Creating A Vertical Garden With A Clematis Trellis

By Laura Miller | July 12, 2022
Image by susandaniels
by Laura Miller
July 12, 2022

There is a lot to consider when designing a flowerbed. Flower color, bloom time and leaf texture are all important, but I find a flower garden which includes both short and tall plants has more eye appeal. When it comes to vertical flower garden ideas, I really like the pizzazz that a trellised clematis plant provides. 

Creating A Vertical Garden

Years ago when we purchased our home, I looked at the bland exterior of the cinder block outbuilding in our backyard and knew a little landscaping could turn this eyesore into something beautiful. I gave the exterior a fresh coat of white paint, then stepped back to contemplate the landscaping possibilities.  

On the front exterior wall, a double set of doors occupied the right side of the building and two evenly spaced windows were to the left. I envisioned a capitata yew on each side of the doorframe and one on the far left side of the building. These pyramid-shaped shrubs would give vertical structure to the bed.

I then decided on two globe-shaped yews and two azaleas for under the windows. My design also included spring bulbs in between the shrubs and a border of colorful annual flowers to accent the front curve of the bed. However, this left a large portion of blank space on the wall between the two windows.

I knew I needed another plant to fill that spot and wanted something with a splash of color. I realized that adding a trellis with summer-blooming flowers was the perfect solution.

Adding A Garden Flower Trellis

It didn’t take long for me to decide on a flowering clematis vine for this area. These woody perennials require very little care, have beautiful blooms and do well when their roots are kept cool. The shrubs and annual flowers would provide plenty of shade for that purpose. 

As I did my research, I found one particular variety of clematis seemed perfect for the location. Nelly Moser produces huge 8 inch (20 cm.) flowers which are light pink with a wide stripe of darker pink down the centerline of the petals. The center of the flower and the anthers are a dark maroon. 

More importantly, Nelly Moser flowers are prone to fading in bright sunlight. With a silver maple shading the front of the building, direct light would reach the front wall in the morning and provide the needed shade in the afternoon. 

Another reason I chose Nelly Moser was this variety of clematis blooms in early summer and again in late summer. As the clematis would be the tallest flower in front of the building, I liked the idea of having as much bloom time as possible.

Now, this may seems like a lot of tedious overthinking. Even I have to admit, I’m usually much more impulsive when it comes to plant selection. But being tedious paid off. My Nelly Moser clematis trellis has bloomed happily for years, plus it provides the exact amount of pizzazz I wanted in this landscaped garden bed.

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