Friday, 4 December 2015

Container clematis - go again or change tack?

This year, my Clematis Fragrant Oberon fell to the vine weevil menace. Oberon is a relatively new plant, but I fell for the tiny green intensely scented flowers and the glossy fussy lacy foliage (it's evergreen, so the foliage matters) right away.

While I'm prepared to admit that it is possible for Oberon to grow in the ground, mine took objection to the soil or the shade or the competition and sulked desperately until I hoiked him out and put him in a good long pot and gave him a little pyramid to smother. Smother it he did; but every three months I needed to remove some wilt or trim some pests or (groan) drag him out of the pot entirely for a full de-weevilling.

This spring I was too busy or possibly out of patience with the plant we now called Tragic Oberon. He didn't get his roots combed for weevils, and subsequently in the first warm wet snap I gave the (now drooping) plant a little tug and up it came, roots all nibbled to nothing. Alas poor Oberon.

Since then, the pot's sat empty (well it's been colonised by some strawberries, Herb Robert and Armpit Plant) and its little pyramid has been sat in the shed. Which leads us to the question, try again with another Oberon? Or find another thing just as good? Oberon has a big sister now - Nunn's Gift - or I could go blue, if I want to keep it Clematis and fragrant, with many more options if I'm prepared to drop the fragrance.

Of course, any Clematis I buy will still be vulnerable to weeviling. There are things that aren't, but it's limiting, and I'm not going to cover that little pyramid with ivy. We've got enough of that already!    

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