Video about the structures Mongers are using to create our Chelsea Flower Show exhibit this year.
Video about the structures Mongers are using to create our Chelsea Flower Show exhibit this year.
The latest update on the plants -
The latest update on show preparations -
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Over 40 New Products added for 2018
Here is a little taste of what to expect!
The latest update on show plants.
I will be doing a series of video's to keep you up to date with developments on our flower shows this year.
Malver Spring Festival
Chelsea Flower Show
Chatsworth Flower Show
Here is the first episode.
When it comes to feeding clematis, organic material is best: Clematis will benefit greatly from an annual mulch of manure/compost during the autumn and spring because it keeps the soil warm in the autumn to prolong root growth and used in the spring will hold in moisture preventing your plant drying out and of course provides excellent nutrient for the plant over a long period of time.
Bagged manure is fine but fresh manure should be left to rot and cool before use and don’t put it too close to the stems of the plant. Additionally apply a good single handful of bonemeal when pruning has been carried out by working it into the soil around the base of the plant and watering in.
If your clematis are planted at the back of a bed or border (difficult to get to), then use 4 Westland Gro-Sure Slow Release tablets pushed just under the soil in February and during mid April a single handful of Sulphate of Potash can be applied. This clematis feed is high in potash and either of these fertilisers will improve the colour, size and quantity of your clematis blooms.
Alternatively from May use liquid tomato feed like Tomorite or Tomato Maxicrop once a fortnight until mid September.
For evergreen clematis it would be advisable to apply a good single handful of bonemeal in the spring and a single handful of Sulphate of Potash can be applied in the late autumn to help improve the winter or spring flowering.
To correct yellowing of the leaf you may use Epsom Salts which is a good general tonic for plants but is particularly good for nitrogen deficiency which clematis can be susceptible to.
In the nursery we use natural predators for biological control of common pests to reduce the use of chemicals on our nursery. If you notice a few ‘bugs’ on your plants, they may be friends, not foes!
Trying to keep a website up to date with all pesticide regulations is very hard so we advise you visit rhs.org.uk for the most up to date advice on which products to use on your clematis. Below is their advice on slugs and clematis wilt
The damage inflicted on clematis by these common garden pests can be devastating and the plant may appear to ‘Wilt’.
Check the clematis stems where the bark has been stripped off causing the stem to 'wilt'. Also, the shoots emerging from below ground in early spring are particularly vulnerable. The control of slugs and snails is essential to successful clematis growing so use whatever preventative methods you prefer.
Clematis wilt is a disease of clematis caused by the fungus Phoma clematidina (formerly Ascochyta clematidina). Many of the large-flowered hybrid cultivars are very susceptible, but the smaller flowered species appear to be much more resistant. Wilting has long been recognised as a serious problem in clematis. And although it is known that the fungus Phoma clematidina causes clematis wilt, there are cases of wilting when the fungus is not present. Research has clarified two important points.
1. Wilting in large-flowered hybrid cultivars may be caused by Phoma clematidina
2. Wilting in resistant hybrids and species clematis is very unlikely to be P. clematidina, and is probably caused by environmental problems
So, although all wilting in clematis is often blamed on fungal infection, it is most likely to be caused by environmental problems, (unless it is wilting of the more susceptible large-flowered hybrids). Clematis is a plant which, in the natural environment, prefers a deep and fertile soil in a moist and shaded habitat. However, in gardens, clematis are often planted in shallow dry soils in exposed sites, often close to buildings. In such circumstances they suffer from root stress which contributes to poor growth and what is loosely described as wilt. Overall, infection by P. clematidina is a problem for the nursery trade and specialist growers, but relatively uncommon in gardens.
The symptoms of fungal infection and environmental stress can be similar. The following symptoms are associated with fungal infection:
There are no chemicals available to treat clematis wilt.
Phoma clematidina can survive in the soil on dead plant material and organic matter. Infection occurs when spores are splashed or otherwise carried to leaves or young stems. Infection spreads rapidly to the shoots and stems, which when split open, are stained black. Infection causes rapid wilting and death. The root system is often not killed and young shoots frequently regenerate from or below ground level. The disease is not immediately fatal, but susceptible cultivars will usually die eventually.
Careful planting is the key to success!
Clematis purchased during winter through to April, must be hardened off before planting. Stand the plant outside in a sheltered position during the day but take into unheated cover overnight. An unheated greenhouse, conservatory or even a garage will be sufficient to prevent frost damage to the soft growth. The process should be continued for about two weeks before planting.
The key to successful clematis growing is careful attention to the planting and soil improvement. Without proper soil preparation, even the best quality plants will not thrive or perform to their very best in your garden. An important thing to remember is that clematis like a soil which holds good nutrient but a soil that drains well, so that they do not become too wet.
1. If planting by a wall or fence - the hole should be dug approx. 12" (30cm) away from its base.
2. If planting by a tree - plant about 2 feet (60cm) away from the trunk leaning the cane of the clematis towards the support, try to plant on the north side where the host plant will then shade the root system of the clematis.
3. If planting to grow into a shrub - dig the planting hole just outside the ‘drip-line’ - this is outside the outer branches and lean the bamboo can into the shrubs lower branches.
Whatever your soil type, whether it is heavy or light, acid or alkaline, it should be improved before planting. A clematis does not need a particular soil pH, just good soil quality.
Clematis Planting method:
To start with water the clematis thoroughly before planting, maybe let it soak in a bucket of water but only while you prepare the hole.
1. Dig the planting hole much bigger and deeper than the size of the flower pot. 18”(45cm) diameter and depth is ideal.
2. Break up the soil in the bottom of the planting hole and add well rotted garden compost or a good quality bag of compost. The best compost for clematis is John Innes No.3 because this is loam based and has a high food content. Compost for clematis needs to hold good nutrient as well as adding it.
3. If using manure, put a layer in the bottom of the hole, fork in well and cover with at least 2" of soil. Make sure it is rotted well and not hot or steaming.
4. Sprinkle one good single handful of bonemeal into the hole and mix into the loosened soil. We stock Bonemeal in a 1.5kg Box.
5. Take the plant from the bucket of water (keep this water for later) and remove the plastic ties from the bottom 6 inches of the plant.
6. Remove the pot then carefully loosen the roots if they are in a tight ball. This is essential to encourage good rooting and breaking some of the roots is not a problem, this will aid the development of new root growth.
7. IMPORTANT - Place the plant carefully in the hole making sure that the top of the root ball is buried about 3” (8cm) deeper than it was in its pot and re-fill the hole with a mixture of soil and compost, firming down by hand.
8. Next place four Westland Gro-Sure Slow Release Plant Food around the base of the plant by gently pushing them into the soil enough to cover them up.
9. Using the remaining water from your bucket, water thoroughly - especially if your soil is light and very free draining. Clematis planted by a wall, fence, tree or shrub, may need regular watering especially in its first year but be careful not to overdo it if planting in the autumn.
If your clematis is planted in a hot position, where the base of the plant will be baked by the sun for a large part of the day, place bark chippings or mulch around the base to provide shade for the root system. This will help to keep the roots cool and moist avoiding the plant drying out so quickly.
We stock a range of useful products which you might need when planting your clematis or when preparing the planting area. Check out what we have to offer including our popular range of Care Packs right here in the Plant Care & Gifts section.
Choose a large container, preferably terracotta not plastic, at least 18"(45cm) deep with adequate drainage holes. Put plenty of crocks, stones or gravel in the bottom to ensure good drainage and stand the container on feet or bricks to stop the drainage holes becoming blocked.
The best clematis compost is John Innes No.3 mixed with a good multi-purpose compost about 3 parts John Innes to 1 part multi-purpose. Plant the top of the clematis root deeper in the new container by about 3 inches.
Check container grown plants regularly for watering needs, however be careful not to keep them too wet over the winter, and ensure the pot is draining freely!
Each February remove an inch or two of compost from the top of the pot and replace with fresh compost to which a single handful of bonemeal has been added, and water in. For the best results, put 3 Osmocote Tablets into the pot in March, then from April to the end of September we recommend using liquid tomato feed about once every two weeks.
Every four to five years root pruning may be necessary. During winter time when the plant is dormant take the pot off and cut away 2" - 3" of root from the outside of the root-ball. Cut one third off the bottom, and re-pot with fresh John Innes No.3 compost.
To keep these clematis compact, we recommend HARD pruning in February / March and pruning hard again after the first flush of flowers has finished.
In other words - ignore the 'normal' pruning instructions!
For a comprehensive list of Patio Clematis see our Patio Clematis Page.
All these clematis have very fine root systems and will not thrive in heavy soil, which is prone to water-logging. They will actually be happier in poorer soils with very free draining conditions.
The herbaceous Heracleifolia Group require hard pruning each year but this is much better left until April when the weather has improved. Do NOT prune these hard in autumn or winter when tidying other herbaceous plants as the Heracleifolia Group over-winter better with the old growth left intact.
Please do not grow these clematis in open, very windy situations, or in heavy soil which is prone to water-logging, as they will not appreciate it and will fail to thrive and possibly die. Instead, give them the shelter of a wall or sturdy fence and ensure the soil is very free draining. Occasionally some leaves will die off, this is natural and they can be trimmed off.
Evergreen clematis have a natural dormant period which is around mid-summer when they look ‘tired’. In extreme heat, cirrhosas may drop their leaves, whilst napaulensis does so every summer. Do not water too much at this time, but give them two or three doses of liquid tomato feed at fortnightly intervals which will perk them up and will encourage them to produce fresh leaves and flower better later on.
Forsteri Group - Other than in milder climates (especially in the UK) we recommend that you grow all the clematis in this group in free-draining soil and give them the benefit of a sheltered aspect. The compost for containers should ideally be very free draining and mixing in a few handfuls of horticultural grit or perlite will help. Make sure the pot can drain freely and reduce watering in the autumn because they over-winter better if slightly dry, rather than too wet!
These stunning clematis are very prolific and can flower for a very long time when given the right care and attention, so here are my top tips for the florida clematis.
I would recommend growing florida clematis in large pots because they perform very well and they make a stunning display on a patio. Stand the container on the patio from late February to early October and then move it into a sheltered corner or cold glasshouse to over-winter. They will not need heated conditions during the winter, just shelter and if taking them undercover they will probably continue flowering.
In early March the previous season’s growth should be hard pruned down to approximately one foot (30cm) from the soil level and a fresh ‘top-dressing’ of compost and bonemeal can be applied to the container. Use Osmocote tablets for consistent feeding through the year.
Avoid keeping the florida’s too wet over the winter, on the other hand they must not be allowed to dry out completely. Always ensure the pot drains freely and each year harden the plants off during late March as described above.
When planting florida clematis in the garden they will require the shelter of a south or south – west facing wall, with good free draining soil. A sheet of bubble plastic or a double layer of garden fleece draped across and pegged into position will keep the worst of the winter weather at bay. This protection can be removed during early March so that hard pruning can be carried out, then feed with a single handful of bonemeal and water it in. Replace the protection until the worst of the weather has passed.
For further cultural hints see – Growing Clematis in Containers.
We have many customers who garden in countries with warmer climates like in southern France or even hotter such as South Africa or southern Japan. We are grateful to them for giving us feedback on what does well and what does not in these hotter climatic conditions.
Generally we would suggest the following as a guide to those types that are happier in a warmer climate. However, all individual environments do differ, so we cannot guarantee success in any particular location.
Have a look at our page of plants for Dry / Hot Area's.
Keeping the clematis moist at the root is key. Ensure that the compost does not dry out, nor become waterlogged from too frequent watering, then most clematis will cope with reasonably high summer temperatures.
Growing them in pots or containers of some sort is often a better way to ensure good soil and moist, yet free-draining conditions. We understand, for example, that the local soil in Madeira and parts of South Africa is not ideal. There is really no need to shade the roots - although it can help to retain moisture, it can also harbour slugs and other pests.
Most general advice is still the same as in England; Water the plants daily; feed them every two weeks even when they are flowering, and keep pale coloured types that are prone to fading, in shade. (Guidance on Aspect is given in our catalogues - both printed and online).
As a guide, based on feedback from customers, you may like to try the following:
Most of the species, such as terniflora, serratifolia, viticella and heracleifolia.
Cirrhosa and other evergreens, but they may exhibit summer dormancy, losing their leaves in the hottest months.
The Tangutica Group will be fine in drier soils but high humidity may be a problem.
Montanas generally, although they do need a good supply of water especially as they can become very large.
Most large flowered types, but treat all as hard-prune (Group 3), ignoring UK guidance, to avoid too much dead foliage after the early flowers. They should flower again 6 - 8 weeks later.
The Integrifolia Group and Texensis Groups, but these must be kept moist at the root to avoid mildew problems.
Those not suited are the Alpina Group, especially in hot, humid climates such as Japan.
If you are looking for clematis to grow in a position that is exposed to a lot of wind, those in the following groups will cope best. As well as these groups you can use most Hard prune clematis except the category Florida. Have a look at our Windy Aspects page.
Atragene Group - Spring flowering cultivars with nodding bell-like flowers. They are all very hardy, but require a free draining situation. They do not need the 'rich' growing conditions or deep planting that the large flowered cultivars prefer.
Diversifolia Group - These herbaceous cultivars are clump-forming scramblers, or semi-climbers, derived directly, or indirectly from the integrifolia species. In general, they have non-clinging stems and they can be allowed to scramble in herbaceous borders. Alternatively, they can be used to clamber through open shrubs, small trees, rambler and shrub roses or obelisks. They are all hardy, very free flowering, trouble-free clematis and are highly recommended. All the clematis in this group are suitable to use as cut flowers.
Integrifolia Group - These herbaceous cultivars are clump-forming scramblers, they have non-clinging stems and can be allowed to scramble in herbaceous borders. They are good 'front of border' plants and also make excellent companions in beds of bush roses. They are exceptionally hardy, very free flowering and as with other herbaceous plants, they die back in winter. They are all suitable to use as cut flowers.
Viticella Group - They are all extremely hardy, very free flowering, their pruning is simple and they cannot be recommended highly enough. Especially useful for people new to growing clematis as they are extremely tolerant of what the gardener does to them!
Tangutica Group - The clematis in this group are extremely useful in the garden, providing colour and interest from mid-summer through to late autumn, with most producing excellent seedheads for added interest in the winter months. They cope happily with poorer growing conditions and are drought tolerant.
© Thorncroft Clematis 2016
New plants for the 2017 season.
We are delighted to bring you more wonderful new climbing plants for your garden this year, including two that are not even clematis!
Clematis 'Taiga'® – An Exclusive New Clematis!
A huge hit in 2016 at an autumn trade fair in Holland it caught the imagination of the press, nurserymen and public, creating huge interest even before its official launch at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show exclusively with Thorncroft Clematis!
The attractive double blue-purple flowers have a greeny-white tip to the tepals and appear from summer through to autumn. ‘Taiga’ is an exotic looking clematis and is ideal as a feature plant in a patio container or against a south facing wall. The plant can reach a width of 1 metre and height of 2.5 metres and should be grown in the sun. When the flower first opens, it is very spikey, then it becomes like a rosette with large outer tepals, before the final stage when the centre opens out to create a luxuriant full double flower. Magnificent!!
Clematis GREEN PASSION 'Zo11050' PBR
I do like something that’s really different and in my opinion this new clematis is going to divide the gardeners with those who love it and those who hate it!
This extraordinary new clematis has a double green flower head with later tepals having white tips to them. Autumn flowers are double with more white than green in them.
The plant will give a prolific display of flower whether grown in the ground or in a container and it is very hardy, great news for the gardener. Avoid full shade but part shade will suffice.
Plant introduction will be by Thorncroft Clematis at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
Clematis PERNILLE 'Zo09113' PBR – Another Thorncroft Clematis exclusive!
This little treasure is a very prolific viticella clematis, meaning wilt free, long flowering and hardy. What more could you want?!
Pretty and striking flowers of white have a deep purple margin maturing to pale violet purple are borne in great abundance on this strong clematis. You will find that PERNILLE 'Zo09113' will grow very well as a companion to roses or other climbers or shrubs and because it is abundant in bloom, will fill an obelisk nicely too.
Clematis SEA BREEZE 'Zo09063' PBR – The first time I saw this delightful clematis was in August 2015 at the nursery of J van Zoest. At that time it was only on trial and they were pleased to hear how much I liked this new plant of theirs. I was delighted therefore when I learned that they had named it and started to propagate for introduction in 2017. With SEA BREEZE you get a huge abundance of flowers that have a fresh pale violet-blue colour becoming almost white at the centre of the tepal, surrounding a dark 'eye' of anthers in the middle.
Clematis BURNING LOVE™ 'Vitiwester' – This will be the first of many exciting clematis to come from a well-respected clematis grower and my good friend Ton Hannink. BURNING LOVETM is a stunning true red viticella clematis, already making it very popular. The glorious vibrant red flowers have a textured surface and gently recurved, twisted tips. Their distinctive crown of contrasting yellow stamens adds to the attraction of this outstanding performer. A magnificent specimen was seen by Jon & Ruth of Thorncroft Clematis, while visiting Debbie Fischer owner of Silver Star Vinery in Washington State, the Pacific Northwest of America. Thank you for letting us photograph your plant Debbie.
Clematis ANNABELLA ’Zo08169’ PBR – These delicate little clematis flowers are always of great interest to me and increasingly we hear customers say they don’t want a big bloom so they fit the bill very nicely. Easy to care for, ANNABELLA can be planted in the groud or kept in a container on a sunny patio with a small support to clamber over. Exquisite dainty urn-shaped flowers of pale lilac become almost white at the recurving tips of the blooms.
Actinidia arguta VITIKIWI® PBR - We are very excited to have this unusual new type of kiwi plant for sale. VITIKIWI® has performed really well in our own garden and the fruits are delicious and prolific too. An attractive, kiwi cultivar that sets fruit without pollination, it will start bearing fruit in the 1st-2nd year after planting.
Its delicious, green, usually seedless fruit ripen in September/October, they have an edible skin with an oval shape, reaching up to 3cm in length and 2cm in width. The flowers are creamy-white, set in threes at each internode and have black anthers. It is hardy in the UK and I think it will become very widely grown once the word gets out about how good the fruit is to eat!
Schizophragma hydrangeoides BURST OF LIGHT® PBR – Thorncroft introduced this to the UK in October 2016 and it has already been featured by the RHS The Garden Magazine. (December Issue)
A plant of beautiful, large, white-green variegated leaves and creamy white flowers gathered in corymbs. Recommended for shaded or semi-shaded sites, along walls and under trees, suitable also as a ground cover. Perfect for bringing light to darker areas of the garden.
The leaves are highly decorative, with serrated edges and white-green variegation. The flowers are small creamy white and delicately honey-scented, gathered in large tight flattened corymbs of 25 cm across. Their most attractive feature is large white sepals of sterile flowers that form a ring around the inflorescence.
Introductions for RHS Chatsworth Flower Festival
Clematis 'Chatsworth' PBR – This is a wonderful viticella group clematis which we hope to be showing at the RHS Chatsworth Flower Show in June. Bred by renowned clematis breeder Barry Fretwell and named after the wonderful Chatsworth House it flowers in great abundance through the mid to late summer and into early autumn. Masses of dainty pale pearly-blue hanging flowers have a slightly darker bar at the centre, a lightly textured surface, and the tips of the tepals gently twist.
Clematis 'Lathkill Dale' PBR –Also bred by Barry Fretwell is ‘Lathkill Dale’. This bushy little border plant produces very pretty pale blue, outward facing flowers. They start from mauve hanging buds opening and raising up to face you as they open. Named after one of the breeders favourite dales in Derbyshire and ours too! Numbers of this little charmer are very limited so it’s quite an exclusive plant to own.
Clematis I AM® LADY Q 'Zoiamladyq' PBR – This is a clematis I admired in the RHS trials grounds at Wisley back in the summer of 2015 and I am delighted to add it to our list and introduce it to our customers. You will get dainty white flowers with a mid-pink margin, purple anthers and are borne in great abundance. A natural companion plant, I AM® LADY Q 'Zoiamladyq' will do well when combined with many climbers but it is magnificent when grown with clematis 'Walenburg' as a companion.
Clematis TWINKLE 'Zotwi' PBR – If you are a fan of the herbaceous clematis then have a look at this new integrifolia type. Dainty bell shaped flowers of white have a pale sky-blue at the 'crown' of the flower and the tepals gently twist towards the ends. An abundant and prolific clump forming clematis ideal for scrambling in the border, up a short support or in a container. Got a retaining wall or bank for this to cascade over? A large window box maybe? This is a cracking little plant to fit in a small space and brighten up a dull area.
Thorncroft Clematis Nursery was established in 1985 and for the first few years was in a state of rapid development as the nursery was built up from a farmer’s field.
Once trading, the nursery needed a recognisable sign for customers to see and the first incarnation was an oval metal sign which appeared in 1989 at the Royal Norfolk Show. This was hand painted and matched the one by the roadside at the nursery and on the trailer.
By 2001 Thorncroft had need for a less conspicuous sign and so our black ‘Show signs’ became familiar to our ‘show’ visitor customers. Once again these were oval therefore keeping a familiar shape and a classy but understated appearance to meet exhibition regulations.
The old oval signs had a reign of 22 years but on 14th March 2011 they were replaced with what we call the ‘family sign’ which features two clematis of significance to Thorncroft Clematis Nursery. The purple flower is ‘Geoffrey Tolver’ and the large pink is ‘Dorothy Tolver’ named after my grandparents who first started our love of clematis.
I have kept the old signs as a reminder of the nursery’s past and the hard work, passion and dedication that it has taken, over three generations to establish the reputation I benefit from today.
Thanks go to the folk at PHC Web Development for bringing the website up to date with our new branding, which is a fine reflection of the standards Thorncroft Clematis hold. A bold font will be easily recognisable and the flowers are a lovely continuation and link to our outgoing family sign.