Patio Perfect

As more people choose to live intown-houses and apartments, their gardens are shrinking, often to the size of patios or bal-conies.What can gardeners do to overcome the space crunch? Grow up.

That was the impetus for me to develop dwarf, bushy new varieties of one of my favorite plants—clematis.These "patio clematis" as they've been dubbed, can be planted in containers among flowering annuals, provide columns of color to define an outdoor room or enhance the view from a deck. And the multistemmed plants, which aren't leggy like so many of the older clematis, will keep flowering from spring through late summer.

Last year the fruit of my labors, the Raymond Evison Patio Clematis™ Collection, was launched at last and this spring three new colors have been added to the group— Bourbon™ is purple-banded with red, Angelique™ is palest lilac and parisienne™ is mauve with reddish an-thers.The designer hues fit with the trend to extend interior decor to outdoor liv-

Sampling of the Patio Clematis™ Collection, clockwise from top left: Panache™,Versailles™, new lilac Angelique™ and Hyde Hall™.

ing spaces.

It took 10 years for the Evison™ and Poulsen® breeding program to develop this new kind of clematis, easy-

Sampling of the Patio Clematis™ Collection, clockwise from top left: Panache™,Versailles™, new lilac Angelique™ and Hyde Hall™.

care dwarf cultivars designed for growing in larger containers.The plants reach only 3 or 4 feet tall, but their flowers are large and are produced freely on both last year's stems and new growth.This means that even if a severe winter kills top growth back to ground level, the clematis will still grow and flower the following spring.

Like other clematis, the dwarf varieties need a companion plant or some other support to grow on, lots of water and excellent drainage.They also like their roots to be kept cool.That's easy to accomplish—just plant colorful annuals or even shallow-rooted perennials in the same container and they will protect the clematis' roots, as well as add extra oomph to the flower display.

And, based on my experience, you can forget all those complex rules about pruning associated with older clematis varieties. Plants in the Patio Clematis Collection do well with the "ponytail prune." Before new growth appears, grasp all the stems 12 inches above soil level, and cut off the tops.—

raymond evison

■ For more info on the Raymond Evison Patio Clematis Collection, visit www.evisonclematis.com.

MAY 2006

A little saint best fits a little shrine.A little prop best fits a little vine—ro bert herrick s s

Tropical Outdoor Patios

WeatherMaster by Laneventure

For more information, contact us at laneventure.com or 1-800-235-3558. For the latest on how to make more of your outdoor space, ask for your free copy of our Living Outdoors magazine.

Featured collection: Camino Real, in Synthetic Wicker.

dirt growing

TOP SEED

More than 10 years ago Curtis Jones and Judy Seaborn came together in life and in business. Now their family-owned company, Botanical Interests, in Broomfield, Colorado, has become a source for top-quality flower, vegetable and herb seeds.The rigorously tested, hand-picked seeds are untreated with chemicals and represent more than 400 varieties, including a Certified Organic line and heirlooms.

A sampling of noteworthy items includes 'Black Magic' bachelor button, 'Chater's Double' hollyhock, 'Candy Stripe' cosmos,'Teatime Red' hibiscus,'Thumbelina' carrot, seven varieties of gourds, 10 basils and 23 peppers.

Botanical Interests artfully includes plenty of information, outside and inside the beautifully designed seed packets, on everything gardeners need to know and then some—water, soil, light, planting depth, days to harvest or bloom, color and habit, frost dates, and even a historical or culinary tidbit or two. Each packet is like a ministory about the plant. Jones and Seaborn say,"Our aim is for the gardener using our seeds to say at the end of the season,'What a terrific gardening year this was. I did a great job.'"—ellen wells fyi For more information, email [email protected] or see www.botanicalinterests.com. Seeds are available from retail stores and independent Web sites.

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destination nursery

Tropical Patio Gardens

Left to right: Cottage Garden nursery offers a choice selection of tropicals for Midwesterners; rex begonia vine (Cissus discolor) in front of Hosta 'Golden Sculpture'.

Tropical Patio Gardens

fyi For more information, email [email protected] or see www.botanicalinterests.com. Seeds are available from retail stores and independent Web sites.

Left to right: Cottage Garden nursery offers a choice selection of tropicals for Midwesterners; rex begonia vine (Cissus discolor) in front of Hosta 'Golden Sculpture'.

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Responses

  • Phyllis
    Can clematis be planted in a very large container?
    8 years ago
  • jonas
    How to make a tropical garden?
    8 years ago

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