Avant Garde Clematis

Avant-Garde™ Clematis (Clematis viticella ‘Evipo033’) is an exceptional variety that promises to elevate your garden with its stunning and unique blooms. Developed by renowned Clematarian Raymond J. Evison, this clematis showcases the breeder’s mastery in creating vigorous, reliable, and visually striking plants.

Unique Bloom Characteristics

Flower Form and Structure

The semi-double flowers of Avant-Garde™ Clematis have a distinctive and eye-catching form. The blooms consist of two distinct layers of petals, creating a complex and visually striking structure.

The outer layer features wide, flat petals in a vibrant rosy magenta or deep pinkish-red hue. These petals form the base of the flower and provide a bold, colorful backdrop for the central “bow” or pompom.

The inner layer, or central “bow,” is composed of shorter, frillier petals in a contrasting lavender or pale pink color. These petals are more tightly packed and ruffled, giving the appearance of a delicate, layered bow or a small pompom.

The combination of the wide, flat outer petals and the frilly, lavender inner petals creates a unique, three-dimensional effect that resembles a beautifully wrapped package or a small, ornate flower within a larger bloom.

Color Contrast and Vibrancy

The color contrast between the rosy magenta outer petals and the lavender or pale pink inner petals is a defining characteristic of Avant-Garde™ Clematis. This striking combination adds depth, dimension, and visual interest to the blooms.

The rosy magenta outer petals provide a bold, vibrant base color that immediately catches the eye. The color is rich, saturated, and intense, making the flowers stand out even from a distance.

The lavender or pale pink inner petals offer a softer, more delicate contrast to the bold outer petals. The lighter color of the central “bow” or pompom creates a subtle color gradient that draws the eye inward and adds a sense of depth to the bloom.

Bloom Size and Abundance

The flowers of Avant-Garde™ Clematis are relatively large for a Clematis viticella variety, measuring approximately 2 inches (5 cm) in width. This size is substantial enough to create a strong visual impact, especially when the vine is in full bloom.

In addition to their impressive size, the blooms of Avant-Garde™ Clematis are also known for their abundance. This cultivar is described as “very free flowering,” meaning it produces a profuse number of blooms throughout its extended flowering season.

The combination of large, showy blooms and the free-flowering nature of Avant-Garde™ Clematis creates a spectacular display in the garden. When in full bloom, the vine becomes a stunning focal point, with the unique, semi-double flowers covering the foliage and creating a dense, colorful canopy.

Comparison to Other Clematis Varieties

The unique bloom characteristics of Avant-Garde™ Clematis set it apart from many other Clematis varieties. While some Clematis cultivars have single flowers with a more simplistic structure, Avant-Garde™ offers a more complex and visually interesting bloom form.

The semi-double flowers, with their distinct layers of petals and color contrast, are less common among Clematis varieties. This unique feature makes Avant-Garde™ Clematis a standout choice for gardeners looking for something different and eye-catching.

Additionally, the large size of the blooms, measuring 2 inches in width, is notable for a Clematis viticella variety. Many Viticella Group cultivars have smaller flowers, making the blooms of Avant-Garde™ Clematis particularly impressive within this category.

Extended Flowering Season

Another remarkable feature of Avant-Garde™ Clematis is its extended flowering season. While many clematis varieties bloom in early summer, Avant-Garde™ begins its display in mid to late summer and continues right through the early days of autumn. This prolonged period of color makes it a must-have for gardeners seeking to extend the beauty of their outdoor spaces well into the later months of the growing season.

Growth Habit and Size

Vine Structure and Climbing Habit

Avant Garde ClematisAvant-Garde™ Clematis is a deciduous, woody vine that belongs to the Clematis viticella species. As a climbing plant, it relies on its leaf petioles, which act as tendrils, to wrap around and cling to supports.

The vine has a twining growth habit, meaning it will naturally wind itself around trellises, arbors, fences, or other vertical structures as it grows. This climbing ability allows Avant-Garde™ Clematis to be trained and shaped to cover various garden features or to create stunning vertical displays.

The stems of Avant-Garde™ Clematis are relatively thin and flexible, allowing the vine to be easily guided and tied to supports as needed. As the plant matures, the stems will become woodier and more robust, providing a strong framework for the vine’s growth.

Mature Size and Spread

Avant-Garde™ Clematis is known for its manageable size, making it a versatile choice for various garden settings. At maturity, this cultivar typically reaches a height of 8 to 10 feet (2.4 to 3 meters).

In terms of spread, Avant-Garde™ Clematis generally grows to a width of 3 to 4 feet (0.9 to 1.2 meters). This compact spread allows the vine to be used in smaller spaces or in combination with other plants without overwhelming its neighbors.

It’s important to note that the ultimate size of Avant-Garde™ Clematis can be influenced by factors such as growing conditions, pruning techniques, and the age of the plant. With proper care and support, this cultivar may potentially reach greater heights or widths than the typical range.

Growth Rate and Vigor

Avant-Garde™ Clematis is described as a vigorous grower, meaning it can quickly cover its intended support structure or garden area. This vigorous growth habit is beneficial for gardeners who want to establish a lush, flowering vine in a relatively short period.

While the exact growth rate may vary depending on growing conditions and care, Avant-Garde™ Clematis can generally be expected to put on significant growth each season. Regular pruning and training can help to control and direct this growth as desired.

Pruning Requirements and Techniques

As a member of Pruning Group 3 (or Group C), Avant-Garde™ Clematis requires specific pruning to maintain its health, vigor, and abundant flowering. This pruning group is characterized by clematis that bloom on new wood (the current season’s growth).

For Avant-Garde™ Clematis, hard pruning is recommended in late winter or early spring, just before new growth begins. This involves cutting back all of the previous year’s stems to a height of about 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7.5 cm) above the ground or just above a strong pair of buds.

This hard pruning encourages the vine to produce vigorous new growth and abundant flowers in the coming season. It also helps to maintain the plant’s compact size and prevent it from becoming overgrown or tangled.

Throughout the growing season, additional light pruning or shaping can be performed as needed to guide the vine’s growth and remove any damaged or diseased stems. However, avoid pruning after late summer, as this can remove the developing buds for the following year’s flowers.

Maintenance and Care

Beyond its specific pruning requirements, Avant-Garde™ Clematis is relatively low-maintenance. This cultivar is well-suited to both novice and experienced gardeners who can provide the basic care needed for healthy growth and abundant flowering.

Key aspects of care include providing well-draining soil, adequate moisture, and support for the vine’s climbing habit. Avant-Garde™ Clematis benefits from a location with partial shade to full sun and protection from harsh afternoon sun in hot climates.

Regular watering, especially during dry spells, and an annual application of balanced fertilizer can help to support the vine’s growth and flowering. Mulching around the base of the plant can also help to retain moisture and regulate soil temperature.

With proper pruning, care, and support, Avant-Garde™ Clematis can be expected to thrive and provide a stunning display of unique, semi-double flowers year after year. Its manageable size and vigorous growth habit make it a versatile and rewarding addition to various garden settings, from trellises and arbors to fences and mixed borders.

Hardiness and Growing Conditions

Avant-Garde™ Clematis is remarkably hardy, thriving in USDA Hardiness Zones 4 through 9. This wide adaptability ensures that gardeners in various climates can enjoy its beauty and resilience. To ensure optimal growth and flowering, plant Avant-Garde™ Clematis in a location that receives partial shade to full sun. It prefers well-worked, enriched soil and benefits from regular mulching to maintain moisture and suppress weeds.

Companion Planting and Garden Design

Pairing with Open-Habit Trees and Shrubs

Avant-Garde™ Clematis is an excellent choice for pairing with open-habit trees and shrubs in the garden. Open-habit plants have a more sparse, airy growth pattern with space between their branches, allowing the clematis vine to intertwine and climb through their structure.

When planted alongside open-habit trees and shrubs, Avant-Garde™ Clematis can create a stunning display of color and texture. The vine’s vibrant pink and lavender blooms will weave through the branches of its companion plant, adding a layer of visual interest and depth to the garden.

Some examples of open-habit trees and shrubs that pair well with Avant-Garde™ Clematis include:

  • Deciduous trees with an open canopy, such as birches or Japanese maples
  • Shrubs with a loose, informal growth habit, like hydrangeas or viburnums
  • Evergreen trees and shrubs with an open structure, such as pines or junipers

By carefully selecting companion plants with a complementary growth habit, gardeners can create a harmonious and visually striking combination with Avant-Garde™ Clematis.

Companion Planting with Roses

Avant-Garde™ Clematis is an excellent companion for roses, particularly hybrid tea varieties. Hybrid tea roses are known for their tall, upright growth habit and their tendency to develop a leggy or bare appearance at the base of the plant.

When planted together, Avant-Garde™ Clematis can help to conceal the leggy appearance of hybrid tea roses by covering the bare stems with its lush foliage and vibrant blooms. The clematis vine will climb and twine through the rose bush, creating a more full and balanced look in the garden.

In addition to its aesthetic benefits, companion planting with Avant-Garde™ Clematis can also help to extend the season of interest in the rose garden. This clematis variety blooms from mid-summer to early fall, often concurrently with many rose cultivars. By blooming together, the clematis and roses create a stunning display of color and texture that lasts for several months.

When planting Avant-Garde™ Clematis with roses, it’s important to provide adequate support for the clematis vine to climb, such as a trellis or obelisk placed near the rose bush. This will ensure that the clematis has a structure to grow on without competing with the rose for space or resources.

Clematis Wilt Protection

One of the unique benefits of Avant-Garde™ Clematis, and other Evison Clematis varieties, is their resistance to Clematis Wilt. Clematis Wilt is a fungal disease that can cause sudden wilting, stem collapse, and death in susceptible clematis plants.

Avant-Garde™ Clematis, developed by renowned breeder Raymond J. Evison, has been bred with a natural resistance to this disease. This means that gardeners can enjoy the beauty and vigor of this clematis variety without the added worry of Clematis Wilt.

The Clematis Wilt protection offered by Avant-Garde™ Clematis sets it apart from other clematis varieties in terms of its reliability and ease of growth. Gardeners can plant this clematis with confidence, knowing that it has a reduced risk of succumbing to this common disease.

Garden Design Considerations

When incorporating Avant-Garde™ Clematis into a garden design, there are several factors to consider:

  • Vertical space: As a climbing vine, Avant-Garde™ Clematis requires vertical space to grow and display its blooms. Consider planting it near a trellis, arbor, fence, or other structure that can support its growth.
  • Color scheme: The rosy magenta and lavender hues of Avant-Garde™ Clematis can be used to create a cohesive color scheme in the garden. Pair it with plants that have complementary or contrasting colors, such as deep purple, soft pink, or white.
  • Texture: The delicate, frilly blooms of Avant-Garde™ Clematis add a unique texture to the garden. Consider pairing it with plants that have contrasting textures, such as bold, large-leaved hostas or fine-textured ornamental grasses.
  • Bloom time: Avant-Garde™ Clematis blooms from mid-summer to early fall, making it an excellent choice for extending the season of interest in the garden. Pair it with plants that bloom at different times to create a continuous display of color throughout the growing season.

FAQ

What is Avant-Garde™ Clematis?
Avant-Garde™ Clematis (Clematis viticella ‘Evipo033’) is a unique and captivating clematis variety developed by renowned breeder Raymond J. Evison. It is known for its stunning, semi-double blooms with rosy magenta outer petals and a central “bow” of frilly lavender petals.

What is the bloom time for Avant-Garde™ Clematis?
Avant-Garde™ Clematis has an extended flowering season, blooming from mid-summer to early fall. This prolonged period of color makes it an excellent choice for gardeners looking to extend the beauty of their outdoor spaces well into the later months of the growing season.

How large do the flowers of Avant-Garde™ Clematis get?
The semi-double blooms of Avant-Garde™ Clematis measure approximately 2 inches (5 cm) in width, making them relatively large for a Clematis viticella variety. The flowers are not only visually striking but also abundant, as this cultivar is known for its free-flowering nature.

What is the growth habit of Avant-Garde™ Clematis?
Avant-Garde™ Clematis is a woody vine that belongs to the Clematis viticella species. It maintains a manageable size, typically reaching a height of 8 to 10 feet (2.4 to 3 meters) and spreading 3 to 4 feet (0.9 to 1.2 meters) wide. This compact growth habit makes it a versatile and elegant addition to various garden settings.

In which USDA Hardiness Zones can Avant-Garde™ Clematis be grown?
Avant-Garde™ Clematis is remarkably hardy, thriving in USDA Hardiness Zones 4 through 9. This wide adaptability ensures that gardeners in various climates can enjoy its beauty and resilience.

What are the sun requirements for Avant-Garde™ Clematis?
To ensure optimal growth and flowering, plant Avant-Garde™ Clematis in a location that receives partial shade to full sun. It prefers well-worked, enriched soil and benefits from regular mulching to maintain moisture and suppress weeds.

How should Avant-Garde™ Clematis be pruned?
As a member of Pruning Group 3 (or Group C), Avant-Garde™ Clematis requires hard pruning in late winter or early spring, just before new growth begins. Cut back all of the previous year’s stems to a height of about 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7.5 cm) above the ground or just above a strong pair of buds. This encourages vigorous new growth and abundant flowering.

What plants pair well with Avant-Garde™ Clematis in the garden?
The charming pink petals of Avant-Garde™ Clematis pair beautifully with open-habit trees and shrubs, creating a stunning display of color and texture. It is also an excellent companion for roses, often blooming concurrently and helping to conceal the occasional leggy appearance of hybrid tea varieties.

Is Avant-Garde™ Clematis susceptible to Clematis Wilt?
One of the unique benefits of Avant-Garde™ Clematis, and other Evison Clematis varieties, is their resistance to Clematis Wilt. This fungal disease can cause sudden wilting, stem collapse, and death in susceptible clematis plants. However, Avant-Garde™ Clematis has been bred with a natural resistance to this disease, making it a reliable and easy-to-grow choice for gardeners.

How can Avant-Garde™ Clematis be used in garden design?
Avant-Garde™ Clematis is a versatile plant that can be used in various garden settings. Its compact size and stunning blooms make it an excellent choice for climbing trellises, adorning fences, or covering arbors. It can also be paired with complementary plants to create a cohesive color scheme or to add textural interest to the garden.

Consider the vertical space, color scheme, texture, and bloom time when incorporating Avant-Garde™ Clematis into your garden design.

Final Words

Avant-Garde™ Clematis is a true gem in the world of climbing plants, offering a unique combination of stunning blooms, extended flowering season, and manageable growth habit. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or just starting your horticultural journey, this exceptional variety is sure to captivate and delight. By following proper planting and care guidelines, you can enjoy the beauty and resilience of Avant-Garde™ Clematis for years to come, elevating your garden to new heights of elegance and charm.

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