I’m a big Clematis fan. Since most of my writings in here deal with issues of construction and process, it seems I rarely write about the plants which have filled out these projects at the tail end of all that dirt moving, rock rolling and fabrications. I actually know my plants pretty well and I have some most definite favorites. Clematis would be one of those.
(left click to enlarge any pictures)
The truth is, it can be a rough plant to locate exactly right. The old saw: “Head in the Sun, feet in the shade” was never lost on me and has turned out to be fairly accurate. It also needs some amazing rich and good-draining soil. Once all this is accomplished, one can watch it grow. It must be added that the vine itself is extremely delicate. One bad move with a weed-eater and you can ruin 10 years worth of Clematis in a New York second. It always amazed me the amount of bloomage, foliage and all the rest which can proceed from such a scraggly start, . But those vine beginnings are truly every bit of “diminutive and fragile”.
Here’s a mess of a Springtime guy of the Clematis family, all early as heck and profuse as you could ever want. This is an early Spring bloomer and actually somewhat fragrant.
Later on in the year, we get the Real Deal as Summer approaches and we begin catching what these glorious heavy-blooming vines are all about:
I once took a picture of this relatively famous Clematis, at least famous in Vancouver. It grows in the David Lam Chinese Garden, hard by UBC and actually on campus there. This would be the same garden where I walked nearby as Queen Elizabeth roamed it, with a gaggle of kids with her. This may be the largest Clematis I ever saw – and thank you to the Botanical garden at UBC for this picture. A Clematis Montana, this sucker has been around for a while!:
What I found incredibly interesting, since moving to Louisville, has been the natives’ uses of Clematis as Mail Box Decor. It is one of those local fads which have seemed to have caught on and I really like it. Add that postal workers must certainly prefer these gorgeous plants to the more prickly roses which one can find decorating mail boxes in the past, and I think we’ve found a winner. Here are a few, just now getting uderway this early Summer:
Just up the street a ways -
To cement my amateur photographer status, I submit this one. I like its look and I won’t be back there any time soon, so I’ll let it fly in the face of snootier picture takers:
Here’s a great “starter kit”! I particularly love the bloom color.
This one has to be shown, since its a few doors down from us. The use of Clematis takes a newer route, garnishing a lamp standard, another visible local opportunity to feature this stunning plant.