Right now is this year’s peak for our Clematis ‘Jackmanii’. It covers most of the west-facing brick wall at the front corner of the house, which I like to call “The Great Wall of Purple”, though it is either white or green for most of the year.

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This year’s ‘Jackmanii’ is blooming about a week later than normal.

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This is how it looked a week ago, with the blooms just starting.

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And this is how it looks today. As far as I can tell, there are actually two plants, the one to the right being the mama to the one on the left.

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They both benefit from lots of afternoon sun with a brick wall to reflect the heat. They’ve got a thick carpet of Periwinkle at their feet, and get lots of free drinks thanks to their position near the water faucet. Plus they get a generous annual serving of compost.

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I grow several Clematis varieties, but ‘Jackmanii’ is certainly the most satisfying.

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The mama plant looks pretty good this year, considering what winter and spring were like. I like looking straight up to where it seems to be reaching into the sky.

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But the second plant seems not quite as robust as it has been in recent years. Perhaps it sustained some damage from the harsh winter. Still, I won’t complain.

The annual blooming of the Clematis is something of a neighborhood event, at least for the neighbors who are in the habit of walking by. We’re happy to be able to continue the tradition for another year.

42 Comments on “The Big Purple

  1. This purple profusion is great. I always look forward to the annual viewing too. Do you ever cut it back?

  2. I always look forward to this post because I feel quite impressed when I get a half a dozen blooms from any of my plants. 🙂 You must take very good care of these plants, and they show their appreciation.

    • I don’t do much for them, except an annual dose of compost and cutting them back in February or March. They’re just in a good place for Clematis.

  3. There’s an old building over by my post office that sports a wall of purple every late spring. Like your appreciative neighbors, I always notice it, but I’ve never stopped for a closer look, having assumed it was some variety of morning glories. Now I’m wondering whether it might be clematis. I’ll have to have another look, especially since getting over to see yours in person would be a bit of a trick. I would if I could, that’s for sure; it’s a glorious sight.

      • Bougainvillea does grow here — in every color and size. I do know that plant. This one was something else, and a real knock-out purple. I’d bet morning glory or clematis. I’ll find out eventually.

  4. Magnificent! And before I came to the last line, I was thinking about how much the neighbors much love seeing those purple flowers.

  5. That is quite the blast of purple, but it’s sure gorgeous! Lucky gardeners, lucky neighbors!

  6. I always look forward to seeing your Jackmanii Clematis, I’ve seen nothing to match it around our area, the deep purple is really something. I can quite understand why the neighbours comment…..and that is one of the big positives of a front garden.

  7. That is an impressive Clematis you have there! I think I need to add a summer-blooming Clematis, and Jackmanii is definitely one to consider.

  8. Beautiful wall of purple! What would we do without clematis? We grow over 30 varieties in our quarter acre which means we have some in flower almost every month including several winter flowering ones.

  9. Love this Clem… I have one climbing the back fence of our yard. I need to do something to entice it to look my way a bit more. Right now, our neighbor to the south is getting most of the purple goodness. It makes sense, I suppose – a plant is going to go where it needs to go – but I used to be able to see a lot more of it. Will have to devise some kind of plan…

  10. Wonderful! I love blue clematis and this certainly is a great display for you and your neighbours. 🙂

  11. This was the first and only clematis of this sort that we studied in college. We did not get into all the other cultivars and hybrids, perhaps because clematis are not popular here.

      • Yes, but not not just because of the lac of rain. We can give them all the water they want in that regard. They dislike the aridity. I can do nothing about the lack of humidity. However, I know they do well in the Rocky Mountains.

  12. Wonderful!
    ‘Jackmanii’ is grown also in Finland (but my zone would probably be too cold for it). On the Internet, I see many photos of them… but very seldom, if ever, have I seen a clematis, the trellis, the house and the plants behind them forming such a beautiful ensemble.
    The light is magical too. 🙂

  13. I have Clematis envy. I have two clematis plants trying to grow up a fence, but neither of them is happy. Part of the problem is that the once-sunny area where I planted them has been shaded by growing trees (a recurring problem when you garden in the most heavily forested state in the country). I’m hoping they may perk up after I have some trees thinned this fall.

    • The Jackmanii, at least, really does like sun. There are others that, I understand, are more shade tolerant, like ‘Nelly Moser’.

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