16 unique ideas for how to grow a beautiful Clematis Vine

As you have probably noticed, I work with Proven Winners to test out their plants and then help you (through this website) learn more about them.  Every spring this means that boxes of new plants arrive for me to plant in my garden, experiment with, generally get inspired by and ultimately write about.

This year I requested some clematis because Joanne Neale’s fantastic article about easy care clematis in the summer issue of PITH + VIGOR got me in the mood to add some of these fantastic climbing vines to my garden.  When the boxes arrived, I was expecting one or two, but I got 16 (this is obviously not a complaint, just a statement of fact).  I have eight Clematis Diamond Ball and eight Clematis ‘Sweet Summer Love’ and finding homes for all of them isn’t all that easy.  So far, I’ve planted three of the ‘Sweet Summer Love’ (and I’ve worked out places for 3 more) and I’ve planted none of the Diamond Balls (some removal of other plants and bed prep is currently underway), but I have a home for at least 5 of them.

With a quarter of the plants still needing placement, I’ve been playing a new little game around here….its called where to put the clematis vine. The rules are easy, but the game is hard, finding at least 16 interesting places to plant a beautiful clematis in the garden is a challenge even in a big garden like mine.  Climbers need a place to climb and while I’m still working on where they all will go….I’m inspired by the dilemma and I found these 16 clematis design inspirations.

1) Plant it near a container garden and let it scramble through other textural plants.

Harlow Carr Clematis scrambling through container garden by jacki-dee via www.pithandvigor.com

2) Train it on a staircase railing.

clematis on staricase railing by jacki-dee via www.pithandvigor.com

3) Grow it over a picket fence in a cottage garden.

clematis climbing over white picket fence in a cottage garden by putneypics via www.pithandvigor.com

4) Pretty-up a chain link fence.

Clematis cirrhosa var. balearica 'Early Times' by jacki-dee viawww.pithandvigor.com

5) Plant in a container and grow on a topiary frame.
clematis sweet summer love in a container trained up a frame by rpoven winners via www.pithandvigor.com

6) Hide the mailbox.

clematis hiding mailbox by Karen Cardoza via www.pithandvigor.com

7) Intertwine with another climber (like roses).

Clematis 'William Kennet', and Rosa 'Messire Delbard' by Klasse im Garten via www..pithandvigor.com


8) Frame a shed door.

yellow clematis frames a shed door.

9) Cover an old ladder.

Clematis Comtesse de Bouchard by shout it from the rooftops via www.pithandvigor.com

10) Romantically dangle over a rustic shed.

romanic tangle of clemtis over a rustic shed by caroline via www.pithandvigor.

11) Train over a lamppost (yes I know it isn’t actually on a lamppost – but you get the idea… p.s. is it actually growing on an apple tree, which is another bonus option).

clematis and lamp by erik forsberg via www.pithandvigor.com

12) Support it with a trellis or a downspout.

pink clematis on trellis by andrea_44 via. www.pitahndvigor.com

13) Surround a window with delicate stems.

white clematis trained around a window by Rolf Blijleven via www.pithandvigor.com

14) Engulf a front a pillar.

Clematis on a pillar by B.D.'s world via www.pithandvigor.com

15 & 16) Go crazy and let clematis scramble through climbing roses and under-plant with herbaceous perennials to include peonies, poppies, foxgloves, campanulas, pinks, nepeta, lavender, foxtail lilies, and alchemilla (among many others). (like at Mottisfont Abbey in the UK).
Mottisfont Abbey in by ukgardenphotos via www.pithandvigor.com

mottisfont abbey by ukgardenphotos via www.pithandvigor.com

Just as soon as mine have grown enough to actually attach to their climbing frames (and I have found homes for each plant) I will share my own placements which include training over a pergola, covering a garage wall, and hiding part of the old chicken coop.  But have I missed anything? How do you grow your clematis?

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Proven Winners. I am not an employee of Proven Winners and all opinions are my own.
images: jacki-dee (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0), jacki-dee (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0), putneypics (CC BY-NC 2.0), jacki-dee (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0), Proven Winners,  Karen Cardoza (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0), Klasse im Garten (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0), peri stracchino (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0), shout it from the rooftops (CC BY 2.0), caroline (CC BY 2.0), erik forsberg (CC BY 2.0), andrea_44 (CC BY 2.0),Rolf Blijleven CC BY-NC 2.0), B.D.’s WorldCC BY-NC 2.0), ukgardenphotos  (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0). 

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About Rochelle Greayer

Hi, I'm Rochelle and for 18 years I have worked as a landscape designer, author/writer, and design teacher. I've designed residential and hospitality (for hotels, restaurants, and spas) gardens across the USA and in the UK, Europe and the Middle East. After many years of teaching garden design topics in person, I launched the PITH + VIGOR Boot Camp series in early 2018. Through my blog, social media, and online courses (Garden Design Bootcamp and Planting Design Boot Camp) I aim to help homeowners learn how to confidently design and create home gardens that reflect their own personal and unique style.


  1. Rachelle on July 16, 2015 at 2:16 pm

    Just a couple, through a shrub or tree in English fashion (although difficult to train for best effect I have found), or in the cash of tube clematis, herclefolia, upright

  2. Paul W on July 17, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    Happy to see so many plant combo options. I think it was Dan Hinkley who said/says “Vines and trellises did not co-evolve”.

  3. Abi on September 1, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    Beautiful post and photos, had to RT! I have planning a clematis post for a while but waiting to get as many pics as this – they are one of the most exciting things to plant.

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