The clematis vine is the quintessential flowering vine that you might have noticed growing up mailbox poles. Clematis are woody vines that can be either evergreen or deciduous. Its large blooms, especially those of the large-flowered hybrids and cultivars, can make a stunning statement in your garden. Keven Graham, ASLA, principal and landscape architect of Planning Resources in Illinois, recommends the Sweet Autumn Clematis, a sun-loving vine with white flowers, along with the Jackman Clematis.
While any clematis can be a wonderful addition to your garden, remember that climate can influence the amount of privacy provided by the plant. "In warmer climates, clematis can offer screening possibilities," says Liz Pulver, ASLA, landscape architect licensed in New York and California. "If you are looking for lots of screening and live in a cooler climate, I'd recommend using clematis as a flowering accent alongside vines which give you fuller vegetative coverage."
Whether you decide to grow them on a pergola or an arbor, clematis need a strong support to wind up because the vines can get very heavy [source: Grey-Wilson & Matthews]. For a healthy and beautiful plant, watch that some varieties don't get especially strong direct sunlight because it can bleach the flowers. Also, watch for clematis wilt, a fungus that can infect the plant.