they are compact so won’t get crazy which makes them easy to grow for lots of different uses.”
Burgundy not your thing? There are lots of colors in this series (here are a few in this slideshow):
So, how to use these new, compact clematis? Here are five ideas:
- When growing on a fence, you may need to help train the vine, but once it gets going, it’ll do fine without you.
- Plant clematis at the base of a rose, about a foot away and let it naturally weave its way through the rose canes. If your rose is a single bloomer, this helps keep your wall or structure vivid.
- Use a compact clematis to cover up the bare knees of other clematis. Get an even longer show by mixing two (or more) types of clematis with different bloom times.
What grows well with Boulevard series clematis? Here are a few plants we love in combination: