Clematis 'Carol Klein'

Clematis of the Month for August 2019

described by Richard Hodson

C. 'Carol Klein'©Ken Woolfenden

C. 'Carol Klein'©Richard Hodson On the morning of Wednesday 5th September 2012, we welcomed the crew of the BBC TV programme, "Gardeners World", to film the clematis in the garden here at Hesketh Bank, on the West coast of Lancashire, UK, where we house the National Collection of Clematis viticella.

We were rather concerned that the garden was suffering from the tremendous rainfall during the summer and that they would be disappointed, especially after we learned that they had been filming at the spectacular gardens at Harlow Carr in Yorkshire, the day before.

However our minds were soon put at ease when the four technicians and Carol Klein, TV presenter, arrived. After a preliminary chat and cups of tea all round, filming began. Carol is a lovely Lancashire lass, a hands-on gardener and very knowledgeable.

During filming, whilst waiting for the passing of an aeroplane, farm tractor, cloud or some other distraction, I was stood with Carol Klein at the side of an island bed in the garden when she enquired the name of a pink clematis growing through shrub rose, R. 'Marie Pavie.'

I explained that it was a seedling, raised here and as yet un-named. I grow many in the garden, to see how they develop. I then suggested that C. 'Carol Klein ' would be an appropriate name, maybe?

She was delighted, as were we all, and so it has now been officially registered as such.

The clematis has been in the garden for several years now, improving annually as clematis do, but looked particularly effective on "the day".

It is an herbaceous clematis, non-climbing, with bright pink bells, ideal for growing through a shrub or rose or on an obelisk in the mixed herbaceous border. It grows to a height of about 1.5 m (5 ft) and flowers from July through to September.

It belongs to the Integrifolia Group, but is actually × diversifolia, which are crosses with viticella and integrifolia.

The seed parent is a very old cultivar known as × eriostemon, a very early cross between the two species, was first recorded in 1835 and has a similar habit but is purple blue.

Seed was gathered from our plant in the garden here and sown in 2006. I suspect the pollen parent could be C. 'Alionushka' as it grows quite nearby.

C. 'Carol Klein'©Ken Woolfenden C. 'Carol Klein'©Ken Woolfenden

Richard Hodson Richard Hodson

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