I’ll never be totally cured of my clematis addiction, but I think things are calming down a bit these days. I can now look at clematis in a nursery and walk away without buying something every single time. On garden walks I am delighted to find clematis paired with trees, shrubs or perennials in combinations that had never occurred to me before. On the other hand, I no longer feel the need to copy every single idea.
This year is a spectacular year for the garden. The season started early and both roses and clematis are thriving. I may never witness my garden like this again! It is a taste of what zone 7 gardeners must experience every year. Here in my corner of Ontario though, it is unheard of.
My taste in clematis has changed over time from my initial delight in anything eye catching – which meant bright, large and most important, available in Toronto. I had seen photos of English estates with giant Clematis Perle d’Azur covering long brick walls. I also fell in love with the sophisticated but simple blooms of Clematis ‘Marie Boisselot’ – and this one was available nearby and so I succumbed. As did the plant.
The decades since have followed a twisted path. I learned a great deal more about the care of these vines and was fortunate to meet some very special clematis experts in their gardens too. That is how I became acquainted with the smaller varieties of bloom. Now, I enjoy all sorts: twining and non-clinging, bell shaped blooms, plants under a meter in height, even red ones -and have more than I can easily count. Yet, I will occasionally covet “just one more”. There is always something new and quite wonderful!
Let me share a few from my June garden .
That’s “a few” I guess! Such variety means there is something for everyone. While I tend to think that certain plants are loved more by men (Hostas, Dahlias…) and that women are supposed to swoon over roses and things delicate, I find the ‘Clematis Admiration Society’ to be composed pretty much equally of both men and women. Both are capable of adding words like tepal, anther, Atragene, Heracleifolia, Integrifolia, Viticella, and ‘Clematis on the Web’ to their vocabularies.
We have so many clematis flowering now, with still more to bloom later on. But this is peak time for our vines, the moment we anticipate through the long winter months.