Clematis is one of the most popular climbing plants, well-known for producing masses of distinctive flowers available in a broad palette of colours. They come in a variety of different shapes and sizes from vast, vigorous varieties to compact climbers, with a mix of evergreen and deciduous types too. Clematis are perfect for covering walls, arches, pergolas, fences and unsightly tree stumps. They prefer to have their heads in the sun and their roots in the shade, so use other plants to provide the necessary shade or cover the ground with stones or flat pebbles.
Clematis are sometimes split into group 1, group 2 and group 3. Group 1 flower in April-May and don't need to pruned regularly unless you need to keep their height and spread in check, which should be done after flowering. Group 2 clematis flower in the early part of the summer whereas group 3 flower in late summer. Group 2 are pruned back to a framework, whereas group 3 are pruned back hard.