May montanas

clematis elizabethIn May the montanas begin to break into bud. These hail from the Himalaya and can be seen scrambling high into trees. These are the ones that cover the shed, or tickle the bedroom window, or attempt to mask the oil tank. However montanas need warmth despite their Himalayan roots so again they are only tidied after flowering. They cling to many a south-facing Victorian house wall, as you will discover if stuck on the ring road round Salisbury. Habit and vigour vary, but 'Tetrarose' is a modern tetraploid with bold mauve-pink flowers. The gentler, pale-pink 'Elizabeth' has gappy flowers held on long stems and it's one of the most scented, smelling of vanilla when fully out. Whites tend to flower later.