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Create a clematis trellis in your garden


By Spalding Today Columnist


April is still playing tricks with us. Yesterday, while taking the dog for a walk, it felt like I experienced four seasons in just one day. That said, this morning the sun was beaming through the bedroom curtains. It was one of those morning were getting out of bed is a pleasure rather than a chore.

With the ground warming, clematis, honeysuckles and climbing roses are sending out new fresh growth that will need tying in. Tying the new growth to something firm and stable will support the plant and will allow you the opportunity to train the plant to grow in a way in which you find visually pleasing.

Clematis is a great versatile plant that can grow over trees and through shrubs and generally create extra interest in the garden throughout the garden season. Avoid choosing fast, vigorously-growing varieties of clematis if you want to keep the plant in one area as it will soon grow out of control.

I’m going to plant a couple of new summer flowering clematis this week and I want to grow them outside my back door. I have a little patio area which catches the afternoon and evening sun.

There’s a fairly plain white wall that I’d really like to cover and add some interest too. A quick trip to any garden centre should see you able to pick up a width of garden trellis to form the frame that the clematis will grow up. A little bit of DIY will be required in order to secure the wooden trellis to the wall.

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It’s important to make sure that when you attach the trellis to the wall that you place spacers behind the trellis in order for the trellis to be about 2.5cm/1inch away from the wall. The best way to do this is to secure two pieces of baton at either end of the trellis. This space will allow the clematis to climb over and through the holes in the trellis.

Dig over the soil underneath the trellis and remove weeds as you go along. Turn your plants out of their pots and dig a hole deep enough for the top of the rootball to be 5-8cm/2-3in below the top of the soil. Backfill and firm into place, then give a gentle water to say 'welcome home'.

Weave the clematis stems and shoots in and around the trellis in whatever direction you choose. These shoots are delicate, so please take care not to damage the plant.

Repeat this process until all of your plants have been planted and coaxed into place on the trellis. If you need to, you can use a soft jute twine to secure the climbing shoots against the trellis but again, don’t tie these too tightly.

At this stage, you like me may find yourself getting a little parched and as my doctor keeps telling me: “You need to stay hydrated” and you have to follow doctor’s orders....though I’m not sure he’d prescribe the three Jammie Dodgers that will accompany my rehydration ceremony.

During this month you’ll find that your lawn's growth is increasing. Don’t scalp your lawn by setting the cutting blades on your mower too low. It’s best to gradually reduce the cutting height week by week.

Whatever you do though, just enjoy your garden!



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