Although clematis ‘Mrs Robert Brydon’ does not make my “Top 10 Clematis” list, it does, in fact, place pretty high up on my “Must Have Plant” list. Let’s go over the reasons, shall we?
-It is a superb non twining ground cover plant that will quickly cover the space under the shrubs in your border with it’s lovely disease free leaves
-It can also be tied up onto a trellis, bird netting, a pole, or any other vertical object you have handy
-It will scramble happily down a berm, hill, or even better cascade over a rock wall
-It is definitely on the “Top 10 Easiest to Grow” clematis list
–It will grow in many light conditions and is fairly drough tolerant once established
-It is a breeze to propagate via cuttings , your gardening friends will love you if you give them this plant
-It blooms late in the season ( late July to Sept) when so many other things in the garden are winding down
The only reason it does not place among my top ten clematis is generally plants earn their space there because they have a very long bloom time and sadly this one does not. I may reconsider that though as the foliage on this one never browns or gets any foliar disease which more than makes up for a shorter flowering time.
For years I have struggled with the correct name of this clematis. It has dubious parentage and I have seen it for sale under many names including clematis heracleifolia x jouiniana , clematis x jouiniana ‘Mrs. Robert Brydon’, clematis jouiniana var. davidiana ‘Mrs Robert Brydon’ but thankfully the International Clematis Registry at Hull University has it now listed as plainly clematis ‘Mrs. Robert Brydon. Whew.
I love that the name conjures up the old fashioned practice of calling a married woman by her husbands name, not because I am a believer in the oppression of the fairer sex , I did not even legally take Wil’s name I just sort of added it on to mine to avoid confusion for the kids when they were in school and may ditch it when they are done. I just like the thought , however imagined it may be, of a graceful and charming world with proper manners , polite conversation where you are adressed as such, and maybe a white glove or two thrown in for good measure. Actually my garden club has only recently disbanded the practice of having our members listed as “Mrs. Husbands Name and Surname” making me Mrs. William Monroe which is funny and maybe just a bit ironic.
Back to the clematis, ‘Mrs. Robert Brydon ‘ is a dream to take care of. It will get pruned to 8-12 inches in the springtime, but since, as its various names all suggest, it is herbaceous , it may have already pruned itself for you by dying back to the ground over the winter. It will grow pretty slowly at first eventually getting large leaves on stems that are 6-8 feet long. When it flowers, which is happening right now here in The Burrow, it is spectacular. The flowers are the loveliest shade of white-ish blue, a color I find dreamy in the garden and are massed along the top third of the plant.
I have seen this plant frothing over a stone wall, tied up at the base so it looked like a hydrangea bush, trained onto fences and poles and here I created a berm for it to sprawl down( bottom photo)) in the Dogs Garden and it romps all through shrubs and other plants like this variegated weigela in the rock garden ( below ) and in all instances it looked phenomenal.