What looks good with Clematis?

Credit: KENPEI

Q: I have a sculpture in my yard on which grow two clematis – a Jackmanjii and a dwarf Ruutel. I cut both plants back to the snow line early in February. The sculpture is a tree made of rebar and stands about 8 feet high. In early summer, the sculpture is stunning but once the blooms are faded… well, not so much. Have you any suggestions of an annual or perennial (including another clematis) that could climb with these plants but would bloom later in the summer?

If you would like to plant another Clematis that will bloom after her Jackmanii, I would suggest ‘Sweet Autumn’ Clematis also know as both Terniflora and Paniculata. This variety produces masses of white fragrant flowers followed be attractive seedheads. Blooms start late summer or early fall and continue until frost or beyond. Seedheads can be enjoyed almost until winter. This variety can be pruned hard in February or not pruned at all. If planted with Jackmanii and Ruutel, probably following the same pruning regime would be easiest.

If you’re happy to plant an annual vine to accompany her existing clematis, I would suggest a mandevilla. In recent years there have been some showy new editions. They are available in crimson, pink and white and the flowers are very vibrant and bloom almost to first frost.