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Graham Rice's New Plants Blog

Graham Rice Garden writer and plantsman Northamptonshire and Pennsylvania

Editor-in-Chief of the RHS Encyclopedia of Perennials; writer for a wide range of newspapers and magazines including The Garden and The Plantsman; member of the RHS Herbaceous Plant Committee and Floral Trials Committee; author of many books on plants and gardens.

  • Date Joined: 18 Oct 2006

Raymond Evison Clematis – New at Chelsea ‘09

Posted by Graham Rice on 19 May 2009 at 09:51 AM

Clematis Fleuri (‘Evipo0421’). Image: ©RHSAnother Gold Medal for Raymond Evison's clematis here at the Chelsea Flower Show- "the best stand we've ever done," he told me - and four excellent new varieties. I wrote about ‘Diana's Delight' before the show and of the other three Fleuri (‘Evipo0421') stood out for me.

Reaching just 1.2-1.8m/4-6ft in height, it's ideal in small gardens, for containers and around patios. The velvety purple, 12.5-15cm/5-6in single flowers feature a reddish central stripe; the colour is very intense, plants produce masses of flowers in early and mid summer and the flowers are carried right up the stem.

Clematis Ooh La La™ (‘Evipo041’). Image: ©RHSRaymond's other Chelsea introductions this year are Ooh La LaTM (‘Evipo041') in rose pink, each 10-12.5cm/4-5in flower with a vivid central strip to each petal in early to midsummer. Clematis ChevalierTM (‘Evipo040') flowers in early and mid-summer then again in late summer and early autumn, the rather starry mid blue flowers open in velvety purple and develop a twist to the petals as they age.

All these new clematis - and all the thirty seven Raymond Evison has introduced - are the fruits of his breeding programme at his nursery in Guernsey. "Every year we make about 2,500 controlled crosses between selected parent plants," he explained. "These produce about 25-35,000 seeds and from them we usually grow on about 6-8,000 seedlings. After a year we select the best 200 to grow on for more assessment and eight to ten years later we may finally introduce up to about ten. Most of these will be garden plants but we also create varieties intended as pot plants.

"For the garden I'm looking for good compact growth, flowers all along the stem and good colours but there are still some colours that I haven't yet perfected. I'm still looking for a true red and a true blue but they have to have same good garden qualities as our other varieties. And yellow of course - we're on the way to a good yellow, but it will be a while yet."

All these new clematis can be ordered at the show, will soon be widely available in good garden centres or can be ordered from the Raymond Evison Clematis website where you'll also find lists of stockists.

 

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