Magazine article Sunset

Evergreen Clematis Overhead? Yes, If

Magazine article Sunset

Evergreen Clematis Overhead? Yes, If

Article excerpt

As rambunctions as it is beautiful, evergreen clematis needs plenty of freedom to be at its best. Architect William C. Wherrette designed this 12-foot-square canopied deck to take full advantage of the vine's fast-growing habit. A strong but open support system lets flowers and leaves tumble through, allowing the homeowners to enjoy the clematis from under the trellis as well as from above (second-story windows look down on it). In this case, lengths of reinforcing web--the bar used to reinforce concrete-block construction--run side by side between two 4-by-12 beams. You could substitute sturdy redwood or cedar crossbeams. The bars (sold through contractor or masonry supply shops) are held in place with steel eye screws and interlocked with heavy-gauge wire at 2-foot intervals.

The vine shown here is an eight-year-old Clematis armandii with a trunk that measures 7 inches around. This single plant has spread quickly, covering a major part of the trellis in just four years. …

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