For some years, clematis wizard Raymond Evison has been developing a series of varieties that are much more suitable for small town gardens than most clematis. It’s not true that all clematis will take over your garden, but some will and many gardeners tend to think that in a small space it’s just too much of a gamble.
But the varieties in the Boulevard Series never get out of hand and the latest in the series, Alaina (‘Evipo 056'), is one of the most widely offered new plants in the 2012/2013 RHS Plantfinder.
Reaching no more than 5ft/1.5m in height and only about 2ft/60cm across, this is an ideal variety for a container, or a bed along the side of a patio.
Flowering comes in two seasons; first in June and early July, then in August and September and each flower opens a rich and vivid pink, with a dark stripe along the centre of each of the six petals. Then, as the flowers mature, they become paler creating a happy harmony of pink shades. Sometimes the petals may be a little twisted creating an appealing sense of movement. They’re best planted in at least some shade to help prevent the colour fading too much.
Of course, there’s pruning to think about. Couldn’t be easier. Just cut the plants back hard to about 12in/30cm every spring.
Clematis Alaina (‘Evipo 056') is available from seven RHS Plantfinder nurseries.