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Welcome to all Clematis Lovers

John Hudson during the Society visit to the Netherlands in 2003©Ken Woolfenden

John Hudson, Kwekerij
De Hessenhof nursery,
The Netherlands, 2003

John Hudson, Great Britain - 1926 to 2017

It is with sadness, though one might also consider it to bring a degree of release, that I announce the death on Monday 30th January 2017 of John Hudson. John was diagnosed with dementia some time ago and had lived in a nursing home for the last 4½ years. He died peacefully in the nursing home with his wife, Maureen, daughter Jane and granddaughter at his bedside.

John and Maureen were very active in the clematis world for many years. Whilst I understand it was John who had the initial passion for clematis, certainly I only knew of them as an equal pair, complementing each other in their knowledge and enthusiasm.

They held the British National Collection of Texensis Clematis for many years, no mean feat as they are not the easiest group to cultivate. They wrote about Texensis in Clematis International 2006, starting on page 81.

The photo to your left shows John in typical pose during the Society visit to the Netherlands in 2003, camera in one hand and looking earnestly at the surrounding plants. It was taken in the nursery Kwekerij De Hessenhof, owned by Hans and Miranda Kramer.

2017 Seed Exchange List

The February 2017 Newsletter has been published to all members and with it, the 2017 Seed Exchange List. The Seed Exchange is a benefit for all members of the Society, providing the opportunity to obtain seed that is often difficult or even impossible to find. For the first month or to after the publication of the initial list, we provide an update list on this site, showing the latest stock levels. Click here for the latest 2017 Seed Exchange List.

Our garden this month

February has not been as cold as January, in fact we've had some surprising and atypical warm days, confusing gardeners and their garden plants. Is winter over and should we start to grow? Or will there be another cold spell to kill any new buds?

Whilst the garden is still fairly dormant, there are the usual signs of life. C. cirrhosa continues to flower, not that many at any one time but a steady replacement of old with new. The severe pruning that Fiona gave it last year, to enable us to replace the support to which it was attached, has led to strong, vigourous growth.

The other two clematis showing their usual signs of growth are our C. armandii, though to be honest, one of them actually belongs to our neighbour. Ours, at the end of our back garden, is just showing small buds forming. The plant belonging to our neighbour, which loves to grow through the dividing hedge and show it's best on our side of the divide, has lots of big buds, of which the first handful have just broken out into flower. You can see from the photos below, it shouldn't be long before it is a mass of white blooms.

C. armandii with the first few flowers©Ken Woolfenden C. armandii buds©Ken Woolfenden

C. armandii with the first few flowers

C. armandii buds

Clematis for Beginners List

The Society's Clematis for Beginners List gives a list of cultivars that are very suitable for clematis novices around the world. It was reviewed and revised during our meeting in Devon and Cornwall in 2015. It has been available online for a few months and also as a downloadable version from our Clematis for Beginners Download section. Recently we have added a German language version to the English and Dutch issues, thanks to Heidrun Kläser.

All the clematis on the list are easy to grow, easy to look after and resistant to common pests and diseases, and whilst there are no absolute guarantees where gardening is concerned, most people should have success with all of these.

Because space is not so much of a problem, the online version of the list now contains more information about each clematis featured within it, along with a simple menu bar to let you see each group and then pick the clematis you're interested in. The downloadable version (no illustrations, I'm afraid) folds into a handy booklet, very suitable for taking with you when you visit your local nursery or garden centre!

RHS Late Large-flowered Clematis Trial 2012 - 2015

The Royal Horticultural Society have announced the Award of Garden Merits winners, and losers, of this trial. We have featured this trial in the last three issues of Clematis International with articles by Fiona Woolfenden. Now the RHS have announce five newly awarded AGMs, to C. 'Ascotiensis', C. 'Perle d'Azur', C. 'Remembrance', C. 'Roko-Kolla' and C. 'Zohapbi' HAPPY BIRTHDAY.

Reconfirmed were AGMs for C. 'Błękitny Anioł', C. 'Comtesse de Bouchaud', C. 'Ernest Markham', C. 'Gipsy Queen', C. 'Huldine', C. 'Prince Charles' and C. 'Evipo001' WISLEY.

I mentioned that there were also losers and they were C. 'Aotearoa' and C. 'Madame Grangé'. This doesn't, of course, mean you shouldn't grow them, but perhaps they need special attention.

Journal Index of Clematis References

A reminder of a facility which I'm sure many of you will find most useful - an index of references to all the clematis mentioned in the journals of the Society, both in the text and as pictures.

I am indebted to Ton Hannink for all the work he has put into producing the first issue of this index. Initially it covers the years 2005 - 2010 inclusive. Further years will be added as they are completed.

Whilst it is quite a large document, some 29 pages, it is not a particularly large file to download should you wish, about 290 Kbytes. You can find it by visiting the Previous Journals page.

Find us on  facebook ?

Did you know the Society is on Facebook? We suspect not many of you do, so to make it easier we've added a "Find us on Facebook" icon on the left hand menu. Why not give it a try?

You'll also find photos and news of last year's meeting in the West Country of Great Britain.

RHS Clematis Register and Checklist - Fifth Supplement

The International Clematis Register and Checklist 2002 Fifth Supplement is the latest issue. Published by the Royal Horticultural Society, this 60 page document costs £5.00 plus post and packing and is available via the RHS website at or at RHS book shops, subject to stock. Note, you can also download all supplements other than the first.

The Society fully endorses the work of the International Clematis Registrar, The International Clematis Register and Checklist 2002 and the four supplements published so far. We recommend all clematis lovers use the standards they describe.

There is, of course, still a need for all Clematis breeders, both professionals and amateurs, to register your Clematis varieties with the Registrar to continue to keep the International Clematis Register up to date. If you want a copy of the form, information about it is available at the Clematis Registration Form section. Once you've filled it in and signed it, please send it to Duncan Donald, the International Clematis Registrar.

RHS Clematis Catalogue Collection

The Royal Horticultural Society of Great Britain holds a collection of Nursery Catalogues and have been keen to add to it. A number of years ago the Society was asked to canvas our members for any Clematis Nursery catalogues which they had and would donate to the collection, which we did. Quite a few have been donated so far.

Now Duncan Donald, International Clematis Registrar, has extracted a list of catalogues from Clematis Specialists which are currently within the collection and a list of catalogues which feature clematis, but under such headings as "climbing plants" or "climbers". You can find them at RHS Clematis Catalogue Collection and RHS Climbers and Climbing Plant Catalogue Collection. Links to both these files can also be found via the "Information, Answers and Questions" link on the left of this page.

Duncan is waiting to clarify where further donated catalogues should be sent. As soon as he has this information I will publish it here.

Clematis Nomenclatural Standards List by Wim Snoeijer

Wim Snoeijer has provided another update to this list, and added a few more images. You can find it at Clematis Nomenclatural Standards List. I've changed the format slightly and the images, instead of being embedded within the list which made it a little disjointed, are now available by clicking on the link to make them appear in a separate window. The list is also available as a downloadable .pdf file.

Over the next few months I hope to add many more images, and at higher resolutions than currently displayed.

If you are unfamiliar with the concept of Nomenclatural Standards you may wish to read the article by Wim Snoeijer that was published in Clematis International 2010.

Nursery Membership

The Society offers a second category of membership - Nursery Membership. So far we have been very pleased with the support that many nurseries have given by renewing as Nursery Members. We thank them all.

These Nursery Members can be found on a special Nursery Members page on this website.

The Society hopes you will recognize that, as members of this Society, these Nursery Members have a particular interest, knowledge and love of clematis and can be expected to provide a range and quality of plants, and informed knowledge, not usually available in non-specialist outlets. Please check this page regularly for additions.

Whilst it is now too late for your nursery details to be included in Clematis International 2011, any further Nursery Memberships will be published on this website as they are received and also in the List of Members when it is reissued at the beginning of next year.

Clematis Cultivar Group Classification with Identifying Key and Diagrams, by Wim Snoeijer

Wim Snoeijer, renown clematis expert, enthusiast and clematis breeder with the Dutch clematis nursery of Jan van Zoest, will be known to many members of this Society from articles published in our journal, talks that he has given and the visit to the van Zoest nursery during our trip to the Netherlands in 2003. He has self-published a book about Clematis Classification, detailing his research, thinking and conclusions in this area.

A short description of this book was published in Clematis International 2009, with a more comprehensive review in Clematis International 2010.

The book is only available from Wim Snoeijer. For further details, please visit Clematis Cultivar Group Classification book by Wim Snoeijer.

Trialing New Clematis

An example of a Clematis Trial contract, mentioned in the article in Clematis International 2008 about trialing new clematis by well-known clematis breeder, Wim Snoeijer, can be downloaded by visiting the A.O.B. (Any Other Business) page accessible from our Information, Answers and Questions section.

How do you pronounce .....

If you're uncertain how to pronounce some clematis names, why not visit Clematis on the Web. A number of cultivar entries now have a helpful "how to say" feature.

A classic example is probably C. 'Mrs Cholmondeley'. How do you pronounce this? Just take a look at Clematis on the Web - Mrs Cholmondeley, click on the loudspeaker icon and find out for yourself.

This is an extreme example but I'm sure there are many others that people may be unsure of, but don't like to ask. Now you can find out in the privacy of your own home.

And finally ....

The ethos of the Internet is to be an open forum for ideas, views and opinions. Sites should encourage visitors to link to other sites, it's a two-way process. So if you've got a few moments, why not look at our Clematis Links page and follow up one or two. You may find a lot more than you were expecting!

For any non-members visiting this site, have you considered joining the Society? With plans for some very interesting meetings over the next few years there couldn't be a better time. For details, visit our How to Join page.

Last message - for any new visitors. If you cannot see a set of menu buttons down the left hand side of your screen your link to this site may be incorrect. Please re-visit by calling

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