The Great Wall of Purple

The Jackman Clematis (Clematis x jackmanii) reached its peak on Sunday. I can tell because that’s when the first purple petals dropped to the ground. As I mentioned in an earlier post, this year we extended the trellis all the way up to the rain gutters, and the Jackman Clematis took full advantage of the new space for climbing.


It is not an exaggeration to say that while in bloom this plant has become a neighborhood landmark – this year even more so than in the past.



Cars actually do stop in the street in front of our house. Fortunately, it is not a busy street. Passing strangers ask about our secret Clematis-growing technique (I wish we had one).


I myself find the mass of rich purple flowers more than a little mesmerizing.

A man and his Clematis.


Just to be clear on the question of scale, I am just under 6′ tall. The Clematis is more than double that.


Here’s a view from the side. The Jackman Clematis has filled both sides of the trellis with blooms where it has been allowed to do so.



Looking upward.



And a view from the sidewalk in front of the house.

Just recently I finished reading The Plant Lover’s Guide to Clematis, by Linda Beutler. An excellent book, and I’ll post a review of it soon. One thing I learned is that cutting back this Clematis by half after it is done blooming will get you a second flush of blooms in late summer or early fall. Can’t wait to see if it works.



71 Comments on “The Great Wall of Purple”

  1. I adore this great wall of purple. Good name for it too! My Clematis is also this deep purple color, and it will be so fun to see if the second blooming becomes reality!! Thanks for the tip!!

  2. Freakin awesome!!!!! It’s a rock star of a show. just planted my first serious clematis “Mrs robert brydon” iv had others that were hand me downs never had a place for them but this one I picked just for the place!!!

    • Honestly, I can’t suggest anything that isn’t commonly suggested in magazines. I think this Clematis likes alkaline soil, which we have. Also growing on a west-facing brick wall, with warm afternoon sun magnified by the heated bricks. Also it’s right by the outdoor water faucet so it gets extra drinks. And I give it a generous helping of compost every year.

  3. Hello Jason, that really is stunning and I’m just speechless. The picture of you proudly showing it off gives a sense of scale and it looks so striking against the white of the house. I’m surprised you don’t have rows of rear-ended cars on your road with a display like that!

  4. Your clematis posts always give me a bad case of clematis envy! I don’t seem to be able to provide clematis with the right conditions to make it truly happy; I’m thrilled to have four flowers open simultaneously. 😐

  5. That’s a showstopper for sure. Now I am excited to see what the Clematis that I adopted from the plant orphanage at work will do. If it is even a fraction as vigorous as yours, I will have to rethink its support system.

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