Up in the air.

I keep mentioning the pergola which goes up to the fruit and veggie area, I thought it was about time to show the planting round it and up it. It has the pond to the right of it with spring flowering shrubs, to the left is a shady border , between the pergola and the field next door, with mainly hydrangeas which are flowering now and a huge Bramley apple tree which we inherited. Most of the uprights have a rose and clematis up them, some have 2 clematis and one has a Trachelospermum jasminoides.

Deutzia and charry

Starting in April, the right side of the pergola has white flowers belonging to a Deutzia and the pink flowers are from a small Prunus.


In June, this shot shows a dark red rose at the far end and on the right, the shrub Kolkwitzia, which is in the pond area, is joining in. The clematis on the fence in the distance had to be cut hard back as it was almost bringing the fence down. It didn’t like such treatment and promptly died!


The flowers of the Kolkwitzia are very pretty but I can’t detect any perfume unfortunately.


Still in June, looking the other way, back into the garden, with the Kolkwitzia now on the left, a pink rose up above and the clematis on the right have started flowering.

Pergola July

In June the roses at the front are flowering, on the right is R. New Dawn, which is looking very pale in this photo, and on the left is Mdme. Alfred Carriere, a  vigorous white rose!

Rosa New Dawn

Rosa New Dawn with its gorgeous baby pink petals.

Rosa Mdme. Alfred Carriere

Rosa Mdme. Alfred Carriere is so vigorous, maybe not a wise choice for the pergola as pruning it always means a ladder is needed, I like both feet on the ground !


The first clematis to flower is Clematis viticella Abundance.


The next upright has Clematis Etoile violette.


All the clematis on the pergola are Clematis viticella, I chose them as they don’t get clematis wilt.  Here are C Margot Koster, on the left  and Etoile violette on the right, so when I come to prune them in Feb/March, I don’t have to stop and think, they all get cut down to 2ft.

Clematis on pergola

Quite often though they manage to escape up the Bramley apple tree and it’s too late to get them back round the posts! Etoile violette has been joined by C.Margot Koster


Etoile violette is definitely escaping up the apple tree, I really will have to keep an eye on them next year and twine them round the uprights properly!

Trachelospermum jasminoides

Also flowering in July is Trachelospermum jasminoides. This has  the most divine perfume, which stops you in your tracks when you are whizzing past. Unlike the honeysuckle which wafts its perfume across the garden on the breeze, this one keeps it for when you are much closer. I must find space for another by one of the seats in the garden.

Trachelospermum jasminoides

Trachelospermum jasminoides has lots of small flowers all the way up, the flowers start out white but as they get older they turn creamy yellow. The climber is almost evergreen here, it doesn’t lose many leaves over the winter so I just need to give it a slight trim early in the year, otherwise it would block too much of the path.


~At the front of the pergola, climbing up Rosa Mdme Alfred Carrier is Clematis viticella Pearl D’Azure but they don’t very often flower at the same time unfortunately, the clematis flowers when Madame is having a rest!

Rose and clematis

I managed to catch them together this time though!

Clematis Mary Rose

At the other end of the pergola are two clematis, one is this one, Clematis viticella Mary Rose. This has quite a story, so bear with me any of you that know it. This clematis was in cultivation at the time of Henry VIII,  500 yrs ago, but was thought to be lost until about 20 yrs ago when it was discovered in a Devon garden. At the same time Henry’s warship was discovered just off the coast near Southampton and the job of raising her from the water started. The nursery which discovered the clematis asked if he could name it after the warship which had lain in the mud at the bottom of the sea for over 500 years, his request was granted. The flowers are quite small, about half the size of the one in the photo, but it makes up for it by having so many flowers, it’s very vigorous!

Clematis Alba Luxuriens

Climbing the same post as C. Mary Rose is Clematis Alba Luxurians. The colour of the stamens in C.Alba Luxurians is the same purple as C. Mary Rose, a happy accident! The early flowers sometimes have green on the petals, later ones are all white.


On the opposite pillar is another Clematis viticella purpurea plena elegans more of a burgundy colour rather than royal purple. This has the dark red rose for company.


The left hand border between the pergola and the fence by the field are where I planted the Hydrangeas that came with my Mum, when she moved in with us for the last couple of years of her life. The one at the left used to be pink when my Mum had it in a pot, it has grown so much since it has been set free and has also changed colour. The white one next to it is Hydrangea paniculata which has lacy cones similar to a buddleja, this one is just a couple of years old.

Lacecap Hydrangea

Next to the white H. paniculata is a lacecap Hydrangea. This was one of Mum’s too, again it has grown so huge but I don’t think it can decide if it wants to be blue or pink, maybe one day it will make up it’s mind!

Dark red rose

A dark red rose at the far end of the pergola quite often makes an escape bid up the Bramley apple tree and we don’t see any flowers until they wave at us from way up in the air. This photo makes it look much lighter than it really is.

Clematis and hydrangea

Sometimes the clematis flop and then get tangled with the Hydrangeas, it’s impossible to untangle them! This is Clematis viticella  Abundance, it lives up to its name, it is very abundant with its flowers.


More hydrangeas further up the border, this one is a pale pink mophead, again with C. Abundance

Lacecap hydrangea

The last Hydrangea on the left of the pergola is a white lacecap, this is fairly new so not very large yet.

There are hellebores between the hydrangeas followed by false oxlips and these are followed by a couple of day lilies. This part of the garden is quite low maintenance with just the clematis to cut back, the Hydrangeas to dead head and the roses to prune in February, after that I just sit back for the rest of the year and enjoy the flowers! – I wish!

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36 Responses to Up in the air.

  1. Chloris says:

    I enjoyed your pergola post, specially as I am planning a pergola for next year. Two great roses New Dawn and Mme. Alfred Carriers and I love the dainty viticella clematis. I have several but not enough, I would like them everywhere. They are a great addition to the late summer garden and as you say, they don’ t get clematis wilt. I love them. They look lovely with your hydrangeas.

    • Pauline says:

      Thanks Chloris, how interesting that you are planning a pergola for next year, you will have such fun deciding what to plant up it! I keep looking at shrubs and trees, wondering if they can take the weight of clematis, just so that I can have more colour in the garden.

  2. Sally says:

    I love how you showed the pergola at different angles and pointed out the vines and roses growing on it then, you showed us a close-up of each flower. What a great idea! I’m truly in love with Clematis. I must get some viticella……I need something hearty! Hydrangeas are one of my favorites as well……such beauty! Thanks for sharing!

    • Pauline says:

      There are so many clematis to choose from Sally, sometimes it is difficult when there is so much choice. The first few clematis I bought died from clematis wilt, that was when I changed to C.viticella and I’ve had no problems since.

  3. Absolutely beautiful! Blessings, Natalie 🙂

  4. debsgarden says:

    Pauline, I think we must be kindred garden spirits, because your plantings are just exactly what I would do with a pergola like yours. I love all your clematis. I only have one in my own garden, climbing a pole that supports a birdhouse, but I have been dreaming of planting more, if I can find the right place in my abundantly shady garden! I love the story of how Clematis viticella Mary Rose got her name. We know Trachelospermum jasminoides as Confederate rose, and it is the wonderful plant I have growing on the arch leading to my patio. I am planning to plant another one in my arbor garden. I love the fragrance. I truly want to get more flowering vines into my garden. Your pergola is an inspiration!

    • Pauline says:

      No tree or shrub Debs, is safe, I keep looking at them to see if they could take the weight of a clematis! With all the growth that all the plants have made on the pergola, most of the clematis are now in the shade on the left hand side, but they don’t seem to mind. The perfume of Trachelospermum is so wonderful, I must plant more!

  5. Johnvic8 says:

    Will have to try clematis verticilata. Have had lots of wilt to deal with. You may want to try clematis growing into Chinese snowball viburnum (Viburnum macrocephallum).

    • Pauline says:

      Good to hear from you John. When we first started the garden here, any clematis I planted died from C. wilt, that was when I read that Clematis viticella never gets wilt, everything has been fine since then with no sign of wilt any more, thank goodness. That’s a good idea about putting a clematis up the snowball viburnum, it would give it a second period of interest, many thanks.

  6. rusty duck says:

    I much prefer the viticellas to the dinner plate varieties. Less is so often more. But the Trachelospermum sounds wonderful too, close to a seating area would be perfect.

    • Pauline says:

      Me too Jessica, small is beautiful where the flowers are concerned! The perfume of Trachelospermum is divine, I can thoroughly recommend it!

  7. pbmgarden says:

    Informative post and beautiful clematis.

    • Pauline says:

      Thanks Susie, clematis are such beautiful flowers for the latter part of the year, some of them are still in flower in October, they earn their space in the garden.

  8. Frank says:

    I expected a single rose and a clematis picture, I never suspected your pergola went on so far and had such a well rounded cast! It all looks so lush and balanced. I think you do a good job keeping the peace.
    A pergola would be a nice addition here, but I’m a little intimidated by finding just the right spot and style for it. Was yours hard to site?

    • Pauline says:

      I don’t think it was hard to site Frank, we already had the pond on the right hand side and we knew we would be making the fruit and veg area right at the top of the garden. I knew I wanted to plant lots of climbers, so a pergola seemed the obvious choice. I think you need a path that goes somewhere with a purpose at the end, so that you need to walk through it to get somewhere.Just having a pergola plonked in a garden, with nowhere to walk to, doesn’t really work in my opinion. We didn’t make ours a straight run of posts from one end to the other, it has an angle half way so that we can’t see the other end from the beginning, hoping people will want to explore! Go for it Frank, I’m sure you can find the right spot for one!

  9. Cathy says:

    This is a very pretty area of your garden with perfume and colour and shade for the Hydrangeas too. You make it sound so easy, but just deadheading alone can take up so much time. Lovely post with all those gorgeous photos!

    • Pauline says:

      So pleased you like it Cathy, it makes going up the garden to pick the veg a pleasure! It is quite a lot of work in February but obviously I need to keep an eye on the clematis in the following months as they are an unruly lot!

  10. Your arbor is splendid! How wonderful to have the perfect place to grow so many fab clematis and roses. I was growing two clematis this year with some success until their roots were eaten by a vole, but I think I will try again. The story about Clematis viticella Mary Rose is intriguing. I looked it up on the internet to see more photos and the bloom is tiny, which I think adds to its charm. Sadly, I couldn’t find anyone in the US that offers it for sale.

    Trachelospermum jasminoides is abundant in gardens across the Southern US. I was surprised to find it equally profuse in Italy when I visited in June. Here, it blooms early to mid May.

    • Pauline says:

      Voles seem to get everywhere Marian, they are a pest in some gardens unfortunately. C. Mary Rose is such a beautiful little flower, but there are so many of them, you can forgive it for being so small. What a shame you can’t find anyone selling it in the US, maybe one day?
      More and more gardeners here are discovering the delights of Trachelospermum jasminoides, I must try taking cuttings of mine so that I can have more in the garden, it is so beautiful.

  11. Peter/Outlaw says:

    Your pergola plantings are gorgeous and I enjoyed the way you took us through the growing season with your descriptions. Aren’t our plants associated with loved ones and events wonderful?

    • Pauline says:

      I agree Peter, when weeding round the garden I keep finding plants that family or friends have given me, it brings them closer and I usually end up either phoning them or e.mailing them. Glad you like the planting.

  12. Cathy says:

    I so enjoyed reading this post Pauline and have noted the names of some of the viticellas. I have made it harder for myself on our clematis colonnade because I have tried to have clematis which flower in different seasons meaning pruning will not be as simple! None of mine are as established as yours so I have a treat to look forward to as your pergola is gorgeous – now, should I consider roses there as well….?!

    • Pauline says:

      Cathy, I knew if I had clematis that needed pruning at different times, I would get so confused, it was far easier for me to have them all the same! Quite often it is March before I get round to pruning them, this means there is so much to cut away, they are certainly vigorous.

  13. I’m another fan of “small is beautiful” Pauline, ‘Mary Rose’ looks a real beauty. I’ve been pondering where I can plant clematis, and more importantly, a Trachelospernum jasminoides, close enough to the patio or a path to be able to get the full measure of the fragrance.

    • Pauline says:

      C. Mary Rose is a lovely clematis Janet and it has so many of its lovely little flowers, I’m so glad it was rediscovered in a garden down here.The perfume from Trachelospermum jasminoides is divine, I can certainly recommend it!

  14. Christina says:

    Pauline, you are amazing, you’ve been keeping the pergola all to yourself! It is perfectly planted. It is too dry here for clematis but they would be something I would plant lots of if I had the right conditions. I do have Trachelospermum which is amazingly still flowering this year. Here it flowers at the end of May and the perfume is so strong it is almost overwhelming, I think it needs a hot for heat for the perfume to travel around the garden. Sometimes I can smell it from the front of the house when it is at the back. But it is lovely to think that there are some plants that we can both grow.

    • Pauline says:

      It wasn’t on purpose Christina, honestly! It’s interesting that you can smell your Trachelospermum from a distance, maybe mine just can’t compete with the honeysuckle perfume which is everywhere! I do so love perfumed plants in the garden, perfumes are wonderful at bringing back memories from the past, another dimension to the garden.

  15. Alain says:

    I enjoyed learning about Clematis viticella Mary Rose. It has quite a nice flower. Your pergola looks so inviting and relaxed with many interesting plants. I envy your Trachelospermum!

    • Pauline says:

      Yes Alain, C. Mary Rose has quite a history, it’s amazing that it lasted so long in cultivation, before it was thought to have been lost. The perfume from the Thrachelospermum is so strong and so wonderful, I must take some cuttings so that I can grow more!

  16. Your pergola planting is beautiful Pauline! Kolkwitzia has such pretty blooms, and the fragrance from your roses must be incredible. Such a lovely area of your garden.

    • Pauline says:

      Thank you Paula, there is quite a lot of perfume in that area, nice when I’m dashing to pick some veg, sometimes I linger longer than I should! I’m very fond of the Kolkwitzia, it has such pretty flowers that add to the spring flowering shrubs in the garden.

  17. Angie says:

    Pauline, you have the perfect Pergola! You have so many wonderful climbers – thanks for taking the time to share them all with us.
    I’ve made a note of some of them. I’ve only got 2 group 2 clematis to replace, fed up with wilt too! C. viticella Mary Rose is going straight to the top of the list!

    • Pauline says:

      That’s fantastic Angie, that you like C. Mary Rose so much, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed! I also have C. alpina & montana, which flower early in the year and texensis, which flower about now, all of which seem to be wilt free. I think it’s mainly the large flowered ones which are liable to get wilt.

  18. Annette says:

    What a varied and beautiful planting, Pauline. There’s something to enjoy every month of the year. The Kolkwitzia is an unusual choice but I think rather successful. I love the Clematis v. Abundance. New Dawn and Mme. Alfred Carrière have been in all of my gardens – they’re a must 🙂

    • Pauline says:

      I think Annette, that some of the old favourites are the best. So many new varieties come onto the market, but they don’t have the staying power of the old ones. The Kolkwitzia was planted at the back of the pond area, but I don’t think I pruned it as hard as usual, so it was able to get a few long stems up and over the pergola!

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