Clematis for your Garden Obelisks
Clematis is a plant that looks wonderful when scrambling over an obelisk. They fall into three categories; those which flower on last year's wood, before mid-summer; those that flower in early summer and again in late summer, first on old wood and then on new growth; and then there are those that flower after mid-summer exclusively on new wood.
To keep them looking good they need to be trimmed back and the easiest to deal with are the clematis that grow exclusively on new wood, that is those that flower exclusively on new wood. All you do is, in late winter, trim the clematis back to a pair of buds about ninety centimetres from the ground and this will
encourage strong new shoots to come from close to the base of the garden obelisk.
The spring flowering clematis really need not be trimmed back at all. If they become unsightly in time, simply take your
garden shears and re-shape them after theyhave flowered. The trickiest clematis to keep in shape appears to be the clematis that flower on the new and old wood. Because these clematis will flower twice on your garden obelisk they are a great addition to your garden but if you are not judicious with you trimming back you will only get one flush of flowers. The simplest way to handle them, if you would like to have both flushes of flower, is to prune in late winter. Cut some of the old growth back to the highest pair of strong buds, these will be breaking at this time and will flower last. Leave some unpruned to flower early . Once you have had your first flush of flowers prune about a quarter of the flowered shoots and so ensuring early flowering in the next year.