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Alpine clematis is one of the earliest clematises to bloom, in early May. It bears relatively small but delightful nodding, bell-shaped flowers, 1 to 1.5 inches in diameter, in a great variety of colors.
Downy clematis is a hardy, deciduous early bloomer that can flourish in Zone 4. The species will climb to 10 feet with a little support, and it has bell-shaped, purple-blue, almost columbine-like flowers about 1 to 2 inches, sometimes up to 4 inches in diameter, that mature to fluffy, pinkish seed heads. Blooms appear in spring and early summer, sometimes followed by a second flush in late summer to early autumn
This fast-growing, evergreen climber has sharply 4-angled stems and red-orange tubular flowers tipped with yellow that are borne in clusters 4 to 6 inches long. Chilean glory flower blooms from late spring to autumn. Light green leaves are small, ovate, and boldly veined.
Dramatic clusters of blue-violet to red-violet flowers with an intoxicating fragrance grace this vigorous twining climber. Its springtime cascading flower clusters can grow to 3 feet long or more in some cultivars. Blooms typically open first at the base and last at the tip of each cluster. Trunk diameter can reach 7 to 8 inches after 20 years, and the plant can climb to 35 or more feet in height, though its size is easily contolled by pruning.
Dramatic flowers with an intoxicating fragrance cover this vigorous twining climber. Its cascading flower clusters grow to about 1 foot in length and are borne in abundance, with each one on the plant blooming more or less simultaneously, in late spring. Each small flower is usually light blue mixed with white, but plants are also available in colors such as violets, whites, and pinks. It blooms before foliage emerges.
Experts Pick Their Favorite Plants
We asked 42 gardening experts from around the country to select their favorite plants. Now you can see the complete results of the survey.
Conifers for Shade
Yes, you can grow evergreen trees and shrubs in shade. Who knew?
by Christine Froehlich
Sweetly Scented Annuals
Pique your senses all season long with colorful, long-blooming beauties
by Danielle Ferguson
4 Ways to Design with Coleus
If you're having trouble finding the right plant for the right place, this versatile performer offers a multitude of options
by Ray Rogers
How to Prune Conifers
These plants are unforgiving, so make the right cuts for the right reasons
by Bert Cregg
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