Clematis Festoon, Avant-Garde, have you grown them?

Central, AL(Zone 7b)

Hi Clematis lovers. I recently purchased an Avant-Garde clem. from a local nursery here where I live. In looking up info. from our DG's resources, I've noticed but a few members have posted and shared their beautiful blooms in years past. But current questionairs arise and I've a mix responses regarding this clem's. performance in different regions. Have you grown and have success with this particular hybrid? Care to share with me and fellow gardeners that visit DG?

Many thanks.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Thanks for starting this thread, Kim. I don't have AG and would like to know how it performs for others since we've both seen comments about it on another Clematis thread. I'll be watching and learning.

Central, AL(Zone 7b)

Thank you Arlene for your interest. Pictured here is the trellis/arbor( (pic. was taken last summer) that I intended to train my new Avant-Garde vines to share with other ornamental planting since it's recommended to be sunny exposure. I'll post pics. and keep all of us informed of how it will turn out. Bear in mind; clematis isn't for instant rewards kind of plants. It will take time to get established before it shines. The 'ole saying "1st year it sleeps, 2nd year it creeps, 3rd year it leaps". So be patient and enjoy the journey with me.

Thumbnail by Lily_love
Naugatuck, CT(Zone 5a)

I have very little luck with Avante Guard, have two, very little growth, one in full sun one in part to full sun, I have had 2 blooms, extremely small. I have other clems that have done much better with the same care, ie Ken Dobson(?) think I spelled that wrong, Asao, Belle of Woking. Would not invest again in it.

Central, AL(Zone 7b)

dem2rd, neither [ quote] full sun nor part to full sun [/quote] worked for you? Hmmm, I usually don't spent an oddle amt. of money on clems. Most of mine came from a local friendly nursery where I get everything so very reasonable. With Avant-Garde, I liked it so much for I'm trying to add more double bloomings clems. into my established garden. Also according to the tag that came with it, it clearly stated that the flowers are demunitive-- a bare two inches blooms from Mid-summer to early Fall. Although, I knew they're NOT going to be as huge as my Multiblues which are at least 4" across. I would like to give AG the benefit of the doubt. lol

The 2 double flowers that I've are from local sources, Multi-blue is one (Lowes origin I think), and a double white 'Belle of Woking'? They've done fantastic for me over the years. Mind you, Belle of Woking the first two years it sat there and did very little growing, I thought I was going to toss it out, then POW on its 3rd year it began to persuade me differently. Now after a few years of establishing growth, the Double white flowers clem. are about to make its debut. ....

Okay everyone, I've this to say. Is this one of Plantsthatwork's product or not, I can't be sure. This is what I discovered when I got ready to plant the AG clem. this morning. Yikes!!!

Thumbnail by Lily_love
Central, AL(Zone 7b)

What we're looking at is the TM container with PTW's embloom is NOT the original pot that houses my 1gallon clematis!

Thumbnail by Lily_love
Central, AL(Zone 7b)

Well should it turn out to be other than AG that I've got. I can always return the clem. within a year of purchase since it's a reputable nursery in town.

I'm now more cautious as to whether or not to invest in another identical Clematis from this dealer. That said, I'm giving it a go!

I planted it in a tall ceramic container and will harden the vines in this sheltered, South facing area for now. First I teased off the circling robust root system, then planted the clem. 2 inches deeper than its original soil line. Top dressed the container with other annuals to keep its root system 'cool' and also serving as a decorative purpose.

Thumbnail by Lily_love
Naugatuck, CT(Zone 5a)

I have ZONE ENVY!!!!!! great pic's, love that everything is so GREEN!

I want green too....

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

I want green three.

Central, AL(Zone 7b)

Thanks evryone. Will post more in the near future.
Kim

Duluth, GA(Zone 7b)

dem2rd, I followed the advise of these ladies, and hands down, this is the best that my clematis have ever grown so early in the season. I added compost around the top of the plants, fertilized with Osmocote 2/3 and Colorburst Bloombooster 1/3 mixed, sprinkled around the plants a month ago, ( I love this mix, and all my plants to which I apply it to do well, I don't use with my irises however) then I added the Epsom salt in the past week. I've never had these plants with buds so soon. Now I'm sure the warm weather has helped their linear growth. I've looked at AG several times, but have never ordered it, it has such a pretty bloom. Has it been sleeping, creeping, and about to be leaping this year? Lily_love, we're in the same zone and your garden is MUCH greener than mine, I have green envy as well, LOL.

Williamstown, NJ(Zone 6b)

Could it be the climate that each one is planted in that makes the difference in its growth? Mine came from CA. I was told that it would do well in NJ.
I am hoping that my cold winters done kill it off for good.
I will post a picture of what growth I have as soon as I can.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

I haven't a clue if getting it from CA would be a negative, Marie, but I just saw a note in the Ensata Gardens catalog mentioning the differences in pH from New England states to their Michigan location.

"If you have experienced losses of newly planted healthy Siberians, it may be due to a difference in soil PH from where the plants came from. Our Midwest soil is pH 6.5 and we have high losses of very healthy Siberians coming from pH 5.5 soils of New England and Oregon".

I don't know if that would hold true for clematis coming from CA to NJ.

They do suggest: To bypass the problem, we pot up the new arrivals in potting mix until new roots form.

I somehow doubt all new roots would form on clematis fast enough to get them growing with vigor.

Central, AL(Zone 7b)

Arlene, I can appreciate the different in pH and its effect on each plant's cultural requirement. I always wonder how Roses and Clematis are such great companions plants since the two individual requirement for pH is vasely different. Also, Marie, it's said that AG is hardy up to zone 4. So hopefully they survived over the winter just as well there for you.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Here I aim for 6.5 pH to keep them both content. My tall bearded irises and my clem's are always planted with a chunk of cement to help with the acidity problem we have (that does produce beautiful Japanese irises!) and so far the cement is working well.

Roses just seem to want much more water than the clematis so that's how I've lost too many clem's and why I don't plant more of them with the roses.

Williamstown, NJ(Zone 6b)

Ok pirl you are amking me wonder if I should move my clems that I planted with all my roses last fall. I thought i heard that clems like moist but well drained soil.
I would hate to loose all those clesm do to too much water.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Don't do it. I made the fatal error of putting the hose on the ground, on the low setting, and then forgetting about it and the area around the rose drained toward the clematis. It was the next day that I realized it but the clem took a few weeks (from memory) to die.

So many people love to drench the clem's daily but when they're in the ground they don't need the amount of water they would require if they were baking in the sun in hot black nursery pots.

Williamstown, NJ(Zone 6b)

I just remembered, I bought mine from TpNursey on here. Maybe she can give us some insight on this Clem.

Central, AL(Zone 7b)

As long as I've grown my clems. I had no problem with them interplanted with roses down South. I have several that planted with Azaleas that is where I noticed some decline.

Williamstown, NJ(Zone 6b)

I wonder why that was Lily_love?

Central, AL(Zone 7b)

Azaleas need acidic fertilizer, I suspected that is where they stunt the clem. especially if I left it to my hubby to help out in the garden. Occassionally he does. lol

Williamstown, NJ(Zone 6b)

Lol funny, I would never ask my hubby to help. Unless it is to lift heavy items...lol
I ask him to water things in pots one year while I was gone for a few days, Well that did not, happen. I come home to all dead plants...lol

I asked Babette from TP Nursery to come over and give us some insight on this Clem.

Central, AL(Zone 7b)

LOL Marie, DH is getting much better as years go by. lol His specialty would be grass up keep, without his help, I'm at a loss there. My newly planted AG clem is looking fine.

Thumbnail by Lily_love
Williamstown, NJ(Zone 6b)

That is looking nice. I am keeping my fingers crossed for mine. We had a freeze last night. I took a real quick walk before work to check everything out. So far all looked ok.

I do the grass up keep too around here. But that is ok, I enjoy it.

Long Branch, NJ(Zone 7a)

Here's AG paired with rosa America. Photo taken around mid-summer last year. It was a mere starter plant I purchased from a co-op and planted spring of last year too. I'm surprised how quickly it grew. Whatever I feed my roses with, I feed it to my clems too.

Thumbnail by Tex68
Central, AL(Zone 7b)

Oh Tex68, now we're talking! Not a too bad a performer. Thank you for sharing your pic. with us. How did AG turn out this spring?

Central, AL(Zone 7b)

Did you know to prune it back around Feb-March to last year's stems? I purchased mine recently, and the vines is but 2 feet tall approx. so I gather the nursery has pruned it back when they brought it back out on the display.

Williamstown, NJ(Zone 6b)

Tex68 you give me hope. I hope mine comes back like that one. Does it start off real slow coming up in the spring? Mine is only about an inch tall now.
You are up by Manahawkin right? Should I do anything special now to help it along?

Long Branch, NJ(Zone 7a)

I believe it's group 2 pruning. But I waited until there were swell buds on the stems before I pruned it to around 24'' about 3 weeks ago. It's currently loaded with buds and look like there's new growth from the base too.

Marie - I live almost by the shore. Like what I said, almost a plug sized, planted spring last year and by summer time it grew to more than 4 feet tall happily growing along the fence.
Maybe it was all the fertilizers I feed it with. Kelp solutions and fish emulsions do wonders to plants. I was also diligent in watering my plants last summer. It was one of the hottest and driest summer ever.

Williamstown, NJ(Zone 6b)

Thanks Tex68. I will give that little guy some food today and hope for the best.

Central, AL(Zone 7b)

I'm encouraged by your experience, Tex. Thank you for your contribution to our thread. Marie, it's you and I on the race to keep these 'guys' healthy.

editted for typos.

This message was edited Apr 11, 2011 8:01 AM

Williamstown, NJ(Zone 6b)

UH Oh...lol

I am wondering if mine will come back this year. Last year was so dry.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Did you keep it very well mulched?

Arlene

Yes, everything was mulched with the exception of my iris's. I had said previously to my husband that I could not imagine what the plants would have gone through last summer had they not been mulched. It was so very dry and I watered almost every night - some plants were watered every night and I still felt like I was just barely keeping everything alive.

I have no idea what to expect this coming summer, the summer before last was so wet, I believe it rained close to daily....

Louisville, KY

M y soil ph is 7.2 which is much higher than I would like it. Worse the ph of our water is
9 . I asked our county extension agent about this...she said it is not only caused by the lime stone but also by the addition of fluoride to our water.

I bought some "top soil " from a local nursery here and found that they had added lime stone chips to the dirt.

Most of the good nurseries here are going out of business.....the one I worked at as a boy is long gone.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Have you checked for any bud swelling lately? I'm heading out later to check more of the lazy ones.

I did check my photos of bud swelling and new growth of clematis and by April 9th there were huge changes from mid March so the magic time is close at hand.

I clearly recall our hot summer last year and the very rainy June of 2009!

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

John - we cross posted, sorry.

Would you consider adding little chunks of cement to the areas where plants very sensitive to pH are located?

Louisville, KY

No problem. Just out in the garden. The Clem buds look just fine after 1 inch snow and 32 temp last night.

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