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(ARA) - Table umbrella, barbeque grill, chaise lounge, clematis. That's right, when decorating your outdoor living room, be sure to remember the clematis. It's all the decoration you'll need to create a finished look.

Introduced this spring, the Raymond Evison Patio Clematis are just the ticket for patio-ready, party-ready columns of color for your outdoor space. Growing only about three feet tall, these blooming beauties are ideal plants for people who have to garden in small spaces or prefer to garden in containers.

"Clematis are all the rage this year," says James A. Baggett, editor of Better Homes & Gardens Perennials magazine. "You'll see these Patio varieties decorating decks and patios, used on rooftop gardens, or cascading over balconies in apartments with brilliant blooms from June well into fall."

Making a strong vertical statement, one Patio Clematis creates a strong focal point to a grouping of potted plants. In pairs they can define an entryway. In multiples they can line a path or punctuate a patio. Or plant three together in a larger container to create a stunning 'Chelsea Bell Tower.'

Unlike old clematis with a reputation for being fussy or difficult, these new Patio Clematis are a perfectly charming house guest. Growing to a manageable three to four feet, they are easy to care for and bloom year after year all summer long without pruning.

The huge jeweled toned flowers measure a whopping six to seven inches across and are bigger and better than those little drink umbrellas. Cezanne dazzles all summer long with gorgeous violet blooms. Picardy is a free-flowering pinkish-red set off with yellow sepals. The vigorous Versailles displays deep wine color flowers from May to September.

Garden writers and the horticultural elite are calling the Patio Clematis collection the most talked-about plant series for spring 2005. These usually long-blooming beauties have already scored appearances in leading magazines like "Better Homes & Gardens," "Good Housekeeping" and "Garden Design."

"As the first clematis bred to be contained, it's no surprise that Evison's potted vines have struck a chord with garden trendsetters," says Joe Gray, regional vice president of Hines Horticulture, the company that is helping to introduce the new clematis in North America.

"These clematis are for anyone to grow," says Gray. Novice gardeners will like the fact that these clematis require minimal care and know-how; while advanced gardeners will be inspired with the range of design options the clematis provide in and out of their containers."

Just pop them into a pretty container and provide some support. Surround these sociable climbers with trailing foliage like Silver Falls dichondra or Purple Knight alternanthera. Add a floral component using a cascading Double Wave petunia in white for a fresh look, or match the color for a monochromatic theme.

Like its sister collection, the Raymond Evison Royal Horticultural Collection, the Patio Collection Clematis are improved cultivars, the super-performers in the world of clematis. These plants offer incredible vigor, disease resistance, and best of all, high flower and bud counts.

It often goes unnoticed how wonderful clematis are for cut-flower use. Take advantage of the prolific nature of these cultivars. With so many blooms feel free to float flowers in the pool, pond or birdbath. Repeat the motif in bowls for floating centerpieces.

When the season winds down, these clematis can be treated as annuals or wintered over. Hardy to Zone 4, they can be relocated to the perennial bed in the fall.

For a true show-stopper this summer, go with the Raymond Evison Patio Clematis Collection. For more information or to find a garden center near you, visit

Courtesy of ARA Content