Fig. All The Forms Of Clematis Jackmanii Are Beautiful. Painted by A. C. Wyatt.
The foregoing is but a tithe of the material awaiting the Clematis-lover if he cares to make a study of the genus. He will admire aethusifolia, with its small narrow-lobed leaves and white, bell-shaped flowers borne in early autumn. The coccinea hybrids, with flowers shaped like urns, will attract him by their distinctness. He may prune them in the same way as the lanuginosa and patens sets. Cirrhosa, an evergreen species, with white flowers; grata, bluish white, sweet, an autumn bloomer; paniculata, white, fragrant, another autumn bloomer; and Viticella, purple, with its white and red forms, will all attract him. The varieties of Viticella have the same flowering habit as Jackmanii.
Fig. Clematis Montana is a truly charming plant for a wall, arch or arbour. Painted by A. C. Wyatt.
The Cotoneasters, which were described in the chapter on evergreens, may be used with advantage for walls.
For a wall of moderate height, with a north or east aspect, few things can be better than that beautiful Thorn, Crataegus Pyracantha, and its form Lalandii. The importance of the Pyracantha lies in its brilliant berries. It will thrive in town and surburban gardens, and hold its berries right through the winter.
Cydonia (Pyrus) Japonica and C. Maulei, with their varieties (Simoni is splendid), claim attention, especially where brilliant shrubs are wanted for a low wall. The Japanese Quince has large and brilliant flowers, which sometimes expand in late winter and are followed by fruits suitable for jellying. The varieties differ mainly in hue. Thus there are purple (atropurpurea); white (alba); rose (rosea); scarlet (coccinea) and others. C. Maulei and its form superba are also good.
In mild, moist, sheltered places, no shrub is more vivid and beautiful in June than Embothrium coccineum, an evergreen which produces its glorious scarlet flowers in clusters. In colder districts it might be tried on a south wall in a compost of peat, loam and sand, with good drainage. It is worth an effort.
The Escallonias may have walls or wall shelter except in mild places near the sea, where they thrive in the open. The best known species is macrantha, with pink flowers in early summer; but the hybrid Langleyensis, with its long sprays of charming pink inflorescence, is a precious plant. It need not be placed actually on the wall, if there is shelter from cutting winds, but may have a wall border.
Garrya elliptica is a yellow-flowered evergreen which is much at home on a south or west wall.
The ivies (Hedera) are, of course, among the most important of wall plants. Some people plant them with an uneasy mind, fearing that they will do injury to the walls. There need be no apprehension on this score, ivy rather benefits than impairs masonry. It is true that a problem is sometimes presented when an ivy-covered house has to be re-decorated, but the "painter will generally be very fluent in assuring you that he can not only remove the ivy, but replace it intact and in the end be able to point to a qualified triumph.
Practically all the many forms of ivy which we see in nurseries are variations, more or less strongly marked, from the common species, Hedera Helix. They differ in size, form and colour of leaf. Some of the most distinctive types, such as the Irish (canadensis) have sub-forms; there are large spotted and large variegated forms of the Irish. There is, too, a variegated form of the gigantic dentata, the largest leaved of all the ivies, and it is very beautiful.
The following are a few of the best garden ivies: algeriensis, argentea rubra, azorica, Caenwoodiana, and its form aurea, canariensis and its forms, chrysophylla, dentata and d. variegata, digitata and d. aurea, Emerald Green, maderiensis variegata, palmata and p. aurea, Raegneriana and rhomboidea ovata. The ivies are apt to move slowly when young, and the Irish is perhaps the quickest grower. They can be stimulated by good soil and abundant moisture. The stronger growers can be bought in pots with several strong shoots twined round a stake and upon each other. Disentangling them is sometimes a tedious process, but it should be done and the shoots fastened to the wall with nails and shreds. When fairly established the plants will make their own supports. When the ivy has grown into a dense mass on the wall, it should be clipped in spring just before growth starts. The new leaves will soon hide the marks of the shears.
Ivy is useful for covering shady trunks as well as for clothing walls. Another pleasing use to which it can be put is to plant it to cover tree stumps, which may be set in selected places.
The Tree ivy, Hedera arborea or arborescens, grows without support, and is a useful evergreen for shady places. Like the climbing ivy, it will thrive in towns. Chrysophylla, aurea and elegantissima are forms of it.
Two Hydrangeas are suitable for growing on walls, and indeed must have shelter except in very mild districts; these are petiolaris, which has white flowers in spring; and quercifolia. Petiolaris clings naturally, and is good for a high wall; it soon covers a wide area.
Two of the commoner Jasmines are hardy, namely, nudiflorum and officinale. The former is the well-known plant which bears yellow flowers spasmodically, in winter, in advance of the foliage; there is a yellow leaved form of it. The Winter Jasmine grows well in towns. Officinale is the common white scented Jasmine. Primulinum, revolutum and Wallichianum may all be grown on outside walls, in mild districts, but they are not hardy. Primulinum is a very attractive Jasmine, with flowers much larger than those of nudiflorum. Like the Clematis, and indeed many other hardy climbers, the Jasmine often suffers from want of pruning. Much crowded plants do not bloom well, and if they were thinned freely, and the young wood cut back, the bloom would be the finer.