While many clematis are slow to get started, Clematis montana ‘Rubens’ (below) has been vigorous from the start. To my recollection, this is the third (and best) try for a vine to cover the railing of the deck outside the kitchen window. I’m a bit foggy what the the first was, but the second will not be forgotten.
The Chocolate vine (Akebia quinata, below) is lovely, but a thug disguised in handsome foliage. For several years, varied excuses were made until the vigorous vine had covered one side of deck, and sent numerous stems twenty feet under the deck to cover the far side railing. And, of course, it didn’t stop there. Finally, enough was determined to be too much, and the vine was dug out. But, like a wisteria that returned each spring long after it was dug out, scattered Chocolate vines reappear somewhere each April. Fortunately, these are easily removed, and they remind that a wisteria or Chocolate vine can be beautiful, but a painful experience.
But back to the clematis, which is small flowered in comparison to several others in the garden, but serves the purpose of covering the deck railing superbly. A few years ago the dense foliage hid a small snake that appeared occasionally to sun itself, but cold winters damaged the vine so today it’s not quite as full. The pale pink flowers are unremarkable compared to other boldly colored clematis, but Clematis montana ‘Rubens’ serves a purpose, and serves it well.
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Haha! I like the description of the chocolate vine. Maybe it was a wisteria that felt wistful for its old spot near the deck! 😀 thank you Dave! 😀
Thanks for the warning on the Akebia Dave, it will never grace my property unless dropped by a passing bird, (assuming it grows from seed ).I had a similar experience with a wisteria that actually scared me!
Clematis on the other hand, I can never have enough of. I am about to plant the white sweet autumn clematis intertwined with the red Ruutel and can hardly wait to see that combination. I have grown the sweet autumn clematis before and never had a problem with it taking off across the land! Better that than grass for which I have an extreme distaste.
Still searching for the Passion flower vine of which you speak so highly. Not many nurseries carry it near me so I will have to check with the nursery in Fredericksburg with which you are so familiar.
That clematis is pretty excellent. The flashier and brightly colored clematis do not last long here. The evergreen clematis is voracious and weedy, but not really as pretty as it is purported to be. This one is a good compromise. It is vigorous enough to be a permanent vine, even cut back annually, but is not too aggressive. The flowers are quite compatible with unrefined landscapes, which are common in redwood forested areas.