One of my favourite plants, bougainvillea, has never seemed to flourish in this climate. It reminds me of walking down little streets in the mountain villages of Andalucia and seeing walls dripping with the pinky, paper-like flowers.
I want to recreate this appearance a little in our garden and I think that clematis, with its huge range of different varieties, may go some way to achieve this. If you are looking to add a little romance to your borders, cover up something unsightly or provide yourself with a little more privacy and colour then this may be a plant to look in to. The name clematis is derived from the Greek word ‘klema‘, meaning climbing, which gives you a little idea of what its nature is!
http://www.gardeningdata.co.uk/climbers/clematis.php has lots of additional clematis-growing information.
Currently I have a montana, that has grown profusely and has entirely covered a rather boring looking fence in less than a year of growth. It has had the most beautiful pale pink, smallish sized flowers, which have now given way to a green/bronze foliage. A fast and furious grower, but not one to have if you like more controlled, neat growing.
There are evergreen varieties, ones that need to be cut back almost completely at the end of every year, early and late flowering types in every colour imaginable and therefore there is probably a clematis for every possible occasion.
This clematis above is currently growing up a post in the garden and has the most dramatic, breathtaking white flowers with yellow/pale green centres. During mid spring to early summer, it can grow upwards quickly and will need tying back regularly to ensure that it doesn’t fall over due to all the weight.