Clematis color cues

Design School

 Clematis up close-2

People often ask what plants to combine in a garden – How does a person choose? Take this clematis as an example.  What blooms would work with this simple stunner?

 Clematis bud to full open

There are many factors that inform a decision about plant combinations.  One way to help the decision is to get to know the delicate intricacies of the colors of the plant.

Purple clematis – Clematis jackmanii – is familiar, sure.  It’s common and somewhat pedestrian – one of your neighbors probably has one scrambling along a mailbox. But if you look closer, it’s also remarkable: ruffled purple cross-shaped blooms, silvery-white and even bold hot pink.

 Clematis fully open

 Clematis bloom up close

Consider plants that could echo those color details.  Try it with Silvery-white lamb’s ear (Stachys byzantina).


Or pair it with soft white and deep purple mountain bluet (Centaurea montana ‘Amethyst in Snow’)


You could also continue the purple-silver combination into deep summer with purple-pink sedum (Sedum ‘Matrona’) and artemisia (Artemisia schmidtiana ‘Silver Mound’)

 harmonious cool combo

The best part about thinking through all these choices?  Getting to enjoy the subtle details of your blooms.