Thursday, January 24, 2008

Two Perfect Flowering Plants for Arbors: Betty Corning Clematis and Dortmund Rose

My favorite of all plants to grow on an arbor is the heirloom clematis 'Betty Corning.' I have only two arbors in my garden--they both have Betty Corning. My hope is to install additional arbors to the Bird Garden and the Walled Garden. These too will have Betty Corning.

I love this clematis because of its scent. It has a lovely, sweet scent that hangs in the air just as you pass through the arbor. The scent is never cloying. It's like the perfect perfume that you catch a hint of as someone passes by you.

Betty Corning is also very easy to grow. It is classed in the viticella group which means at the beginning of the spring as the buds swell you cut down last years growth to the first two to three buds. I fertilize my clematis liberally with fish and/or seaweed emulsion during the growing season which produces lots of strong growth and lots of bell shaped flowers. I purchased Betty Corning from Chalk Hill Clematis.

With Betty Corning grows the heirloom rose 'Dortmund.' This is the most asked about rose I grow. It catches everyone's eye with its large, single red blossoms covering the arbor and itself in June. When it flowers the arbor isn't seen nor are Dortmund's glossy, disease resistant leaves. Dortmund is a repeat bloomer, but blooms most prolifically in the early summer and fall. Last year I didn't get around to deadheading Dortmund, but as a result I got a bumper crop of hips to use for winter arrangements. For pictures of the hips, click here:

I purchased Dortmund from Antique Rose Emporium. Dortmund covered the arbor within a season, however, it is what I would call a well mannered climber--it never gets out of hand by too much exuberant growth for an arbor. With Dortmund though, you must be vigilant about tying in its canes to the arbor as it has very large curved thorns. Also, wear long sleeves and good, thick gloves for the yearly pruning in March.

This post was inspired by Gardening Gone Wild's Garden Bloggers' Design Workshop on Arbors and Pergolas:


Nan Ondra said...

An excellent recommendation for both climbers. Thanks!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

MMmmm these two could inspire me to build a new arbor. :) Lovely.

Do you ever put these two together on an arbor or are they so vigorous that they are ok by themselves??

Cottage Magpie said...

I love your blog! I'm adding it to my blog roll right now. That climbing rose is absolutely gorgeous. It must be blackspot resistant to thrive in your humid summers--do you do anything special to it?
~Angela :-)

Veggies.... said...

What a gorgeous blog you have here, I feel like Ive stepped into a flower garden at night!! Lovely.

Got here via Earth Friendly Gardening, glad I stopped by.


Dee/reddirtramblings said...

Great post. I noticed a lot of us were writing about arbors this week. Now, I know why. I grow lots of roses too, but I've never grown Dortmund. It's very pretty. My last two posts were about eating, but the one before was about my rose arbors. Please come by if you get a chance.

I was attracted to your blog by the fact that you garden on a slope. So do I.

heirloomgardener said...


Dortmund has really thick, glossy foliage that is very disease resistant. I fertilize and water regularly. I have had no disease problems. As you are probably aware, some roses drop their leaves in the heat and humidity of summery. Dortmund does not have this habit.

Thanks for stopping by, I'll check out your blog!

-Heirloom Gardener

heirloomgardener said...


These two are on the same arbor. In addition, clematis 'Julie Correvon' grows along with them.


-Heirloom Gardener

Piondröm said...

I like you blog, nice pictures and mutch to read.
It will be fun to come back here again and look at your garden.
Ken from Sweden

heirloomgardener said...


Thanks for visiting. I just peeked at your blog and I love your garden pictures.

-Heirloom Gardener

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

I just planted Clematis 'Betty Corning" last Fall; now I can't wait for it to bloom! Only I wish I had thought to put it on my arbor/arch. Do you think it would go well with 'Mad. Correvon' & 'Comtesse de Bouchaud'? Those 2 are on 1 side together, so I could always get another 'Betty Corning' for the other side.

heirloomgardener said...

Mr. McGregor's Daughter,

Definitely--go for it! The colors will complement each other beautifully, as well as the growth habits. I have Madame Julia Correvon and Marie Boisselot growing along with Betty Corning (I forgot about Marie Boisselot in the comment above, sorry).

-Heirloom Gardener

P.S. I love the name of your blog.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

OOooooo. I am thinking about a new arbor this spring which of course means I need something to grow on it. I love the idea of a rose going over the arbor and I just love Clematis. My question to you is do you think a western exposure will give a rose enough sun to do well?

I am not even sure how much light will be where I have had such a saga going on with the storm damage. I think you have read some about it. It has opened a new area for me. I have to stop thinking shade and start thinking sun. It won't be full sun but almost, I think.

Anonymous said...

I have been trying to decide what kind of plant would travel around an arbor that beautifully. Thank you!
I love the hardiness of clematis, and this one is especially pretty.

Sazji said...

I know this is a back post, but I just had to put in my two cents' worth on Betty Corning. She's really a wonderful clematis that I've been in love with for years!

viagra online said...

I love this clematis because of its scent. It has a lovely and sweet... I love!!!!

Tony Destroni said...

heirlooms are perfect match with the arbors must try that with a help of garden spinner ! awesome !


You are a very smart person! I personally like your post. It is very good to know that you don't know. Fantastic post! Thank you so much for giving plenty of awesome information.

Search Heirloom Gardener


Blog Archive


Blog Flux Pinger - reliable ping service. Blog Directory Alltop, all the top stories