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chrisclematisAt our November Meeting, held in the Parish Church House Hall by the main lights in Ilkley on the evening of the 5th of November Chris Cocks of Taylor Clematis kept us entertained and informed on the three main groups of Clematis and how to get the best out of them.

Some 25 members and guests were treated to a slide show of Chris's favourite varities of Clematis from Taylors' 40,000 plants stocked at their mail order nursery in Doncaster. If you choose your varities well, you can have Clematis in flower throughout the year. Starting with Group 1 plants which are pretty much maintenance free, they even thrive on neglect, the ideal gift for a friend without a green thumb, they do not even need pruning! The catchphrase for Group One plants is "If it flowers before June, don't prune!"

Group Two Clematis which flower from May/June onwards include the well known Nelly Moser and Ilkley's own Alan Titchmarsh's favourite Crystal Fountain and I can understand why it's Alan's favourite when Chris showed us a picture, it is stunning. Group Twos should be trimmed back after flowering, feed with a good potash feed (eg: Tomato Food) weekly then you'll get a second flush of flowers come September. Trim again in Spring, everything comes in twos for Group Two Clematis it seems.

Group Three include the Boulevard Patio plants which flower from May to October and don't go wild like some but can be planted in planters and even hanging baskets creating a stunning display of pendulous flowers dangling down all over your patio. Prune these in Feb/March to about 12-18" off the ground.

If you are planning on ordering your Kings Seeds through the association, taking advantage of our 20% discount and free delivery, please ensure we get your order by our December Meeting as this is the last date we can accept orders. Your seeds will them be with you in time for Christmas. Our Christmas meeting is held on Thursday 3rd of December at the Ilkley Parish Church Hall and features Katie Burnett from Courtyard Planters over in Otley and in addition to tea and biscuits, we will be offering mince pies and cheese as well as holding our Christmas Raffle.

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