Clematis integrifolia and other herbaceous clematis
I am notoriously bad at remembering plant variety names, so imagine my delight at finding a label firmly attached to the base of this plant. I checked it out on Google and the name was completely wrong! There is a moral here! I will limit myself to saying that there are many nice varieties of this species of herbaceous clematis!
‘Herbaceous’ means non-woody, and all such plants die to the ground each autumn. It’s a moot point whether this qualifies them for the herbaceous border as they tend to scramble and need support. Some gardeners prefer to let them tumble over a wall or use them as ground cover.
Obelisks are an ideal method of support. Those at garden centres are sometimes very good. We are fortunate that our local blacksmith is both cheaper and better. Clematis can still be a bit unruly and might need tucking in. If you are very clever, order your obelisk to exactly fit the height of your plant, it looks so much nicer.
Another herbaceous clematis, C.hendersonii, easily grows six foot and more each year and is too tall for the herbaceous border. It is one of my favorites. In Bolton Percy churchyard, this clematis has been clambering up into a tamarisk for thirty years. The pruning is so easy, just cut to the ground each year and, if you forget, it will just climb up the dead stems!
Propagators among you will be wondering whether the usual clean chop with a sharp spade can be used to divide a piece from a strong clump of herbaceous clematis. Yes it can.