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Ernest Markham and Grandiflora

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Gedly View Drop Down

Joined: 02 Apr 2010
Posts: 2
  Quote Gedly Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Ernest Markham and Grandiflora
    Posted: 02 Apr 2010 at 7:04pm
I shall start by confessing that I am a clematis beginner.

I have bought myself 2 clematis for my little garden, a Montana Grandiflora and an Ernest Markham.

I have been doing some research about how to grow them best. Unfortunately I seem to have found some disagreement and so I am unsure as to what to do.

The garden centre I bought them at said that both are fine to be grown in large containers. However, the RHS website said that Ernest Markham should be grown in full sun, while the BBC Gardener's World website says that I should grow it on a shady wall.

I have a wooden fence which is in the full sun mornings and afternoons, a shaded brick wall and a wooden fence which just gets sun in the afternoons.

Any advice would be very welcome!

many thanks,

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Nunn00123 View Drop Down
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Joined: 15 Dec 2007
Posts: 139
  Quote Nunn00123 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Apr 2010 at 5:47pm
I have not grown Ernest Markham for many years but when I did I found that it grew quite vigorously, but was pretty poor in flower. I would say that your best bet is to plant this clematis to be in sun to get the most flowers. I would also avoid any advice given on Gardeners World, especially about removing canes from newly planted clematis and placing large stones around your clematis, unless you want to break off quite brittle stems and give a hiding place for slugs and snails. Better to mulch your clematis with garden compost, rotted farm manure, or Arthur Bowers Mulch and Mix, my advice would be to leave the cane in place for a season, tying in the top of the cane to the supporting structure. When planting a clematis I usually nip out the growing tips and may even cut back the plant by about half, back to a health bud or leaf node, to encourage more stems to form.
If you Garden Centre recommended C. montana Grandiflora for growing in a tub, I would take it back and say that you were wrongly advised, as montanas are not at all suitable for pot culture, firstly they are too vigorous and will quickly deplete any compost provided in even a large pot, during summer it will require almost constant watering. C. montana is not the hardiest of plants and a plant subjected to last winters cold in a pot is unlikely to survive. As the plant flowers on the growth it made the previous year it cannot be cut down in order to be able to move the pot to a sheltered position, as you will be removing all of next years flowers.
One clematis that I would recommend for growing in a pot or tub is C. Piilu, this plant is not vigorous growing only to 5 or 6 feet, but it flowers for a long period and has double, semi-double and single pink flowers on the same plant and does not require any special protection from winter cold. Also this plant will flower well in full sun or part shade.
Possible the best advice for the novice is to get hold of a copy of the book, Clematis The Complete Guide by Ruth Gooch
Roy Nunn
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2ManyClematis View Drop Down

Joined: 08 Apr 2008
Location: Leatherhead
Posts: 16
  Quote 2ManyClematis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Apr 2010 at 1:53pm
I've grown Ernest Markham in an 18 inch pot.  It was pot bound after 2 seasons.  It also tended to start flowering at a height of 6 feet above soil level.  You will probably need to water daily from late Spring to early Autumn - I recommend you use a moisture meter and aim to keep the compost/soil "wet".
It is robust and I think it will be fine against either fence - you will get more flowers in full sun but they will fade more quickly.
I concur with Roy's comments except to say that I did get a very good display growing it against a fence.  My strategy was to prune half the stems to soil level in December/January and to lay the remaining stems horizontally at about 12 - 18 inches above soil level.  Again the key is to keep well watered (but making sure the roots are never standing in water, particularly if it's cold, as they rot easily).
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Gedly View Drop Down

Joined: 02 Apr 2010
Posts: 2
  Quote Gedly Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Apr 2010 at 7:14pm
Thank for the advice!

I shall grow the Ernest Markham in full sun, and give the Montana to my sister as a birthday present ;-)
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