Crushing Beauty



Sweet autumn clematis in my garden, one of my favorite of all plants. Exuberant at a time of year when I am mourning the end of the basil and need exuberance.


Though I cut both plants off knee-high this spring, they are nonetheless taking down my nice Smith & Hawken iron arch.


I’m not sure what’s next. Cementing the arch into the ground? Replacing it with something even sturdier?


  1. You could always tie it down like you would with a sapling. Not the prettiest solution, but effective.

    That clematis is outstanding. But I see that your nasturtiums are still going strong, too. Looks like a very flower-full garden for September!

  2. To me this plant will always mean back to school; our garden is in an abandoned sand and gravel pit: a situation much to the liking of this Clematis. Every year we took pictures of Max and Pete going off to the first day of school and always Sweet Autumn Clematis was the background!

  3. Our Sweet Autumn Clematis grows on a simpler arbor.I then took 3ft pieces of re-bar,sprayed them with black spray paint and hammered them into the ground next to each leg of the arbor.Tied with wire they blend and the arbor is able to support all that gorgeous weight.

  4. I forgot to mention:you need to hammer 2ft. of the re-bar into the ground.Hope you get to enjoy that arbor for many years to come.

  5. Does it grow that much in one year? Would cutting it to ground each spring make a difference on how it climbs an arbor?
    And how many really smell sweet?
    Saw a purple leaved one in bloom on a garden tour. Didn’t bend down to smell it because I was too stiff.

  6. I ecently posted pics of mine, in its second year on my iron arbor. I had no idea they got so big Everyone should have one–but only the native c. virginiana!!!

  7. I need to do a rant on “Just because it is native doesn’t mean I have to like it.” Your Clematis terniflora has bigger flowers and is later blooming than the native C. virginiana. The finished seed arrangement looks to be less fuzzy and more colorful too. Now the question is, is the C. terniflora as horribly invasive as the native C. virginiana. I hate, hate, hate the native Clematis virginiana. It is a thug beyond measure with a very short bloom time. Makes the exotic Honeysuckle people love to hate seem tame in comparison.

  8. This stunning clematis is, understandably, on several invasive plant lists, especially in the South where it seeds like mad. But I love it and keep it manageable by pruning it to one foot in early spring, then cutting back the most vigorous tips several times throughout the summer. This has worked for me for more than 20 years.

  9. Just started these a few months ago… wow. The tag says they only grow about 4 feet, doubt it looking at yours…. wow, just wow. Mine are up against the house, dont think they can tip over the house…lol haha.

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