help picking flowers

I have a back patio that is a bit rough. It started as a simple slab of concrete. Last year we planted several perenials that were very pretty but all very low to the ground. Since then we have added a new patio cover and a barrier in front of our air conditioner. I'm inclined to put something in front of that barrier that would be pretty. I'm also thinking about a climbing plant that flowers for the patio posts. I live on the east side of washington so we have a fairly hot summer, cold winter etc. This area gets lots of sunshine in the afternoon. Here is a pic of the area.
http://homepage.mac.com/davecalhoun/PhotoAlbum35.html
Thank you for your opinions.
Dave
ps, here is what the patio looks like with the flowers blooming. http://homepage.mac.com/davecalhoun/PhotoAlbum37.html
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I discussed this with my wife at lunch and she says clematis is what she had in mind to go up those poles. We are zone 6 in Yakima if I am reading the chart at http://www.growit.com/bin/USDAZoneMaps.exe?MyState=WA correctly. So I think we need some advice on what type of clematis as there appears to be different kinds. Would we plant different kinds together next to the pole and have them intertwine? is that possible?
Also, we still need suggestions for that barrier in front of the air conditioner.
thanks again,
Dave
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Dave Smith wrote: > So I

The different types of Clematis bloom at different times, and have different pruning requirements. It is generally not a good idea to mix different types, but you can get more than one of the same type and have them grow together. Clematis can take a few years to get established, but once they establish themselves, you'll have a really nice show on your hands. BTW, as far as I know, Clematis will need something to hang onto while climbing, so you might consider putting up some sort of netting around your poles to give them something to cling to. One of my favorite ways of growing Clematis is to have it climb through roses, and if that's an option for you, you might want to consider it.
If you want to stick to varieties that are not prone to wilt, you want to stay with Viticellas, Alpinas and Macropetalas. You might want to look at Dr. John Howell's book, 'Trouble Free Clematis - The Viticellas' to find particularly good cultivars. A good source for learning how to grow Clematis is http://www.clematisinternational.com There is a long list of Clematis that are easy to grow, and I can post it for you if you'd like.

What exactly are you looking for? Perennial? Shrub? Something evergreen? How tall should it get? Do you have any particular colors in mind? What sort of sun/shade conditions does the site have? You could go to a site like www.bluestoneperennials.com, enter your criteria in a search, and see what pops up.
Suja
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to consider. Chose roses and clematis with similar pruning requirements. For example if you have roses that will be cut back hard each spring eg hybrid teas you would want to chose clematis from the group that is similarly pruned eg. Jackmanii. If you can, chose a variety of clematis that blooms when the rose is out of bloom. If the rose flowers recurrently make sure to coordinate the colours of the two flowers. Having white flowers on either the rose or the clematis will make this easier than, say, having to ponder whether a shade of lavender will work with a pale pink etc.
Jim
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How quickly do they grow? Will it take years to go up that pole?
dave
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Dave Smith wrote:

Roses or Clematis? The roses will grow quickly, especially in warner zones. My taller roses seem to throw 6-7' canes every year. Clematis take time to get established, and could take about 3 years to get to a good size. That said, my neighbor's Jackmanii got well over 10' tall in 2 years. If you get well established plants from a reputable source (like Chalk Hill, there are others), you will probably get good coverage in a year or two.
Suja
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Suja,
I'm a gardening newbie, but I think I'd prefer perennial. Something that will climb those poles, so about 7ft tall. The patio faces west. It is in the shade during the morning, sun in the afternoon (up to 100 degrees), and shade again late in the day. I have no color preference.
Dave
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http://www.homeofclematis.net /
*heads in sun, feet in shade* are the needs of clematis.
alice
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are given credit for in the literature. I planted half a dozen of these along a chain link fence a food away from the dark north wall of my neighbour's garage. In addition, all of them were under the canopy of a mature Norway maple. IOW this was not "partial" shade. The clematis did well both in terms of growth and flowering. Unfortunately, that deep rich purple of the Jackmanii may not be ideal for a naturally dark place.
Not sure about other varieties as the others I have had were planted in higher light levels.
Jim
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Jim Voege wrote:

You can search on all sorts of criteria to find the right clematis here: http://www.clematis.hull.ac.uk/clemlistsearch.cfm Searching on shade alone got me 289 hits, and of those, 126 are viticellas. Chalk Hill has a list of Clematis for Partial Shade/North Walls (http://stores.yahoo.com/chalkhillclematis/clematisforshade.html )
Suja
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Told ya. ;-)
Jim
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Dave Smith wrote:

I'm in the Seattle area, and have 14 different clematis planted together along my front porch, including two evergreen that I just planted last fall. I started planting them 6 years ago, and add one or two each year. OK, so I'm addicted. For the first year I used string loosely wrapped around each post, and trained the plants through. Now they climb through each other. I also nailed up slats between the posts, and below the roof, for the plants to twine around, as you can see here: http://albums.photo.epson.com/j/ViewPhoto?u008861&a0066766&pa160404
I've never pruned any of them, and never had a problem with wilt. I do trim dead branches in the spring, but I love the look of the bare branches all winter - and couldn't bear to cut them off.
The montana's are just about to bloom now. These are my favorite, tho the flowers are small. But the whole yard smells like baby powder when they're in bloom, and they grow extremely fast: http://albums.photo.epson.com/j/ViewPhoto?u008861&a0066766&p `247502
Here are some photos of the others: http://albums.photo.epson.com/j/ViewPhoto?u008861&a0066766&pg546608 http://albums.photo.epson.com/j/ViewPhoto?u008861&a0066766&p `968386
--


Julie
http://albums.photo.epson.com/j/AlbumList?u=3008861
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Julie, all I can say is...WOW! Dave
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wrote:

I love them.. I wanted to plant 30 or 40 of them around the yard, but I don't have the space where they could climb without being overtaken by the faster growing grape vines which grow around the perimeter of most my yard, so I have a couple that survived a lot of neglect out back, a Nelly Moser, and up front I have 3 out of 4 that survived being tortured all last summer being in pots. I think I have pink fantasy, snow queen and Henryii, and Ramona croaked. I have to put up some supports, and because of how clematis support themselves I have to pay attention to the size of the supplied material. Clematis grip their support by clamping onto the support with the leaves on opposite sides of the stems.. they don't twine like beans, or morning glories, so I'm hoping I can get a lattice work that has large enough holes, with narrow enough slats to allow them to pull themselves up onto.
They're just surrounded by tomato cages now. I would prefer to have something more like a grid, but they only make those in 2' wide strips for a lot of money and I need something wider, and cheaper since I'm "po' folk" with my measly $867.28 a month income.. and I've lived on a lot less so to me it still looks like a fair amount of money.. until I start looking at grocery prices, even used car prices and worse, pickup truck prices! I guess an "ok" job now is paying at least $1500 a month, a little better "ok" job I guess can be $3000 a month. Hooo Boy, what I could do with $3,000 a month! LOL Anyway, I still want a lot of clematis, but I'll wait until I get the ones I have supported, and holes dug everywhere around here that I want to put stuff, THEN.. I'll call up the greenhouse and tell 'em what I want, let 'em get it together so I can send someone else to pick it up. I can't do a whole lot, so I have to pay what I can of my income to people to do the yard work. Several hundred already this spring, but while I'm bummed I don't have any money for several other things I want..I'm not as bummed as I would be normally because a friend is doing the work and she needs income, so it works for both of us.. when I can get her to come over anyway ;-)
I want bunches of clematis, unfortunately, zoning laws keep me from doing much of what I'd like to do. :(
Janice
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In reference to your air conditioner screen, I saw a cool idea awhile back on Gardening By The Yard, the HGTV show. The homeowner was using a piece of plywood to screen a firewood pile and wanted to dress it up a bit, so they painted the plywood to resemble a trellis with climbing vines. They first used a roller to paint the whole board with a brown paint, then striped it with masking tape to resember the criss-cross slats of a trellis, then painted it again with mixture of black, green and yellow paint. When the masking tape was removed, there was a criss-cross pattern in brown across the greenish-black background. Then, they used smaller brushes to paint some very simple vines in green trailing up the "trellis", and added some simplistic flowers by painting football-shaped objects in varying colors on the tops of the vines. It was a very cool idea -- I'm going to try it this year on my wooden shed, which is a terrible eyesore on the small patio I have. If you're interested in doing this, search the HGTV Web site for Gardening By The Yard and "painted trellis". There are instructions on the site for how to do the painting and, to my recollection, some photos of the process.
Cheers, Rhonda Alexandria, VA Zone 7
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