I.Cl.S. - Book Reviews

Book Reviews by Members of the I.Cl.S. in Clematis International 2001

  1. Clematis The Genus - Christopher Grey-Wilson
  2. Clematis For Everyone - Raymond J Evison
  3. Companions To Clematis: Growing Clematis With Other Plants - Marigold Badcock
  4. Choosing Your Clematis - John Howells
  5. Clematis - Members Of The Japan Clematis Society
  6. Clematis So Blühen Sie Am Schönsten / Success With Clematis - Walter Hörsch
  7. Schöne Clematis Kletterpflanzen Für Jeden Garten - Andreas Bärtels
  8. Clematis - The Vines of the Future - M. A. Beskaravainaya

Book Reviews by Members of the I.Cl.S. in Clematis International 2000

  1. RHS Practical Guides - Clematis - Charles Chesshire
  2. Growing Clematis: A Complete Guide - Bridget Gubbins
  3. The Rose and the Clematis - Dr. John Howells
  4. En Trädgårdspark I Södermanland. Antroposofernas Trädgård I Ytterjärna - Arne Klingborg
  5. The American Clematis Society's Guide to Growing Clematis - Edith Malek
  6. Clematis - a hamlyn care manual - Mary Toomey
  7. Clematis - Kultur und Pflege - Vermehrung un Hybridisierung - Die schönsten Sorten - Mary Toomey

1999 Book Reviews by Ruth Gooch & Fiona Woolfenden

  1. Trouble Free Clematis - The Viticellas by Dr John Howells
  2. Clematis for all Seasons by John Feltwell
  3. Clematis - Climbers of the Future by M. A. Beskaravainaya
  4. Clematis by Brother Stefan Franczak

Books Reviewed Previously by Fiona Woolfenden

  1. The Gardener's Guide to Growing Clematis by Raymond J. Evison.
  2. Clematis, The Complete Guide by Ruth Gooch
  3. The Genus Clematis (Släktet Klematis) by Magnus Johnson
  4. Making the most of Clematis, Third Edition, by Raymond Evison

Other Clematis Books Listed:

  1. Clematis as Companion Plants by Barry Fretwell
  2. Growing Clematis by Dr John Howells
  3. Clematis, Queen of Climbers by Jim Fisk
  4. Clematis for Colour and Versatility by Keith and Carol Fair
  5. Clematis by Christopher Lloyd and Tom Bennett
  6. Clematis by Barry Fretwell

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Clematis The Genus - Christopher Grey-Wilson

Reviewed by Timo Löfgren

Clematis The Genus - Christopher Grey-WilsonThe book is a Clematis flora (list of plants), where the species are the main subject. An effort is made to present them simply for amateurs, but in such detail, that the book could also serve the botanists. The cultivated species are marked with *. From many of them also cultivars are presented. The large-flowered Clematis are covered suitably briefly.

The fresh colour photographs show how many different-looking species there are within the genus Clematis, and how they look like in the wild or natural-like environment.

In the beginning of the book there are typical instructions about how to take care of Clematis, propagate them and about their problems. This should not be necessary in a flora, maybe with an exception of the cold hardiness based on the coldest temperatures during the winter.

The genus Clematis is in the book divided in nine subgenera, most of them further in sections and subsections. The species presented are numbered from 1 to 297. Among the descriptions there are some strange-looking symbols. They prove to be a handsome tool to bond together relative species on basis of their common properties. As a comparison it should be mentioned, that Magnus Johnson divides the genus directly into 19 sections, many of them having subsections. There is a dispute between the two into which section the subsection of the African Clematis, Africanae is placed.

At end of the paragraph on C. barbellata (p.153) it is written, that in some literature this species has been connected to C. alpina and its relatives. The cultivar 'Bletina' is named. This may be in connection that C. fauriei, a cultivar of which 'Betina' is, has by mistake over time in Sweden been spread as C. barbellata (MJo p.193). Another small lapse in the book is the statement (p.194), that C. x jouiniana (C. tubulosa x C. vitalba) is the only hybrid of the latter species. The book also describes C. 'Paul Farges' SUMMER SNOW (C. potaninii x C. vitalba), popular here with us. Grey-Wilson says, that C. 'Durandii' is a hybrid between C. integrifolia and C. 'Jackmanii'. That is questionable. Johnson, after researching the case, states that the latter part nearly certainly has been C. lanuginosa (MJo p.584).

The new book is about half of the size of Johnson's book, which in addition to a comparable presentation of the species contains a wide 'package' about growing and about the cultivars, among others 168 pages about the cultivars of the section Viticella (Clematis viticella and the large-flowered Clematis), and information about growing clematis from the northern perspective.

Grey-Wilson has also skipped the historical surveys and many original references, which are found in Johnson's book. Also the picture material is rather different from Johnson's. These books thus complement well each other. Those unable to read Swedish language have missed a modern Clematis flora. That's why one can predict this book a future reaching to several editions.

Recommended especially to those interested in natural species and small-flowered Clematis, and who not are afraid of the price of the book.

First published in 2000 by B. T. Batsford Ltd., 8 Blenheim Court, Brewery Road, London, N7 9NT, UK. ISBN: 0 7134 7659 1. Price about 30.00 GBP in 2001.

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Clematis For Everyone - Raymond J Evison

Reviewed by Ruth Gooch and Fiona Woolfenden

Clematis For Everyone - Raymond J EvisonThis is an updated version of 'Making the Most of Clematis' published under a different title. It is the usual high standard that we have come to expect from Raymond.

There are a number of new photos but overall the book is the same size and with the same chapters covering all aspects of growing Clematis in various situations.

However, the chapter on 'Growing Clematis in North America' is larger with a page of 'Suggested Clematis for North American Gardens'.

The list of Clematis at the end has been updated and its nice to see that Raymond has marked which Clematis have been given the British Clematis Society's 'Certificate of Merit'. (For more information on this award please read John Maskelyne's article in this Journal).

In summary, it is a very nice book which is packed with information and reasonably priced. It is excellent for beginners and it is comprehensive enough to appeal to more experienced gardeners.

First published 2000 by Burall Floraprint Limited, Wisbech, UK. A fully revised sequel to 'Making the Most of Clematis' originally published in the UK by Floraprint Limited, Nottingham. ISBN: 0 903001 70 5. Priced at 8.95 GBP in 2001

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Companions To Clematis: Growing Clematis With Other Plants - Marigold Badcock

Reviewed by Helen Proulx

Companions To Clematis: Growing Clematis With Other Plants - Marigold BadcockMrs. Badcock writes in the introduction to her book 'It occurred to me how useful it would be to have a list of clematis by season, colour and height to help me to select clematis to grow through existing shrubs and to plan combinations to enhance many aspects of the garden throughout the year.'

However, in Chapter 1, instead of listing Clematis by season, she has organized the clematis into 11 groups: 'The Evergreen Climbers', 'C. montana', 'Early to Mid-Season Large-Flowered Cultivars', 'C. viticella', 'Late, Large-Flowered Cultivars', 'Herbaceous Species and Cultivars', 'C. orientalis' (she should have named this group 'Nodding, Bell Shaped Flowers' because she also lists C. tangutica, C. tibetiana, and C. tenuifolia), 'C. texensis', and 'Late, Small-Flowered Species and Cultivars.'

Within each of the groups, she describes the Flowering season, Flowers, Aspect, Cultivation, Pruning, and Background; and then lists the species, cultivars or hybrids with Variety, Colour, Features, and Height. It is an extensive and useful list, and the groups are in the order of their blooming cycles through the seasons. Perhaps I am being too picky!

Chapter 2 is about the cultivation of Clematis. It is only when we reach Chapters 3, 4 and 5 that we read about partnering Clematis with shrubs, roses, herbaceous plants and other vines, in the Spring, Summer and Autumn, so as to enhance the blooming season of each. It is a useful discussion.

Mrs. Badcock is an accomplished photographer. The photographs alone are worth buying the book. Every page has at least one photograph and most pages have more. The line drawings and coloured illustrations are nice as well.

Mrs. Badcock would have benefited from having a knowledgeable Clematis breeder read her text for correct spelling and form. Her editors let her down in this respect. There are not many errors, but they are there.

All in all, I found it a useful book and will add it to our library.

First published by Guild of Master Craftsman Publications Ltd, High Street, Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 1XU, UK. ISBN: 1 86108 151 0.

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Choosing Your Clematis - John Howells

Reviewed by Ruth Gooch and Fiona Woolfenden

Choosing Your Clematis - John HowellsThis small book has a very appealing front cover of a Clematis in full flower growing up a pergola. The format inside is also attractive with generally a large 'garden' photo of each Clematis described and two smaller photos showing the flower shape and form.

The book is excellent for beginners particularly the sections on 'Selecting your Clematis' and 'Buying your Clematis'.

John divides Clematis into a number of groups and suggests the seasons when these flower. This helps make the book more relevant to non-UK readers. He recommends 12 clematis from these different groups as a starter collection. There are also examples of a number of 'colours' throughout the seasons.

The section on 'Buying your Clematis' is especially welcome as John explains what to do with 'liners' and 'plugs' which so often tempt gardeners due to their low price.

There are a number of very nice photos taken by the author. However many have been printed slightly out of focus.

In conclusion, it is a nice book, especially for a beginner, but a bit expensive due no doubt to the number of colour photos.

Printed in England by Antique Collectors Club Ltd., Woodbridge, Suffolk. ISBN: 1 870673 37 9. Priced about 15.00 GBP in 2001.

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Clematis - Members Of The Japan Clematis Society

Reviewed by Fiona Woolfenden This book was produced by a group of members of the Japan Clematis Society. It is packed with information and photos.

The photos make the book very appealing. There are a number of good 'garden views'. I was delighted to see pictures of Jon and Ruth Gooch and the gardens at Thorncroft Clematis Nursery.

There are a number of good close-up photos of Clematis including varieties not often seen outside Japan. The display of seed heads is also interesting.

One unusual section compared to European books features clematis growing in pots and hanging baskets. The style is different to what I'm used to.

There are a number of pages showing Clematis as cut flowers. (Members interested in the cut flower trade in Japan should read Maurice Horn's article in the 1998 Edition of Clematis International).

My only criticism with the book is that the colour reproduction on some of the blue clematis is not good. For example, 'Fairy Blue' which is a nice blue very similar to 'Multi Blue' looks almost pink.

Despite the fact that I can not understand Japanese it is a lovely book to dip into and enjoy the pictures, a number of which are unusual compared to European Clematis books.

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Clematis So Blühen Sie Am Schönsten / Success With Clematis - Walter Hörsch

Reviewed by Doris Warmhold

Clematis So Blühen Sie Am Schönsten / Success With Clematis - Walter HörschI regard this book as a good and inexpensive opportunity to inform all beginners about all things Clematis. All instructions are accompanied by illustrations and are easy for everyone to understand. Walter Hörsch - well known and competent in things Clematis - has joined the most important things together with good photos. The success of this book shows in that, in 1999 the 5th edition appeared and it is also translated into English.

Ich betrachte dieses Buch als eine gute und preiswerte Gelegenheit für alle nfänger in Sachen Clematis sich hier zu informieren. Es sind alle anletungen auch mit Abbildungen und Zeichnungen für jedermann gut verständlich. Walter Hörsch - kompetent in Sachen Clematis und bekannt dafür - hat hier die wichtigsten Dinge mit guten Fotos zusammengefügt. Dass dieses Buch bisher ein Erfolg war, zeigt, dass es 1999 in der 5. Auflage erschienen ist.

First published in Germany in 1995 - Publishing house Gräfe und Unzer, German Price DM 14,80 - 63 Seiten - ISBN 3-7742-1791-2. In the UK it is priced around 4.00 GBP in 2001 - ISBN 1-85391-583-1. This book has now been published in 5 languages in total.

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Schöne Clematis Kletterpflanzen Für Jeden Garten - Andreas Bärtels

Reviewed by Doris Warmhold

Schöne Clematis Kletterpflanzen Für Jeden Garten - Andreas BärtelsA very detailed, though not so extensive a book, with many good photos. He not only describes the large flowering Clematis, but Andreas Bärtels also inspires the readers for the ever more popular lovely small flowering forms. As is fitting for a well-known dendrologist such as Andreas Bärtels, it is a book developed for it scope, which should not be missed by any German-language Clematis lover.

Ein sehr ausführliches aber trotzdem nicht zu umfangreiches Buch mit vielen gelungenen Fotos. Hier sind nicht nur goßblumige Clematis beschrieben, sondern Andreas Bärtels begeistert die Leser auch für die immer beliebter werdenden kleinblütigen Formen. Wie es sich für einen bekannten Dendrologen wie Andreas Bärtels gehört, ist es ein für seinen Umfang ausgereiftes Buch.

First published in Germany in 1989 - Publishing house Eugen Ulmer, Germany 128 Seiten - ISBN 3-8001-6576-7 - German-language.

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Clematis - The Vines of the Future - M. A. Beskaravainaya

Reviewed by Ian Lang

I have had the great fortune to borrow a copy of this comprehensive book by the renowned Russian Professor and to dip into it at my leisure. Let me start, however, by confessing that my Russian is by no means as good as it ought to be. For a fluent reader of the language, the book presents the whole range of clematis knowledge, from cultivation and gardening advice for the amateur enthusiast right through to scientific descriptions of the Professor's genetic experimentation for the professional botanist.

My initial interest in the book came about through Magnus Johnson's magnum opus, where he lists many clematis from the former Soviet Union - some have made it to the West while some exist to us only as names. I was fascinated by the range of these cultivars and wanted to find out more about them and, in particular, about what the names meant or referred to. The Professor's book has helped greatly in this as she explains the origins of the names of many of her introductions, from those honouring family members, colleagues and Russian pioneers to those evoking colour and atmosphere.

Of course, the book is aimed at a Russian audience but could a reader with little or no Russian get anything out of the book? I believe so. The book is well illustrated with line drawings and photographs. The monochrome photographs and line drawings give very clear examples of important clematis features such as leaf, bud, flower and root shape.

However, there is one factor which should put this book on every clematis enthusiast's table - in a central colour section there are photographs of many of the Russian cultivars, particularly those introduced by the State Nikitsky Botanical Gardens in the Crimea. Out of more than 35 photographs, there are nearly thirty of which this reviewer has never before seen a photograph and which certainly are not for sale in this part of the world. Whilst we may well be familiar with 'Aljonushka' and 'Kosmicheskaia Melodiia', who has come across 'Bal Tsvetov' (Ball of the Flowers) (lanuginosa group) or the stunning 'Zagadka' (Enigma) (Hexapetala group), the very first introduction resulting from the Professor's experimental mutagenic method, which has been reported in English in various publications?

This book has gone onto my personal wish-list. If only it were readily available  Likewise, will 'Zagadka' always remain a stranger to my garden?

Footnote: For anyone who is interested, I have compiled a list of the Russian, Baltic and Japanese cultivars listed in Magnus Johnson's book. I have included translations of the names where possible as well as indications of their origins. Also included is a long list of those for which I have no translation or information and I welcome more information from anyone who cares to give it. The list can be downloaded from our website at www.thenook.karoo.net

[Editors note: This year both 'Bal Tsvetov' and 'Zagadka' have been registered with the International Clematis Registrar and appear in Vicki Matthews article earlier in this journal. Professor Beskaravainaya has also kindly sent us pictures so we can enjoy looking at them even if we are as yet unable to buy them.]

Published in Russian by Kvarta Publishing House, Voronezh, 1998 172pp.

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RHS Practical Guides - Clematis - Charles Chesshire

Reviewed by Ruth Gooch

RHS Practical Guides - Clematis - Charles ChesshireAn A5 size paperback book which, as the title suggests, is a practical guide. In a 'pocket-sized' book, aimed at the 'gardening public' a huge amount of information is given. It covers all aspects from selection, which clematis to grow where, to planning colour combinations, and planting and caring for clematis.

Whilst each section of the book is covered briefly, it describes the main points clearly so that gardeners who have not grown clematis before are given a good insight into the genus and how to grow and look after them.

The colour photographs are of a high standard with all but one or two, namely the blues, accurate for colour.

An excellent book that does what it is aimed to do, giving 'expert advice' to the novice gardener.

Published in England by Darling Kindersley, price £4.99. www.dk.com. ISBN: 0-7513-0686-X.

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Growing Clematis: A Complete Guide - Bridget Gubbins

Reviewed by Brewster Rogerson

Growing Clematis: A Complete Guide - Bridget GubbinsFor some months last year this engaging paperbound book appeared in booksellers' lists simply as "forthcoming," with no details, and it was only on its recent distribution, two years late, that most of us learned what an attraction it holds for lovers of clematis: it brings us Australia.

Members of this Society well know how much the clematis world has expanded in little more than a decade, with growers and gardeners of several nations much more a part of a single community than in the past. New Zealand has played its part in the advancing awareness-but for most of us Australia has remained out of the picture. Now we have word from an acknowledged expert on gardening there with clematis, and there is much that is fresh and interesting.

Ms. Gubbins' book begins with the obligatory coverage of the four P's- planting, pruning, propagation, and pests-all briefly but clearly handled for Australian gardeners, whose growing conditions in regions near the coast are likely to be somewhat warmer on the whole than those addressed by the impressive armful of British books on clematis.

However, her most arresting contribution in these early pages has nothing to do with a difference in climate. After some years of gardening on two dissimilar sites she is convinced that all the large-flowered hybrids react well, and in their true character, if pruned exactly alike: down to the second-from-the-bottom pair of healthy-looking growth buds, every winter. No more A, B, and C! She has more on this point, not to be revealed here. Tolle, legge.

The midsection of the book has short descriptions of some 140 clematis, with photographs mostly by the author. The pictures are usually small, but quite clear and accurate in color, and often include enough of the foliage to help with identification. Most readers from outside Australia will probably find this the most interesting section, partly because the comments rest on personal knowledge, but also because it is sprinkled with species and hybrids that are scarce or even unknown at present in the international trade. Who has heard of C. rhamnoides? Or C. 'Mauve Beauty'? The pictures of them are enticing.

There are others that we discover we know, but by different names. The Australian 'Blue Boy' is not Skinner's 'Blue Boy', but 'Elsa Späth'. Their 'Gabrielle' is not the American 'Gabrielle' presumably listed in the RHS Plant Finder ­ or is it possible that some sources have one and some the other? And 'King of the Belgians', long thought to be extinct, appears here among the living, though under the odd name of 'King of the Belgiums'. It is a shame that so much here has to be window-shopping for most of us.

The book closes with a chart of all the clematis discussed, giving vital details somewhat in the manner of Raymond Evison's Making the Most of Clematis, and including what must be heaven-sent for Australians, a column indicating the relative availability of each one. There is also a "short list" of specialist nurseries that supply clematis, with a substantial portion from New Zealand. All in all, a most welcome addition to the clematis bookshelf.

Published in South Melbourne: Hyland House, 1997. ISBN 1-864470-23-2.

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The Rose and the Clematis - Dr. John Howells

Reviewed by Fiona Woolfenden

The Rose and the Clematis - Dr. John Howells This book has been available since 1996 but we have never reviewed it and it is relevant to include it in this edition of the Journal with so much discussion on growing clematis with roses.

The book contains a number of lists that should make it easy for non-English speaking clematarians to follow. The rose varieties mentioned are ones usually found in Great Britain but the colours are given so local equivalents should be easy to find.

This book is packed with information on growing clematis and roses with suggestions on contrasting combinations and harmonious partnerships, including a colour wheel. Some I have already worked out for myself, such as Rosa 'Golden Showers' and Clematis 'Ascotiensis' but I found a number of interesting combinations which I would like to try in the future, for example, C. 'Victoria' with R. 'Galway Bay' and R. 'Handel' with C. 'Star of India'.

The majority of the book is composed of sections on growing clematis and roses in different ways. The first sections cover growing clematis on climbing roses before the roses flower, when the roses flower and after the roses flower.

More sections cover growing clematis under climbing roses and near climbing roses. Growing clematis with shrub roses and bedding roses is also covered. Further sections include growing clematis in containers with roses and finally combined as cut flowers. Finally there are a few cut flower arrangements by John's wife, Ola Howells, which are a delight to the eye.

In summary, this book is packed with information and good combinations for gardeners of today.

Printed in England by the Antique Collector's Club Ltd., Woodbridge, Suffolk IP12 1DS, GREAT BRITAIN priced 19.95 GBP in 1996, reprinted in 1999. In the USA at Market Street Industrial Park, Wappingers' Falls, NY12590. ISBN: 1-870673-19-0.

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En Trädgårdspark I Södermanland. Antroposofernas Trädgård I Ytterjärna - Arne Klingborg

Reviewed by Lennart Jonsson

En Trädgårdspark I Södermanland. Antroposofernas Trädgård I Ytterjärna - Arne KlingborgWhat has a book on a garden designed in accordance with Rudolf Steiner's ideology Antroposophy to do with Clematis? Well, in Scandinavia, we say garden, but in reality we mean gardens, and one of these is devoted to Clematis, in particular Mr Magnus Johnson's selections - the grand old man of Clematis - but Clematis are found all over the gardens.

In 1964, a group of people inspired by the antroposophy gathered at an estate of beautiful scenery called Ytterjärna, only 50 km south of Stockholm, where they started to construct gardens, green-houses, fields, institutions for education and health care. Briefly, the ideology is to live close to the nature; e.g., all cultivation is to be done without the use of any chemicals so common in modern agriculture. As an illustration on how important the compost is it has been placed in the centre of the gardens. The human being shall find the essentials of life by living in harmony with nature and the cosmos.

From the very start the author, Arne Klingborg, has been the designer, head-gardener and the book might be read as his report on all the efforts that have been made to restore earlier cultivated areas and to create new ones: the fruit, vegetable, herb, rose, medical garden, etc.

The Clematis chapter has the heading: The Master of Clematis on Visit! Of course, in a remote country having such a harsh climate, there are not too many persons who will recognize a world wide master of a plant genus. In this case the Maitre de Clematis, Magnus Johnson, lives hardly more than a few stone's throws away. It makes sense that he will be sought for advice in designing a Clematis garden. It is interesting to note that Arne Klingborg learned to appreciate wild Clematis in New Zealand and grown in many gardens abroad e.g. Great Dixter in Kent, Christopher Lloyd's garden. It must have been a great surprise to realize The Specialist was a close neighbour!

I guess the day Arne met Magnus in the jungle surrounding Stockholm, his first line must have been, 'Dr Johnson, I presume!'. What then occurred should not be too hard to imagine. In short time, a place for a Clematis garden was found, and within a hedge of hawthorn and blackthorn, a trellis was built. Here above all Clematis viticella cultivars were planted. Since then several more trellises have been constructed, and many more Clematis were brought in from Magnus's nursery to be planted in the Clematis garden and on other sites. Arne describes Magnus visits inspecting the plantings as times of solemnity when all notes the Master's comments.

Arne's drawings and Jan Lindmark's snapshots outstandingly illustrate the Clematis garden. The trellises have caught the attention of others, too. The wood trellises are so well designed that many visitors want to copy. Like many Scandinavians, I prefer a trellis of wood because in winters the trellis stands naked. It is then that the wood gives a warm and solid impression instead of ugly, rusty, flat bars, etc. In climate like ours, we have to take into account all the four seasons, and a plant support must have its own aesthetics.

Enjoy the illustrations in particular Jan Lindmark's Clematis ones. They do not need any explanations. If you ever pay a visit to Stockholm allocate one day of your itinerary for a visit to Ytterjärna where gardening, aesthetics, medical, pleasure, and other aspects of the antroposophy ideology is practised; a life in harmony with nature.

This book is published in Swedish by Wahlström & Widstrand, Stockholm 1999, ISBN 91-46-17077-4

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The American Clematis Society's Guide to Growing Clematis - Edith Malek

Reviewed by Ruth Gooch and Fiona Woolfenden

The American Clematis Society's Guide to Growing Clematis - Edith MalekThe book's layout makes it simple to see and information that is helpful to the gardener new to growing clematis. Written specifically for the American gardening market it usefully gives a guide to hardiness zones with the US. Other information is appropriate to growing clematis worldwide and much would be of interest to novice clematis growers across the globe. Some of the terminology however is likely to be only understood by Americans, for instance, the size of the plant is given in gallons!

Sadly some of the photographs have not reproduced as well as one would like, but they give a good idea of the range of cultivars available.

Only available in the USA. ISBN: 0-9670538-0-3.

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Clematis - a hamlyn care manual - Mary Toomey

Reviewed by Fiona Woolfenden

Clematis - a hamlyn care manual - Mary Toomey In the Introduction Mary states that the main aim of this book is 'to address the problems that face gardeners and to engender a love for this very special genus of plants'. Mary appeals to gardeners to grow more of the 'exquisite and floriferous and often trouble-free small-flowered species and hybrids, which belong to the alpina, macropetala, viticella, tangutica and texensis groups'.

This thought is continued with the 'Plant Directory' which states that it does not aim to be a comprehensive list of all large flowered hybrids. Most of the large flowered hybrids featured are varieties that have justified over time why they are still with us today. There are some new varieties as well, presumably because the author has first hand experience of them. The 'Plant Directory' includes a number of herbaceous varieties and species, as well as a 'Connoisseur Collection'.

I have looked at several specialist Clematis Nursery Catalogues and I think that it should be possible to obtain all the varieties mentioned in England. However, many of them will require some searching. The range of species featured is similar to those in Barry Fretwell's book.

My first impression of this book is that it is well presented. It is full of a number of spectacular photos. The photograph of C. cirrhosa 'Lansdown Gem' is particularly striking - unfortunately there is no description of this cultivar of C. cirrhosa included in the 'Plant Directory'. The text is nicely laid out in narrow columns, which may be easy to translate, and is easy to dip into.

For the adventurous and patient there is a step by step guide to hybridisation. It is good to see a reference to registering your new hybrid. Photographs illustrate the pages on morphology, which is good. The sections on growing and planting clematis have a number of ideas for growing clematis through trees and shrubs, roses etc. and on posts and fences etc. Sections on 'Choosing Clematis' give helpful hints on 'Best Clematis by Colour' and 'Best Clematis for different locations'. However, it is disappointing that many of the varieties recommended are not included in the 'Plant Directory'. Personally I think that it is unreasonable to expect that all available varieties should be listed but I would like consistency within the book.

In conclusion, I think that Mary succeeds in her stated aim. And for those of us that know her you can hear her talking while she shares her expertise and enthusiasm for clematis with the reader, particularly the species and small flowered varieties.

As you will see in the following review, a German version of Mary's book has been published recently. It's hoped other languages will appear in the future.

First published in Great Britain in 1999 by Hamlyn, a division of Octopus Publishing Group Limited, 2-4 Heron Quays, London, E14 4JB, Great Britain. Price £14.99 ISBN 0-600-59624-9 hardback.

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Clematis - Kultur und Pflege - Vermehrung un Hybridisierung - Die schönsten Sorten - Mary Toomey

Reviewed by Horst Weihrauch

Here is a new book on clematis coming from the British Isles, correctly said from Ireland, as the author lives near Dublin. Mary Toomey studied Biology, is working as lecturer, has written several books and now a book on her favourite plants.

The foundation for her interest on clematis was laid by her teacher at primary school. As a young student she planted her first Clematis montana at the university in 1968. In the following years Mary Toomey planted and propagated innumerable plants in her gardens (and in those of neighbours). As a student Mary had just some books on gardening available in her library. Thus she took a scientific-botanical approach to the cultivation of clematis. The last years she has been Hon. Editor of "The Clematis", the journal of the British Clematis Society and keeps contact to the world of clematis as member of the International Clematis Society.

Her book is a mirror of rich garden experience and enthusiasm with and for her beloved plants. Step by step in text and guiding pictures follow successful cultivation of clematis: choosing, planting, training, pruning and keeping further care on them.

What makes this book different:

1. A new book incorporates newest cultivars and first experiences with them.

2. Mary Toomey takes 17 pages for propagation and hybridizing with the experience of practical gardening in background and nine pages for garden intruders small as White Fly to big ones like rabbits as well as microscopic small ones like fungi.

3. The generous book size of 23.5 by 28.7 cm provides the chance for eye-catching pictures and interesting variation in layout which had been successfully realized so that the reader will stroll along the pages upwards and downwards and forget the time by viewing and reading.

4. A number of "Clematarians" have distributed help and assistance as members of the British Clematis Society and of the International Clematis Society. So the author thanks Richard Stothard, Everett Leeds, Mike Brown, Dr. Brian Cromie, Jan Lindmark and Ruth Gooch. Pictures had been provided by renowned plant photographers, one of them is our member Michael Warren. Just after the book was on sales table, a German edition is coming from the printers. Besides a number of publications on clematis in books and garden magazines this is the third 'true' clematis book in German language on my shelves. I do not want to miss one of these and just one of twelve clematis books in other languages.

Mary Toomeys book is as well a welcome supplement with more information on well known and new plants and a joy to read after a day's work, though the translation bears some weak points.

Two examples: The tepal margins of 'Comtesse de Bouchaud' are not "geknittert" (creased). I think Mary Toomey has written ruffled, crimped or waved. One unfortunate translation is continuing through the book, when the English word "pruning" is translated by "Beschneidung". Gardeners here say "Schnitt" (cut) and "Winterschnitt"(winter pruning), "Sommerschnitt" (summer pruning) or "Schnittgruppe" (pruning group).

Indeed my dictionary translates as well "pruning" by "Ausputzen" (clean out) and "Beschneidung". In the other section of the dictionary "Beschneidung" is translated by 'cutting, clipping, circumcision, curtailment'.

The problem seems, that the verb "beschneiden" occasionally is used by amateurs for pruning (plants), while the noun "Beschneidung" in the language of today means the religious circumcision.

Later on page 98 the correct translation ­Schnitt"was chosen for the headline.

Nevertheless: German plant friends find a well readable, vivid and pleasant text. This is the more considerable, when the translator probably was not much familiar with gardeners' language.

I keep one book for myself and recommend all plant friends to do the same.

Published by Augustus Verlag München 2000, 128 pages, Price 29.90 DM ISBN 3-8043-7374-4 hardback.

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Trouble Free Clematis - The Viticellas by Dr John Howells

Trouble Free Clematis by John HowellsAlthough this book will appeal to the 'average' gardener, it is very much an 'enthusiasts' book also. The cover is very appealing and the book is packed full of information. An innovative feature is the allocation of one variety per page, with the use of a standard page format showing a close-up, a group, and in-situ views, with many good photographs. Each of these pages has additional details, such as the history, the hybridizers, etc.

There are substantial sections on the culture and care of viticellas, followed by guidance on their display, positioning of them and how to use them in the garden. A novel approach however has to be the inclusion of many varieties that are not regularly "labelled" as viticella. I hope that this naming does not lead to confusion.

As one should expect from this well respected scientist and clematarian, it is a professionally presented and in-depth treatment of the topic. Many people will wish to find a space for it in their bookcase.

Published by Garden Art Press, 5 Church Street, Woodbridge, Suffolk IP12 1DS, GREAT BRITAIN priced 19.95 GBP; in the USA at Market Street Industrial Park, Wappingers' Falls, NY12590. ISBN 1-870673-24-7 (hardback).

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Clematis for all Seasons by John Feltwell

Clematis for all Seasons by John FeltwellA good 'starter' book which should encourage novices to start growing clematis. The book is easy to pick up and dip into. The chapters on Clematis by Colour are particularly unusual and enable the reader to contrast forms and shapes as well as colours. It is well laid out with really excellent and sharp photographs, as you would expect from a photographer. However, we would query the accuracy of a few of the variety names, this could lead to disappointment and confusion.

The section on pests and diseases is again excellent and should be very useful for gardeners, the photographs should aid pest identification.

This book would be ideal for gardeners who enjoy looking at a large number of photographs of clematis.

Published by Collins and Brown priced 16.99 GBP hardback. ISBN 1-85585-668-9 (hardback) and 1-85585-699-9 (paperback).

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Clematis - Climbers of the Future by M. A. Beskaravainaya

Clematis - Climbers of the Furure by M.A. BeskaravainayaFor a book one is unable to read the black and white illustrations of leaf forms and comparisons of roots are of particular interest. The two pages of flower-forms illustrate the many varied shapes of clematis blooms and makes you realize that the shape of form of a flower is pleasing as the actual colour. Unfortunately, the quality of the pictures is not very good which is particularly sad, there being a number of less well-known varieties.

Published in Russian, but may be re-printed soon in English and we hope to be able to re-view it in full then. ISBN 5-89609-001-3.

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Clematis by Brother Stefan Franczak

Clematis by Brother Stefan Franczak A little booklet packed full of information about the history of clematis and how to grow them. Included, along with a number of descriptions of the more common varieties are full descriptions of Brother Stefan's varieties and a number of photographs, some of which look unusual.

Published in Polish by HORTPRESS Sp. Z o.o., ul Rakowiecka 32, 02-532 Warszawa, Poland. ISBN 83-86384-11-5.

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The Gardener's Guide to Growing Clematis by Raymond J. Evison.

The Gardeners Guide to Growing Clematis by Raymond EvisonOne would expect a book by Raymond Evison to be polished and professional and this is no exception. But don't be put off by the " coffee table " image, nor that it's in the same series as " The Gardener's Guide to Hardy Geraniums ", a book which I had been disappointed with. As well as being very accessible to the ordinary person, this is also a book for the clematis lover, with a wealth of detailed information, excellent photographs, descriptions of recent introductions and some very readable history.

One unusual, but very useful and instructive, feature of the book is a number of double spread photographs of similar cultivars, laid out side by side for comparison and identification. For me the texensis and viticella plates are the most interesting as they contain a large number of the varieties commonly available. I like this idea very much as it shows the reader comparative flower size and relative colour.

There are a good number of other photographs of clematis varieties spread throughout the book, including Clematis Josephine™ 'Evijohill' (N) (see the article on 1997/8 Clematis Introduction from Raymond Evison). On a personal note I was pleased to see a photograph of clematis growing in the garden of Uno Kivistik in Estonia, quite probably taken on a Society visit. There is another photograph of C. integrifolia 'Rosea' which, I suspect, was taken in Eerich Prannos's garden, also in Estonia. I'm look forward to visiting both of these gardens later this year with the Society.

As with most clematis books, this contains chapters on 'Cultivation', 'Propagation' and 'Garden Uses and Plant Associations', though it's always useful to get a slightly different perspective on these matters. I found the drawings of different seed heads in 'Habitat, Classification and Botany' particularly interesting. However for the clematis enthusiast, the 'History of Clematis' is perhaps the most valuable chapter in this group, though it is, perhaps, a bit light on details of some of the newest varieties and breeders from Eastern Europe and Japan.

The North American chapter is the largest I've yet found, following on from Raymond's previous book 'Making the Most of Clematis'. There are specific recommendations on which varieties of Clematis to grow in climatic areas with very low winter temperatures. It is interesting for the UK reader to note that several viticellas are recommended for containers and that advice is given on how to protect tubs from frost.

The A-Z of species and cultivars is one of the most comprehensive, up to date and detailed I've seen. As one would expect quite a lot of the information is similar to that available in other Clematis books and some descriptions are quite concise, as though they've been written to fit the page space allocated. However there are some lovely details which I haven't seen elsewhere. Over his many years involvement with clematis, Raymond has amassed a great store of detail which he draws on in the book. For example, where other books refer to a cultivar as being introduced by Treasurer's, Raymond is able to be say when it was introduced and whom it was named after.

In conclusion, while the book would make a stimulating present for any gardening friend you wished to introduce to clematis, it is also for the enthusiast as a reference volume, particularly with it's up to date information on many of the latest introductions.

The Gardener's Guide to Growing Clematis by Raymond J. Evison is published in the UK by David & Charles Publishers, Brunel House, Newton Abbot, Devon, hardback edition at £16.99 ISBN 0 7153 0639 1. First published in North America by Timber Press Inc., 133 SW Avenue, Suite 450, Portland, Oregon 97204, USA, ISBN 0-88192-423-7.

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Clematis, The Complete Guide by Ruth Gooch

Clematis The Complete Guide by Ruth Gooch - paperback edition

A paper back version of Ruth Gooch's book is also available.

My criticism of this book (see below) was mainly its appearance which the paper back copy has addressed - with its much more attractive format.

The paper back version is priced at £9.99. ISBN 1 86126 392 9 Published by The Crowood Press Ltd, Ramsbury, Marlborough, SN8 2HR.

Clematis The Complete Guide by Ruth Gooch - hardback editionThis is a new guide to Clematis, aiming at inspiring gardeners to 'open their eyes', not only to the vast range of clematis available today but also the many different ways of growing them. The content of the book is excellent, with detail on some interesting ways on growing Clematis, especially the section on 'bedding out', as practised by Victorian gardeners. The section on the history of Clematis is one of the best I've seen so far, listing many varieties grown by the Victorian gardeners over 100 years ago and still being grown.

The first 120 pages are text printed with line diagrams, followed by 8 pages of photos with over 24 Clematis, all excellent quality and including Clematis florida and Bees Jubilee, with a bee! There are also a number of 'Clematis Profiles' featuring most of the large flowered hybrids and smaller varieties found in the UK. My only criticism is the layout and appearance of the book, it doesn't present the contents in the most favourable manner, especially when compared with other glossy publications, and having the photos together lessens their impact.

However, on balance, it will make an excellent addition to any Clematis enthusiasts library.

The Crowood Press, 1996, £14.99, ISBN 1 85223 928 X (hardback)

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The Genus Clematis (Släktet Klematis) by Magnus Johnson

Magnus Johnson Magnus Johnson has been active as nurseryman and landscape architect since 1932. In his early years he specialised in alpine plants and woodland gardening, but the interest in clematis has thereafter played a dominant role in Magnus Johnsons Plantskola AB (the Swedish name of his company). His achievements in hybridisation are revealed by descriptions and illustrations in his book.

It is a summary of the author's knowledge of clematis, acquired during more than 50 years as a botanist, landscape architect and nurseryman. The purpose is to provide a picture of the history, the use in gardening, cultivation of clematis and to gather descriptions of species and cultivars.

Originally published in Swedish, an English translation is also now available, making this epic work much more accessible to serious clematis lovers. This version is only available from Magnus Johnsons Plantskola AB in Sweden, please visit http://clematis.sunstone.se/index.htmll or contact Bengt Sundström at the address below.

The review below is of the Swedish version. The English translation will be reviewed for Clematis International 2002.
Mangus Johnson's bookThe first part contains the history, horticultural aspects and treats the cultivation and propagation of clematis.

This is followed by a scientific description of clematis, giving an overview of different characteristics in text and drawings, followed by a historical review of the classification by different scientists. The view of the author is given at the end.

In the third part each section is introduced by a description of general characteristics, diagrams showing the distribution of the section and some comments on their use in gardening.Each description starts with literature references and treats 323 species with about 180 varieties and around 1400 cultivars. The book, with a total of 896 pages, contains 24 gouaches, about 100 illustrations from classical literature and ink drawings of the author. Colour pictures of around 170 species and cultivars are grouped systematically and, in general, following the order in the text.

Whilst the book is written in Swedish, the basic terminology (around 200 words) is translated into English, French and German in a glossary and the main reference section, some 25% of the book, uses primarily internationally understandable language. The Latin terminology is also given.

This book, one if not the most important reference work on Clematis to appear for many years, is now published and available, coinciding with Magnus Johnson's 90th birthday. It should be available through good book shops, ISBN 91-630-5121-4, but if you have any difficulty I suggest you contact Bengt Sundström at

Magnus Johnsons Plantskola AB
Bränningestrandsvägen 63

or by email at bengt@hallf.kth.se.

The nursery expects to be selling copies at SEK 600 plus post and packaging.

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Making the most of Clematis, Third Edition, by Raymond Evison

Yes, a 3rd edition with 14 more pages. More photographs, change of page layout, and how to plant Clematis shown not just by diagrams but with photographs of Raymond. The major addition is a chapter on growing Clematis in North America, of particular interest to our USA and Canadian members. Clematis appear to be ideal for growing on mailboxes! The latter chapters, describing varieties and how to care for them, have also been rearranged and expanded.

In summary, a lot of useful information packed into a compact publication at a reasonable price.

Burall Floraprint Ltd, 1996, £8.99, ISBN 0 903001 69 1 (paperback)

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Other Clematis books available, listed in order of latest date of publication, include:

Clematis as Companion Plants by Barry Fretwell

Cassell Publishers Ltd, Villiers House, 41/47 Strand, LONDON WC2N 5JE, 1994, ISBN 0-304-34424-9 (hardback).

Distributed in the USA by Sterling Publishing Co., Inc., 387 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10016 8810, and in Australia by Capricorn Link (Australia) Pty Ltd, P O Box 665, Lane Cove, NSW 2066.

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Growing Clematis by Dr John Howells

Ward Lock, Villiers House, 41/47 Strand, LONDON WC2N 5JE, 1994, ISBN 0 7063 7238 7 (paperback).

Distributed in the USA by Sterling Publishing Co., Inc., 387 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10016 8810, and in Australia by Capricorn Link (Australia) Pty Ltd, 2/13 Carrington Road, Castle Hill, NSW 2154.

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Clematis, Queen of Climbers by Jim Fisk

Cassell Publishers Limited, Villiers House, 41/47 Strand, LONDON WC2N 5JE, 1994, £12.99, ISBN 0 304 34327 7 (paperback).

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Clematis for Colour and Versatility by Keith and Carol Fair

The Crowood Press, Ramsbury, Marlborough, Wilts. SN8 2HE, 1990, £6.95, ISBN 1 85223 284 6 (paperback).

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Clematis by Christopher Lloyd and Tom Bennett

Viking published by the Penguin Group, 27 Wrights Lane, LONDON W8 5TZ, 1989, £14.95, ISBN 0 670 80233 6 (hardback).

Also from Viking Penguin Inc., 40 West 23rd Street, New York, NY 10010, USA; Penguin Books Australia Ltd, Ringwood, Victoria, Australia; Penguin Books Canada Ltd, 2801 John Street, Markham, Ontario, Canada L3R 1B4; and Penguin Books (NZ) Ltd, 182-190 Wairau Road, Auckland 10, New Zealand.

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Clematis by Barry Fretwell

William Collins and Co. Ltd, London-Glasgow-Sydney-Auckland- Toronto and Johannesburg, 1989, £14.95, ISBN 0-00-411335-7 (hardback).

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@ K.Woolfenden

All information contained at this site is personal to Ken Woolfenden and
does not represent the official view of the International Clematis Society.