Clematis at Colonial Inn

 Many folks who stop in the Colonial Inn while wandering  Smithville remark on the beauty of the flowers and foliage that surround our Inn. The one question we hear over and over is…  “What is that flower climbing your side deck?”


Well, the flower is the  gorgeously regal Clematis. Seeing these delicate beauties in person is the only way to truly appreciate them.  So the next time you are in Historic Smithville, stop by the Colonial Inn Bed & Breakfast and experience these awesome flowers for yourself. I have included a couple pictures of the semi private deck shared by rooms 107 and 108. This is where are garden containing the Clematis is. Please read on to find out more about this easy to grow, beautiful to see flower.


An Introduction to Clematis

Clematis are of the Ranunculaceae botanical family. The majority of clematis are climbers. There are several hundred species of clematis worldwide. The vast majority of these are very hardy, however, some species particularly the evergreens, can only take a few degrees of frost.

Clematis enable the gardener to have masses of bloom from late winter to late fall. To accomplish this, varieties with different bloom times can be grown together or planted in complimentary areas of the garden. Clematis can be chosen to enrich any garden, no matter how large or small. Some of the species if left to wander will easily grow 30′ , while others mature at 6-8′ .



Growing tips

Clematis thrive in rich, well drained soils with at least 6 hours of sunlight each day and 1 inch of water per week. When planting, dig a generous sized hole and fill with a mixture of soil and compost or moistened peat. Do not add lime unless your soil is highly acidic. Clematis prefer soils with slightly acidic to neutral pH levels. Plant the crown 1 to 2 inches below the soil surface. Water well and mulch with 2 to 3 inches of organic material such as wood chips or compost. A mulch provides winter protection for the crown and keeps the root system cool during summer heat. After planting, trim to 12Êinches or to a pair of low buds to encourage multiple branching and additional shoots. Fertilize established plants with a balanced all-purpose garden fertilizer (such as 10-10-10) in spring.


Clematis climb by twisting their petioles or leaf stalks around a support. They can be grown on trellises, fences, lampposts, deck rails, and other structures. Clematis also can be allowed to climb over shrubs, small trees, tree stumps, and rock piles. When planting near a non-living support, allow at least a foot between the support and the plant. Near shrubs, trees, and other living supports, locate plants at least 2 feet away from the support. New growth will wind through the support towards the light. Clematis do not possess tendrils or aerial rootlets;you may need to help young plants start to vine where you want them.

Clematis in vases

Clematis are excellent fresh cut flowers and can last four days or longer. Look for flowers that have just opened or are only three-fourths open on thick, strong stems. Three choices include ‘Beauty of Worcester’, ‘The President’, and ‘Nelly Moser’. Many clematis also form attractive seed heads. We love to have the flowers at our front desk or bed side to great our friends at checking in.

What is your favorite flower to grow? Maybe we’ll plant it here in Smithville!!

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